The Fallen Risen

The Fallen Risen

So this morning, hopefully we all remembered to fall back one hour.  We were reminded last week of how important it is to keep moving forward in life.  After all, there’s no turning back!

However, there is a risk in moving forward.  It’s far more of a risk for some of us than it is for others.  How many here have a tendency to be a bit clumsy?

Moving forward presents a fall risk.  Usually falling is a downward motion, but some of us are talented enough to actually fall upward like while walking up the stairs.  Has anyone here ever done that?

The Bible talks about lots of different falls.  Unfortunately, only one fall has a positive meaning.  We only have to read a few chapters in before we find a heading in most translations that states, “The fall of man.”  When Adam and Eve chose to sin against God and do the one thing they were instructed not to do, it wasn’t only them who suffered.

Romans 8:19-21

19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

This is why we say that we live in a fallen world.  The Bible refers many times to these other falls:

Fall short of God’s glory

Fall into sin

Fall away from God

Fall into temptation

Fall into disgrace

Fall short

Fall into the hands of enemies

Fall by the sword

Fall into ruin

Fall out of grace

Fall into trouble

Fall into calamity

Fall in battle

Fall asleep in death

Disaster falling

Dread falling

Nations falling

Kingdoms falling

Causing others to fall

The only truly positive reference to falling in the scriptures that I could find so far is when we choose to fall down in worship.

I mean, Jesus also said that not a single sparrow falls to the ground outside of the Father’s care.  That’s encouraging to know that God cares for us, but it’s not such a great scripture to a fallen sparrow.

Falling is the risk that we take moving forward in life, but the reward is well worth the risk.  In fact, God doesn’t mind when we stumble and fall in life by any means!

Psalm 145:13b-14

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises

    and faithful in all he does.

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

Micah was confessing the sins of his people and lamenting about the hardships that they were experiencing as a result.  Then, he begins to make declarations that transform his lamenting to praise.  He said:

Micah 7:7-8

7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,

    I wait for God my Savior;

    my God will hear me.

8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!

    Though I have fallen, I will rise.

Though I sit in darkness,

    the Lord will be my light.

Though I have fallen, I will rise! 

Falling isn’t failing!  That’s right!  Falling isn’t failing!

The only way for a fall not to become a failure, however, is to get up and not to give up!  Get up, don’t give up!

The righteous person isn’t the one who makes the right decision every moment of every day.  The righteous person is the one who strives to live a holy life, stumbles and falls, but then gets right back up!

Proverbs 24:16

for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…

Righteousness doesn’t come from our perfect living.  Righteousness comes from Jesus Christ alone!

We do our best to live a righteous life empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, but we will stumble and fall into sin.  When this happens, we confess it, ask God’s forgiveness as well as forgiveness from anyone who we may have sinned against.  Then, we do whatever we can to make things right.  We may fall, but we rise again!

I love how The Message translation words these two verses:

Proverbs 24:15-16

Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;

    don’t try to get the best of them.

No matter how many times you trip them up,

    God-loyal people don’t stay down long;

Soon they’re up on their feet,

    while the wicked end up flat on their faces.

We may fall down in the weakness of our flesh, but we rise up again in the strength of the Lord! 

David wrote:

Psalm 20:6-8

6 Now this I know:

    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.

He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary

    with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,

    but we rise up and stand firm.

Matthew 26:31-35

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,

    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Of course, Jesus was right and they all fell away that night.  They may have all fell away from Jesus that night, but that wasn’t the end of their story.

Sadly, Judas chose to give up and ended his own life shortly after.  He tried to carry the weighty burden of his guilt and shame on his own and it was too much.  Don’t make the same mistake!

1 Peter 5:7  (TPT)

Pour out all your worries and stress upon Jesus and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.

We weren’t created to carry the burdens caused by living in this fallen world.  That’s why we’re called to pour them all out on Jesus and to leave them there!

We may fall, but we can’t give up and stay there.  We can’t allow failure to swallow up our destiny and steal away from us all that God has planned. 

We must choose to be like the other eleven.  They may have fallen, but they didn’t fail.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced this, but if you have, you know the feeling.  I was helping down at the park to build the dugouts at the softball field.  I was standing on the top of a ladder stretching when the ladder started to lean.  It felt like it lasted forever in slow motion, but as that ladder gave way beneath me, I knew what was coming.  I fell and fell hard.

Although my fall only lasted a few seconds, the disciples probably felt that same way for days.  They left everything and planted their lives in the ministry of Jesus.  Then, just like my ladder, all that they knew was suddenly taken out from under them as Jesus was crucified.

Although they didn’t understand what was happening, they didn’t give up.

After three days, Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to them several times encouraging them to keep moving forward.  He reminded them of the times that He shared with them that this was going to happen.  He directed their thoughts and focus on what was ahead.  They were going to receive the gift that the Father had promised that would clothe them with power from on high.

Since they got up instead of giving up, they were enabled to persevere in hope and receive that promised gift; the baptism of the Holy Spirit!

I love the fact that God chose to include not only the miraculous exploits that His people were able to accomplish with Him, but that He also included the accounts of the times that they stumbled and fell.  They weren’t perfect people

What awaits you?  What new experiences are still ahead?  What memories will be forged in the future?

Just because we stumble and fall along the path doesn’t mean that the finish line is no longer ours to cross!  God hasn’t changed His mind about our destiny!  We may fall, but we haven’t failed.  We only fail if we choose to stay down and make that our destination.

This morning, it’s time to rise up!  It’s time to brush ourselves off, let Jesus heal us, and take the next step forward!

Psalm 145:14 (NLT)

The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.