Summary: The best of men are men at best. Peter backslid, as do all of us. But God can help us to "Fail Forward." Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.
You’ve Fallen…But You CAN Get Up!
Faith Healer: on platform at coliseum, said, I have faith that 2 people will be healed…where are you? A man ran down the aisle, named Harry [w/ lisp]. Asked what his ailment was, he replied, I can’t talk wite [right]. He was instructed to go behind a curtain. Another man hobbled down on crutches, named Frank. He said, I haven’t walked in 20 years w/out crutches. He was told to go behind the curtain w/ Harry…then the healer said Frank, you’ve been healed, slide those crutches out under curtain one at a time. They appeared, and the place came unglued. The healer held up those crutches and broke them over his knee…all cheered! Then he declared Harry to be healed and said: “Harry, the next sentence you speak will be the first you’ve ever said normally…usher, take him a mic. What would you like to say? Then everyone heard the words, “Fwank fell down!”
Have you ever fallen down spiritually while running this race / been tripped up by the devil?
You’re not a failure because you fall…only if you don’t get back up. If you get up just once more than you fall then you’re a success!
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
What would you think of a preacher who would curse and swear in front of one of the teenagers?
Peter did just that…and denied the Lord, but in spite of it all, God gave Him a new start and Peter learned how to fail forward! [read text]
1. Failure doesn’t have to be a hitching post; it can be a guide post
We can learn from failures and sins! God has a way of bringing good out of bad!
Some have low self esteem and think God sees them as a composite of all their failures…but not so!
Ill.--My dad doesn’t introduce me as Jerry, my son who drained the transmission fluid and filled up the oil…though I did! Or…
Jerry, my son who…stole truck and went to Iowa [at 15!]
…rode motorcycle w/ no shirt and hit bumblebee at 50 mph!
My earthly father has no need for such memories…and my heavenly father has no need for such either!
When God forgives, He forgets [east from west!]
Not to say there’s no consequences, but from a judgmental perspective...God doesn’t hold them against us!
2. If we fail God, it will probably be at a point of our greatest strength
Peter’s greatest strength was his courage!
We criticize Peter for taking his eyes off the Lord on the sea of Galilee and beginning to sink…but at least he got out of the boat!
When they came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulled out his sword to defend him/tried to take off one of their heads!
This big, burly fisherman, however, cowered down before a teenage girl…in the area of his greatest strength!
Bible says he was the meekest among men [meekness: strength under control] But what did he do? He lost control of his emotions and killed an Egyptian/later smote rock twice!
He is called the father of faith…but he left Canaan and went into Egypt, and lied about Sarah his wife, because he didn’t have enough faith that God would protect him…he failed in his area of strength!
A picture of purity/apple of God’s eye/man after God’s own heart…but he committed adultery/failed in his area of strength!
None of these failed in their weakness, but in their strength…because we all have a tendency to leave our strengths unguarded!
An unguarded strength is a double weakness!
Paul said (II Cor. 12:10), when I am weak, them am I strong! [for then I’m depending on the Lord, and not myself!]
[pride goes before destruction/let him that thinks he stands take heed…]
v. 33 we can admire Peter’s statement at first glance, but there’s a difference between saying I can do all things thru Christ, or just I can do all things!
*The boastful man is tempting the devil to tempt him.
3. Before we sin, the devil is a tempter; after we sin, the devil is an accuser.
Before we sin, he says, go ahead, no one will know, you can get away w/ it…
…afterward he says, you’ll never get away w/ it/you’ve blown it…you might as well not even try to serve God!
Satan’s goal is not only for you to fall, but for you to stay down…so let’s learn how to fail forward!
3 Wonderful Truths
I. Even when we fail, God is still sovereign
Sovereign means “in control”.
(Luke 22:60) The rooster crowing is a testimony that God was still in control/the Lord shut the beaks of hundreds of roosters until the precise moment of the 3rd denial!