Even when I fail

By Lee Pierce ( The Gathering Church)
Have you ever felt like you let the Lord down? Done things you know would not please Him? Fail despite your best intentions to serve Him and be there for Him? I have to admit, that describes me way too often! I sometimes have the very best of intentions…then I blow it!

It’s safe to say, however, that none of those failings surprise our God. He knows us well and understands how weak we can be. Yet He still always loves us, and that fact never ceases to surprise me. Which is surprising in itself since He is God & His ways are not our ways [Is 55:8-9]. I should never expect God to react to people and circumstances the way I would in my fallen flesh. Thankfully, He doesn’t!

I was reading in Mark of some people with the best of intentions…the Lord’s own, hand-picked disciples. These same disciples who vowed to Jesus that they would stand by Him no matter what might happen. Even Peter, who maybe was the de facto leader of that band of disciples, vowed, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not…Peter kept saying insistently, ‘ Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.’ ” [Mark 14:29, 31] But Jesus was God with foreknowledge of all truth and He knew that Peter would fail Him, not once but three times just in the next few hours. Of course, it wasn’t just Peter; all the disciples followed the same path: “And they all were saying the same thing, too.” [Mark 14:31b]

It’s important to understand that none of this happened by chance or imperfect happenstance. The fact that the disciples fell away from Him was prophesied by Zechariah some 500 years before the event we are discussing.  Jesus quotes the intent of Zechariah [Zech 13:7] when he says to the disciples, “You will all fall away…and the sheep shall be scattered.” [Mark 14:27] And, of course, it is God the Father who will “strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered…” [Zech 13:7] Yet this scattering of the sheep is not an end in itself. A commentary I was reading notes that the disciples’ falling away “would be the means to their redemption.” The Zechariah passage also predicts this outcome, as well. In Zech 13:8-9, he voices prophetically that these scattered sheep will be refined as silver and God will acknowledge them as His people. Jesus further corroborates this by telling the disciples who are about to fail Him that, once He is raised after the crucifixion, He will meet them back in Galilee.

Like everything in the Bible, there is a lesson for us here, as well. Even when we fail Him—fall away—He will wait for us and meet us when the time is right. If we are His, we are always His. Even in our weakness. The Lord has said, “I will never leave (desert) you nor forsake you.” [Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5] And I believe Him with all my heart.

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