Stumbling Is Not A Fruit Of The Spirit
Someone asked in a Bible Study group if it was possible, as a child of God to walk on this earth without stumbling. Without hesitation, almost all in the room chorused, ‘It is not possible’! It’s as if they have been taught that stumbling is a virtue! According to many of them, ‘that is why Christ came. He didn’t come for the perfect but the imperfect’! That statement is true, but then it begs the question: ‘Did He come to save mankind in order for them to continue in their fallen state?’ By the Scriptures we know sin wreaks violence while righteousness produces a life of peace. The Bible clearly showed us this mission in Jesus in producing righteousness in man: “Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1: 78-79). Of a truth, if we stumble, the Lord is faithful to catch and restore us if we call out to Him for help. Beloved, if Christ could live a life on this earth and not stumble once as the Bible says He was without sin, then, we can live a life that is devoid of stumbling.
The desire of God for us is for all to attain perfection here on earth not when we get to Heaven: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). To effectively do this, we are encouraged to: “Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found in peace without spot or blemish before Him” (2Peter 3:14), because He lived, died, rose from the dead (He is Alive) and He is actually coming back again for a perfect Church that bears His image and likeness: “He did this to present the Church to Himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27). As sons of God waiting for His appearing and for us to reign with Him, we cannot swing from one stumbling to the other like drunkards. A man that is drunk with the Spirit does not stumble from one position to the other, rather such is focused and in control of his senses: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).
The grace of God is not an excuse for us to walk in perpetual stumbling as some think or preach. It is true that greed and lust is sown into the very fabric of the world system, but we must walk circumspectly in order to avoid stumbling that eventually leads to a fall. We must make an effort in this regard, not just in words but by our actions as well: “Therefore, brothers make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble” (2Peter 1:10). The things being talked about in the Scripture are faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love. This simply means, the reason you are prone to stumbling is because you are yet to supplement your belief in Christ with the above. These qualities cannot be faked or gotten by the laying on of hands by ministers of God, but by our individual union with the Holy Spirit.
Sadly, most messages from pulpits these days unashamedly celebrate the flesh and preach very little, if at all, about the well-being of the soul. It is not enough to learn how to be ‘great mighty eagles’ on earth when we are actually chickens that can barely fly when it comes to the things that eternally matter! No wonder so many are barren and useless when it comes to things that eternally matter. Such have refused to mature in the things of God – they have refused to allow their senses be trained by the word of God so they can distinguish between good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14). Like the Rich Young Ruler in the Gospels, they have held on to teachings that will not profit their souls but only showcase their flesh. Unlike the woman by the well, she received the Master, increased in the knowledge of Him; and that knowledge led her whole town to the Master. Friend, enough of stumbling from one point to the other. Stumbling is not a fad neither is it excusable at the end of things when all will give account of how they had lived on earth! Beloved, you can walk in perfection if only you will make an effort to come to the water of life and take root there: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). Don't just come to the Water of Life to drink, take root there! God bless you!