Today, as I watched kids playing ball, I saw a young boy swing his bat and miss. He then quickly proclaimed, “Do OVER!” To his relief, his team mates let him have the ‘do over’ and he did hit the ball the second time.
There are things in life that I can look back at and wish I had a ‘do over.’ Mercy sakes! Times that I failed to resist temptation, or neglected to do my best, taunt me. Who hasn’t said, “If I could just go back and do it again, I’d do it different.”
Satan loves to point out my past failures, reminding me of fumbles, stumbles and falls. My past influences my present but it is up to me whether the mistakes are lessons or lifestyle. Today is tomorrows yesterday, so I think of today as being a ‘do over;’ an opportunity to correct the mistakes I’d regret tomorrow.
I cannot do the same thing over and over and expect different results. If I’m going to change my history, I MUST change what I’m doing in the present. Nobody can do this for me; it is a personal choice that I must make moment by moment. God’s plan for my life is success (Jeremiah 29:11) but it is my choice whether I go with His plan—or not.
In my efforts to be successful in life, it is important that I understand satan’s plan for failure involves continued social, moral and spiritual failure (Galatians 5:16-21, I John 3:4-7). God has given me the tools I need not only to live ‘life’ successfully and honorably, but to live successfully as a Christian as well (James 1:22-25, Galatians 5:22-26).
I will ask God to direct me through His Holy Spirit and His Word and make decisions that I will not regret tomorrow. Satan wants me to fail to do my best by leaving my work unfinished, failing to plan responsibly and neglecting relationships; including neglecting my relationship with the Lord. To be successful both in life and in Spirit, I must choose to pursue Christ like principals.
Part of being successful is confessing my failures to my Lord each night and seeking His guidance each morning. I don’t have to fail or fall, but when I do, God has made a way back (Romans 6:11-15). This does not give me permission to stop trying to do right; it does give me comfort that failure isn’t a stopping place (Romans 6:1-2).
Being aware of the life lessons learned from mistakes I’ve made, I consciously plan, and then discipline myself to do the things that will make me successful. Yesterday is done; today is my chance for a ‘do over’ on tomorrow.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Father, help me to listen to the Holy Spirit when He speaks warning to my heart. I want to be obedient to your Word. Show me how to live today so I have no regrets tomorrow. I love you. Amen.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Galatians 5:16-21 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I John 3:4-7 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Romans 6:11-15 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?