Are you feeling disappointed and battle weary?
After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites FINALLY entered the promised land. They experienced fantastic victory as they followed instructions from God. They did as they were told and the walls surrounding this great city fell. However, due to the disobedience, and in this case greed of one man, their next battle would be terribly lost. You see, they were instructed to destroy everything in this pagan land. God didn't want the belongings of the wicked among his people. Yet one man kept a robe, silver, and gold for himself. So when they went to battle in Ai, it was not with the blessing of God, and they LOST. Perplexed at this devastating blow they bowed on their faces in prayer around the Ark until evening. The Lord commanded them to "GET UP and deal with their sin." After the sin was exposed and dealt with, they were led back to Ai and conquered them. And this time they were allowed to keep whatever they wanted.
If you seem to be facing defeat after defeat in your own life, I wonder if just maybe there might be disobedience. Maybe you and everybody else knows you don't live according to Word of God and your sins are blatant and totally "out there." Or maybe you do live according to the Word, yet you are not doing something that God has specifically told you to do. Or you are doing something God specifically told you to stop doing. Sin can be a subtle stumbling block, but no matter how blatant or subtle, you know you are tripping over it time and time again.
The Bible teaches us here that once sin is dealt with, forgiveness and victory lie ahead. We do not have to stay in a place of guilt or discouragement when we look to God for direction. No matter how badly we've messed up or how difficult life has become because of our sin, we must renew our efforts to carry out God's will. We don't need to roll around on the ground feeling worthless. We need to "GET UP and deal with our sin." How?
Confess the sin to God (out loud with your own voice)
Ask for forgiveness from God
Repent of it (which means to turn away from it, not returning to it)
Make restitution if need be (who did you hurt in the process and how can you make it right?)
Ask forgiveness of others you may have hurt (understanding that they may not be ready to forgive you, but God will if you are genuine)
When we chose to walk in the will of God for our lives, our trials can become our testimony of God's greatness. Ask God for direction. He will be faithful to give it to you. If your sin is habitual, find a support group. If you need to learn more about the Word and how it applies to you, join a bible study group. Yes, come to church on Sunday, but don't think that is going to be enough. You need to get into the Word for yourself. You need to understand the Word for yourself so that when you hear it again in a group setting you can hear it with understanding.
Yesterday's defeat can become today's victory. Now GET UP and go be victorious!!
Isaiah 41:10-13 ESV
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.