GET UP, GET GOING
Back when I was still young, I remember having to try out my new bike and being so eager to remove the training wheels. The fact that I could bike around like the kid from a few blocks away seemed so cool for me. Nobody told me that when you ride a bike for the first time, you’ll fall. It doesn’t happen once — and I was not informed that it really does take time.
For the countless times I’ve fallen from my bike, I got up and I got going.
I had to.
Living a life of devotion to the Lord is much like learning how to ride a bike. It isn’t easy, and it takes time to learn. In fact, it’s an eternal learning experience. One big struggle believers might face today is in terms of committing the mistakes they try to avoid — I don’t want to cuss, or I don’t want to drink, or I don’t want to watch porn — name it, every Christian has that pitfall that they ultimately try to avoid.
What happens when you do fall? What happens when you tread so close to the line that slipping isn’t a far cry from happening? I’ve been there quite so many times in many ways. I catch myself thinking, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?”
I want to please God with the way I live my life. And so when I fall, I feel so bad because I am harming my fellowship with the Lord. It’s far from pleasing God — it’s pleasing myself whenever I choose to follow my own passions or lusts.
A word from Micah 7:7-10 hit me hard in one of my devotions.
The Book of Micah, part of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament, is a book with alternate exposures of warnings and messages of hope. This specific part of Micah represents the chosen nation’s grief over the punishment of their sins. They have committed grave mistakes in the past, and punishment was very obvious (conquerors left and right, kings being punished, destruction of the temple, among others). The promise of the Lord is, thankfully, much brighter than the infliction of pain and regret.
The passage begins its cue shift with verse 7:
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord…”
Matthew Henry wrote this line in his commentary about this line in Micah:
“When a child of God has every occasion to cry, yet it may comfort him to know that he has a God to look up to, to come to, to fly to, whom he may rejoice and have satisfaction… The less reason we have to delight in any creature, the more reason we have to delight in the Lord.”
Here is a cry of desperation, the kind that pushes you to the only reprieve that is eternal and available: to look to God in all humility like a man trapped under a seemingly bottomless pit, looking up above to the single ray of light that promises there’s a way out of this darkness.
The first step to getting up and moving forward is to LOOK TO THE LORD.
To wait on Him and His salvation, to believe that He will come at the right time and pick you up at such a time that your moment of darkness has taught you immense wisdom and has made you realize you long for the light deep down in your heart — this is what it means to look to the LORD.
Then Micah writes such strong words directed towards the enemy:
“Rejoice not over me, my enemy,
when I fall, you shall rise,
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be light to me.”
There’s so much theological truth into these that it is not only Micah who writes about this. The psalmist wrote in Palms 37:24,
“Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand”.
Proverbs provide this wisdom in chapter 24, the 16th verse:
“For the righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again.”
The grace of God assures us of the hope that we have in Him who gives us new mornings and new chances at getting it right. The only response to such AMAZING GRACE is to get up, get going. Do not stay fallen. Rise, because grace has smoothened the rough edges of you.
The second I will in this passage following looking to God and His promise and hope is probably the bitter end of this wisdom:
“I will bear the indignation of the Lord,
because I have sinned against Him…”
Matthew Henry again gives a shining insight here:
“Those who are truly penitent of sin will be patient in affliction.”
True. The badness of His wrath is a response to the badness of our hearts.
Sin has its consequences, these have been made clear.
For us believers, sin and stumbling may not take away our relationship from God away — but our fellowship with God is affected. Imagine when you are in a relationship with someone and you encounter a fight. As long as it is not resolved, there’s a great distance between you and your partner until that fellowship or union is rekindled again.
Sin “grieves” the Holy Spirit. It is that “conscience tug” that you get after a fall that allows you to realize you’ve hurt something from within. Sin is much like that — a cold stab on the heart. It pierces and destroys the walls of your fellowship with the holy, pure God.
Thankfully yet again, that passage in Micah didn’t end here — he brought it back to HOPE in the LIGHT.
HE WILL BRING ME OUT TO THE LIGHT;
I SHALL LOOK UPON HIS VINDICATION.
When you look to the LORD and you hold on to the hope despite bearing the affliction of your sin, you will have that assurance in your heart that you can get up and get going. Not because you didn’t feel the fall — oh no, you feel the regret, the loss and the death deep inside your heart — when you ask ‘what have I done’ and cry out in despair. But because feeling it puts you at a good place. It brings you down in humility, in fact, in shame, as you stand in His holiness.
Then the promise of GOD confirms it in your heart. Through Christ, HE HAS MADE YOU WORTHY OF HIM. That mix of tears and smile, where night and day meets, where heaven is felt so clearly on the earth which you stand on — that moment is a great encounter with the gracious God who cared and thought of you and loved you first. It’s that kind of grace that transforms you and allows you to NOT STAY IN THE DARK, not stay in the fall but be able to get up and proceed to pursuing the life you’ve been called to live. In Christ’s resounding work at the cross, dear Christian, you can do this.
GET UP, and GET GOING.