Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church

Charlottesville | VA
Get Back UP
“Get Back UP”
By: Pastor Nathaniel Drew
            I’m the type of person that loves to try new things. What about you? I especially love trying things that challenge me. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I celebrated our third anniversary. Our goal, for each of our anniversaries, is to do something together that we’ve never done before. I accepted the challenge, this year, of finding something for us to do. So as I searched, I found the opportunity for us to go kayaking and paddle boarding. Now kayaking was something that we’ve always wanted to try, so even though we had never done it before, we had a general idea of how it’s done. However, I had no idea what paddle boarding entailed. In my mind, I thought we would be sitting on the board as we paddled ourselves through the water. When we got there though I realized that when paddle boarding, you stand on the board. Even with that small change, paddle boarding looked easy when I watched the staff members do it. So I figured, if they could do it that easily, so could I! So with my wife watching, I proceeded to stand up on the board and give it a try. Donning my Ray Ban sunglasses that I bought on our honeymoon, I stood up on the board. Everything was going great! I started thinking to myself, “I knew this was easy”. Suddenly, my knees started wobbling. I started to sway back and forth, and before I knew it, I fell off the board and crashed into the water. To this day, my Ray Ban sunglasses are at the bottom of that ocean. I struggled my way back onto the board, stood up, and after a few seconds, down I went again. I got up again, and pulled myself up on the board, and a couple of minutes later, I was back in the water. In all honesty, I was beginning to get frustrated. I was almost at the point where I felt that paddle boarding wasn’t for me and I was going to give up. Because I kept falling, the fun started to go away. However, in the midst of the temptation to give up, I instead kept choosing to get up. And after some time of falling and getting up, and falling and getting up, I finally got the hang of it. Before long, I was standing on the board, paddling through the water like a natural. The Bible says in Proverbs 24:16, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” The guarantee in our lives is that we’re bound to fall. Sometimes our jobs knock us down. Sometimes our marriages knock us down. Sometimes school knocks us down. Sometimes life in general knocks us down. And to make things a little more complicated, not only is life guaranteed to knock us down, but we are guaranteed to be knocked down in our spiritual lives as well! Since we know that no one is perfect, EVERYONE has that one or maybe two things in our lives that we face that tend to knock us down every once in a while. In fact, just like when I was paddle boarding, we could be living our everyday lives, thinking we’re doing pretty well; and then here comes that woman, or that man, or that song, or that drink, or that drug habit, or those curse words, or that thought that knocks us right back down again. But we’ve got to understand that nothing good comes from staying down. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that it’s pretty hard to fight back while on the ground. Choosing to remain knocked down causes us to become 3 things: 1. Defenseless- (not able to resist being attacked). 2. Vulnerable- (susceptible to being wounded or hurt). 3. Weak- (liable to yield, break, or collapse under pressure).  And you can bet that Satan will prey on each of these 3 things if he smells them in the life of the believer! So the reality is that circumstances and temptations trip us up in so many different ways. However, for those of us who desire to be in Christ, the good news is, we don’t have to stay down. We can get back up! The only difference, proverbs says, between a righteous person and an unrighteous person, is that while the unrighteous person chooses to remain down in their sin and misery, the righteous person realizes that nothing good will come from staying down; and so they choose to get back up! See the onus is not on how many times you fall, but how many times you choose to get back up. And the more we depend on Christ, the longer we’re able to stand.

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Michael Williams
2015-09-10 4:19 AM

In the battle against sin you are going to get hit but, what will make the difference is what you do afterward.