God Hasn’t Given Up On You
When you grow up in church, there is really only one unpardonable sin. The Bible says that it is blasphemy, but in the church world I grew up in, it was adultery. When Trisha and I left ministry in 2005 due to my affair, I had no idea what the future held, but I was sure of one thing:
God was done with me.
Over the next three years, God began to do a work in Trisha and I and lay a burden on our heart for ministry. We began sharing our story, helping couples restore hope in their marriage. That is how RefineUs was started. Our passion for the local church began to burn white-hot again, and by his grace we were given an opportunity to return to ministry at Cross Point.
There are still days that I hear the lie that God is done with me.
There are still times that I wonder if God can use the mistakes and poor choices in my life for His good.
Maybe you are there today.
The mistakes you’ve made seem greater than God’s ability to use you. The plans you once had are buried under a pile of regret or missed opportunity.
God hasn’t given up on you. If you feel or have felt like God is done with you…here are three things I want to share with you today:
1. It isn’t your past sins that keep God from using you, it is the condition of your heart.
I was disqualified for ministry years before the affair started. The pattern of hiding and running and pretending and posturing existed in my life long before the affair manifested itself. Because things were going so well with my ministry, it was easier to hide my struggles.
Maybe some of you have given up on yourself because of mistakes you’ve made years ago. God isn’t finished with you yet. God cares so much more about the condition of your heart than he does the mistakes of your past.
2. The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)
This verse doesn’t mean that the gifts and calling of God are beyond accountability or purity. But it does mean that just because you’ve made mistakes God doesn’t just rip away your giftedness and your calling. If He called you, and He gifted you, then He has plans for you. It took me a few years to believe this. But what I have seen is that the more I have sought brokenness the more opportunity He has given me to live out my calling. I get cautious when people desire the gifts of God and calling of ministry, more than they desire brokenness.
3. When giftedness outweighs character, implosion is on the horizon.
If you are a gifted person you will be given responsibility. If you are a gifted person, people will be drawn to you. If you spend more time developing your gifts than you do deepening your character, implosion isn’t a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN.
Giftedness is sexy. Giftedness is visible. Giftedness gets noticed; gains opportunity; gives you reputation. Character is often compromised so that giftedness can take center stage. Giftedness can be replaced…but character allows you to sustain the work of God in your life.
Maybe today, you feel like God is done with you. He’s given up on you. You’ve sinned beyond God’s ability to use you. You’ve messed up more than can ever be redeemed.