Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Anybody ever feel like just as you’re getting ahead, someone comes and pulls the rug out from under you and you gotta start all over again? I DO. I feel like we have those times in our walk with God so often! It’s like devil thinks oh snap, lookie there, they’re making progress, gotta snatch em back! Never been a huge fan of him…

In my quiet time today, I opened up to Nehemiah 9 and it totally spelled this out for me. This chapter is a prayer from the Israelites (whom at the time definitely understand what it meant to screw up and begin again). At this time they are confessing they’re sins to God and marveling and praising how they were never left alone despite everything.

Pretty much verses 16-36 list out ways that their people had sinned against God and how God never left. For starters, in verse 16, it says that their ancestors were proud and stubborn and refused to obey, but God didn’t abandon them. Here’s a list of what they did and God’s comeback:
verse 18: they made idols shaped like a calf-God didn’t let them die in the wilderness, he led them through safely, sending His spirit to guide them
verse 26: when God helped them conquer their foes and live luxuriously, they were disobedient and rebelled and killed his prophets-in their time of need, He heard their cries and rescued them from their enemies
verse 28: they turned away again-God rescued them when they cried out again
verse 29: they stubbornly turned their backs again and refused to listen again-God was patient with them and sent His Spirit to warn them of troubles ahead

Talk about two steps forward, one step back! Right when God would save them, they’d be great for a time then revert back to their old ways. Yet over and over again, God continued to rescue them and show them love. Yes, at times he did hand them over to their enemies or let them suffer temporarily, but would always rescue them in the end. As verse 33 states, “Every time you punished us you were being just. We have sinned greatly, and you gave us only what we deserved.” How many times have you let God down? Personally, probably WAYYY too many than times than I’d like to admit. We’re not perfect, yet God loves us anyway?! How completely amazing and just plain legit is that! Verse 17 says, “But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them.” And he’ll never abandon us either. Can I get a amen!?! Verse 30 says he was patient with them for many years. I find it so comforting that despite the fact that I will fall flat on my face a good number of times in my life than likely, that God will continue to be patient with me and richly love me with unfailing love. Not only will he continually and constantly love us, we will never walk alone. As chapter 9 of Nehemiah illustrates, he sent his spirit with them wherever they were and was their just when they needed him. As the song posted above states, we will have scars and struggles on they way, but with joy at the end we can say that we were never left and never once did God leave us! He is faithful and will always be there!

Thanks for the read! :]


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