What Happens to My Relationship with God when I Mess Up? It Depends.

grayscale photo of man standing while scratching head
Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

Let’s say, hypothetically, you go off the rails one day and lose your composure. Life hit you with some hardship and you didn’t handle it well. Now you’re so off that you are flirting with a reckless urge to ditch everyone and everything.

Most of us can relate to moments like this. We’ve been there. It isn’t pretty and we’re not proud of it, but it happens.

The question is, what does a scene like this do to your relationship with God?

The answer is, it depends. It depends 100% on what you do next.

The good news is that no matter how low you may have gotten or how ugly your behavior, you can still reach out to God. Though you may feel completely unwanted and unloved by Him, nothing could be further from the truth.

In Psalm 73, there is a startling admission from a worship leader by the name of Asaph:

As for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. (v. 2)

Turns out, even worship leaders struggle. Asaph’s faith was in a nosedive. He was good as long as he was in the Temple worshiping God, but when he stepped out into the world and saw people dis-respecting God and getting rich at the same time, it put him into a tailspin. He couldn’t deal with it.

Yet, Asaph knew he was still welcome in the Sanctuary, even with his issues. So, in his disturbed state, he reached out to God and asked for help, which turned out to be a pivotal experience. Here’s how he describes it:

Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant – I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. (v. 21-22)

When Asaph reached out to God, he regained perspective and he regained hope. He had been in a bad place, sliding down the slippery slope of bitterness, until he was grabbed by grace. Then he realized that his relationship with God was the most valuable (and durable) thing he possessed. What he said next was brilliant:

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (v. 26)

Something good came out of Asaph’s breakdown. He learned that God’s love has an industrial strength, fool-proof quality about it. He discovered that even when his heart was wrecked with all kinds of toxic thoughts and feelings, he was still welcome and accepted in the Sanctuary. Though he had messed up, he could still enter that sacred space and be renewed.

It is those low moments in life when we feel that we deserve the love and acceptance of God the least that we need it the most. Because of Jesus, the Sanctuary remains open to us. So, no need to let the failures of yesterday keep you from drawing near to God today.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

“Though you may feel completely unwanted and unloved by Him, nothing could be further from the truth.”


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