Summary: No one likes to fail, but we all do. We examine the story of Peter and draw 5 steps for getting back on track if you’ve failed. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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What to Do if You’ve Failed God

Everybody has failed at one time or another:

Firemen who came to rescue a cat. Woman was so grateful, she invited them all in for cookies and milk. When it was over, they backed down the driveway, waving their goodbyes. . . and ran over the cat.

Today, I want to tell you the story of one of the best-known failures in history.

Everyone has failed God at one time or another. Failing God after becoming a Christian is often called “Backsliding.”

You know that feeling of “No, THIS time I’m really SERIOUS about following Jesus!!! I’ll never fail again!” And then you know the feeling when you’ve flopped once more?

So the question you might be asking yourself is “HOW can I really get back on track?”

1. Realize where you went wrong.

A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." (Mark 14:72)

This may seem simple, but it’s the first step. Many people never recover from failure, because they don’t want to admit that failure has happened.

Peter remembered what Jesus had said. He realized what he had done, and knew it wasn’t right.

If you fail, Satan will try to tell you: what you did wasn’t wrong.

2. Truly be sorry for your failure. “So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:62)

Peter had the right reaction.

If you fail, Satan will try to tell you: It was wrong, but it’s no big deal.

3. Realize that God still loves you. "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you." (Mark 16:7)

If you fail, Satan will try to tell you: God doesn’t love you any more.

4. Make a new commitment to follow Jesus.

And when Jesus had spoken this, He said to [Peter], "Follow Me.". . . Peter, seeing John, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"

Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." (John 21:19,21-22)

If you fail, Satan will try to tell you: It’s no use trying again.

5. Take new ground spiritually.

“Wait for the promise of the Father. . .” (Acts 1:4)


In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principle like this:

“Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?”

One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.”

But Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.”

Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing Christ to take full possession. -Contributed by: Ritch Grimes on

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. . . For if you do these things, you will never fall.” (1 Peter 1:5-7,10)

Here’s the guy who failed . . . one of the most obvious, well-known, painful failures in history. And he is here to tell you how to keep it from happening to you!

If you fail, Satan will try to tell you: “You’ll never be spiritually strong.”

If you’ve failed, it’s not time to quit. It’s time to get that failure behind you, then step up and take your spiritual life to a new level.

A children’s story tells about an old goat who fell down a well. They couldn’t get the goat (who was still alive) out, so they decided to simply fill the well in. They began to shovel dirt down the well. They got almost to the top, and suddenly, the goat jumped out of the well. The goat had simply stayed on top of the dirt as they shoveled it down. The moral of the story: When you get dirt on you, shake it off, and step up.

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