You know that story in the Bible about the protocol son? Well, this is part of my story as the protocol daughter. I was raised in the church and brought up with godly principles and biblical teaching. But, you know, I had to do the "try-my-own-way" before the Holy Spirit snatched me by the back of my neck. It was like He was saying, "Hey!! You belong to Somebody. Remember?"
He got my attention alright with an amazing encounter; which I'll have to share another time. Anyway, even though it had only been a few years I was away from the Lord, I had moved faaaaaarrrrr farrr far from Him in my actions and behaviors. For example, I smoked cigarettes. I wasn't a chain smoker. But I would smoke when I went out with my friends and when I was on deadline writing for my university paper. Anyway, after I came to the Lord with fervor and serious commitment, I found myself on my porch reading my Bible... smoking. While trying to turn some pages without dropping my Marlboro Light 100, my Bible fell off of my lap slapping onto the cement of my patio. I picked it up, placed it open onto my lap and guess what verse was right there, jumping at me off the page? I was totally convicted. Praying immediately I asked the Lord to forgive me for not taking care of my temple and I made a decision not to do it anymore with His help.
The Lord has brought me a long way in many things. My prayer is that I would respond 100 percent of the time to His instruction the way I did with the cigarette and other things. I get frustrated with myself when I fall or mess up. But God's love for me is so steadfast that even in my mess up's and failings, He holds me up and doesn't allow my life to be destroyed by my lack of perfection. He still uses and blesses me.
If you have fallen, messed up or feel you have failed the Lord in any way, know that He offers forgiveness to a repentant heart and His grace is sufficient. When the Lord went to the cross, He went knowing that from your salvation, you would still be human and make mistakes. So if you fall or fail, don't give up. Get up. And, allow the Lord's love to shower you with forgiveness and grace.