A song by Toby Mac has been a rotation regular for several weeks. The lyrics speak to my belief that it is never too late for God to redeem a mistake, a relationship or a life. More and more I realize that Satan wishes nothing more than to distract us from moment by moment abiding with Christ. The strategies are numerous but it seems to me that one is consistent and effective. The Enemy wants us to live in regret of the past or fear of the future. The tactic is genius in its treachery. Living in regret of the past or fear of the future robs us of the joy of the moment. And not being present with God in the moment removes any chance of overcoming that fear or regret. See the vicious cycle?
Recently it felt like nearly everyone I talked to at church was dealing with some regret of past mistakes or decisions. Tobymac's song "Get Back Up" seemed to sum up the day.
You turned away when I looked you in the eye
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright
Seems like you're fightin' for your life
But why, oh, why
Why, oh, why indeed. Why do we so easily lose sight of the One who loves us during trials? In my case I know what happens. I forget who I am. I don't mean that I forget my name. I still know that I am Dave Burchett who lives in Garland, Texas and is married to the lovely Joni. I still know that I have three wonderful sons and two awesome daughter-in-laws. I still know that I have a cool dog and that I am tragically and incurably a Cleveland Browns fan. But I forget too quickly who I am in Christ. That I am a saint who is justified and made righteous by Jesus. I forget that there is no condemnation in Christ. I forget that the accusations of the Enemy may be true but they fall on deaf ears in Heaven because of Christ.
A beautiful picture of this occurs in the Old Testament book of Zechariah.
Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel's right hand, making accusations against Jeshua.
Notice something really interesting in this passage. The text never says that the Accuser wasn't accurate. God never says to Satan that he is wrong in his charges against Jeshua.
And the Lord said to Satan, "I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan.
God simply tells Satan to stifle himself. This man is Mine. Your accusations mean nothing to Me. The prophet paints a beautiful picture as he shows that Jeshua was, in fact, guilty of the accusations. His filthy, disgusting, stinky clothes represented his sin.
Jeshua's clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, "Take off his filthy clothes." And turning to Jeshua he said, "See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes."
So the Accuser made his case while the accused stood there covered head to toe in the irrefutable DNA evidence of his sin. Despite the open and shut case God said I reject your accusations. I have forgiven him. Put on these robes of righteousness on my child because of My love for him. Can you imagine how frustrated Satan must have been? An ironclad case against the high priest was thrown out if court because of grace. And there is no appeal against the Creator of the Universe.
Tobymac's lyric describes this kind of amazing love quite well.
This is love callin,' love callin,'
Out to the broken this is love callin'
This is love callin,' love callin,'
I am so broken
This is love callin,' love callin'
Remember when you are broken that there is love calling. It is grace and forgiveness through Christ. It is comfort through His Spirit. When you are being accused remember that God rejects those charges. Don't live in regret of lost time or lost opportunities. When I finally began to live out of my identity in Christ I actually got depressed. How had I lived so many years in self-effort and sadness? How many chances had I blown to declare the love of Christ because I wasn't living it? How many relationships had I damaged because I was broken? And then I realized where those charges came from. My Father in Heaven rejected those accusations. He had been preparing me for my destiny all along. I had to travel the path of painful preparation to appreciate my arrival in the Room of Grace. I could not have accelerated those lessons because He was in control of my process.
I choose to rejoice in what God has for me the rest of my days instead of what might have been had I been smarter or more discerning earlier in my journey. My friends at Truefaced use this quote from Carl Bard.
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending."
God is simply asking you to live out the chorus of today's song.
We lose our way, we get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again
And one day you gonna' shine again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever.
Get back up again. Be faithful because God is faithful to defend and love you. Start now and trust Him for a brand new ending. It's NEVER too late to get back up again.