“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand….
For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones”
Psalm 37:23-28 (NIV)
You do not need to read very far in your Bible until you find this child of God or that stumbling into some sin or other. There are no end of stories in Scripture recounting the many ways God’s people trip up and fall into some sin.
Over many years of counseling with Christians I have heard some very tragic situations where a believer has fallen and taken family members or church members with them. As the world watches these incidents it mocks Christians and the church.
After one of the TV evangelists had a moral lapse, I recall one person saying to me, “You Christians are no better than the rest of us.” I assured the man that in some ways he was right. Then I pointed out to him that Christians do not claim to be better than other people. In fact, Christians are people who have recognized just how sinful they really are and have prayed to Jesus for forgiveness and grace to refrain from sin.
I assured the critic that we all have sinned before God and what distinguishes Christians from non Christians is the fact Christians have forgiveness of sin from God and have resolved to seek to live according to a holy God’s will.
Our verse today is especially for a Christian who has fallen into some sin and wonders how they could be a believer having done such an immoral thing. Noah was a man of God and he got drunk. Did God forsake him? No! Abraham was a man of faith and he lied in an effort to save himself. Did God forsake him? No! Moses struck the rock in anger, did God forsake him? No! David, the man after God’s own heart committed adultery and murder, did God forsake him? No!
Any child of God may stumble and commit virtually any sin possible and God says they have stumbled but not fallen. God does not forsake His beloved people. Perhaps like Moses—who did not enter the Promised Land because of his sin, or David—whose kingdom fell down around his own bedroom, the one who stumbles will pay a price in this life for the sin.
But God never forsakes His chosen ones. God will pick up the wayward child of His and put their feet back on the path of righteousness. The Psalmist says, “You provide a broad path for my feet…” Psalm 18:36 (NIV) The Lord is the Navigator of His people. He goes ahead of them like the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-4).
Today I do not know anything about how you have sinned against the Lord Who loves you. It does not matter. What you need to hear is the voice of the Good Shepherd calling you back to the path of obedience. Wherever you are with your problems today—if you truly love Jesus you will not be satisfied to keep wandering away. The Lord will see to that. Your Saviour will not let you fall but will draw you back into His fold. He loves His sheep, the ones for whom He died. He will not lose one of His people (John 17:12).