False beliefs about yourself

I have made mistakes and it is too late now




No matter how long ago or how recently you started to be troubled by this mistake, it is not too late.

Joel 2 v12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Mistakes we have made

Some mistakes are sudden; with the pressure of the moment that we had to make a choice or undertake an action, that wrong path was taken. More mistakes, I would say, creep up on us. We realise when we look back that no one thing has made things wrong but we have drifted along and now find ourselves in the wrong place.

We all make mistakes. We have that in common. I am not going to give any examples of mistakes I have made because I have no need to think them through and rake them over in my own mind, they are past. I am not going to ask you to rake over past mistakes either. Leave them in the past where they are. So what are we going to think about? Some of you, my lovely Christian sisters, don’t have to rake over old memories of past mistakes because they are with you every day. For some of you your mistakes will not go away either in practical terms or the negative thoughts. There are two obvious consequences of this fact. First you as a person, a woman, are bound up by them. Second, your ministry is affected negatively because your ministry comes out of who you are and your relationship with God. (May I also add as an aside that these same consequences occur from deep hurts which have been done to us, or taken on by us, from which we cannot get free or lay aside.)

We are going to take 6 points from Joel ch2 v12 quoted above. I believe if you move through all six God will bring new freedom in your life and ministry.

1. Come to a realisation that it is never too late to bring your mistakes before God. ““Even now,” God says.”

You may have problems in your marriage because of things done before you ever met your husband. You may have had to move because of broken relationships or personal relationships which should have never happened. You may have caused hurt or damage in the life of another. You may have taken the “wrong” job. You may have drifted away from God. You may have said or done something you can’t undo… There are millions of possibilities; only you know what it is that you can’t leave behind.

Whatever it is and whatever magnitude the problem has, more than that, no matter how long ago or how recently you started to be troubled by this mistake, it is not too late. ““Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me…””

2. Know that problems come between you and God and that He loves you and wants you back. “return to me,” God says.

I have recently been reading the biography of Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles, who founded the Methodist movement. All her life—and it was a very problem filled and difficult life—she was devoted to God but her son Charles never believes she felt the warmth of the closeness of the love of God. This lack of closeness can be an attribute of any of our lives when problems and mistakes overwhelm the freedom Christ bought and gave us.

“return to me,” God says. Stop allowing your problems and mistakes to keep you from a warm and joy-filled relationship with God. Turn back to Him in prayer, praise and loving devotion.

3. You need to be bold enough to bring everything before the cross. “Return to me with all your heart.”

You may not even know whether you have parts of your heart hidden from God. When we become hurt we can become so good at protecting our heart from further hurt that we do not allow anyone or anything close. You may not even allow yourself to dwell on areas of mistakes and regrets not because you have moved on from them and they are past but because you can’t bear the painful process of cutting this rottenness from your life. God does not want to rake up these things to destabilise your life which you are just about keeping on an even keel (to mix my metaphors) — no, He wants to bring healing and strength. Turn to God with boldness, even in your fragile state and tell Him all that you know that you need to give.

I turn only to You. Come and meet my need.

4. Know that God wants you to be committed to your call on Him. “Return to me with fasting…” God says.

Fasting is massively unpopular in the Christian church in Britain today. I think primarily because there has been a dearth of teaching on the topic and we live in a time of excess and we are afraid of being uncomfortable. God wants to bless us with joy, peace and good things we say. Where is the place of fasting?

God just loves to meet need. I don’t know how to say this so that I convey the Father’s heart. He delights to meet His lovely children’s needs. He wants to pour Himself out in love and supply. He loves you so much. But we are too eager to do other things and look to other suppliers to meet our needs. By engaging in fasting we are saying to God, “You have my full attention. I lay aside all other suppliers. I even lay aside the supply of food. I choose to make myself even more needy because I am so eager for only Your supply. I love You. I turn only to You. Come and meet my need.” To which the Father comes running and says, “oh, YES!”

This verse of scripture shows us that there is a genuine and legitimate purpose to weeping.

5. Know that your feelings are important and God wants to deal with them and He doesn’t want you to bury them. “return to me with...weeping.”

Have you made mistakes in life and ministry which make you want to weep? How good are you at weeping? Are you all weeped-out? Have you taught yourself to toughen up and subdue weeping? Do you weep too much because you don’t know what else to do and it has become a bit of a habit? This verse of scripture shows us that there is a genuine and legitimate purpose to weeping. There is a good place for weeping—it is healthy when it is directed at God. God wants you to take your broken-heartedness and deal with it.

6. Know that God wants you to enter a new phase of your life and leave your mistakes and sadnesses behind. “Return to me with...mourning”

Mourning takes place when someone dies. For the person doing the mourning it is a chance to grieve for the loss but marks the start of a new phase of their life. It is a time to adjust from the old and face the new. In our Bible verse the call comes to return to God with mourning. God is calling His people to leave behind what has been past. Mark its end like a death and turn to a new phase of life with God. When we have made mistakes they are forever a part of us for they have helped make us into what we are but we must learn to leave them behind; bring the feelings and losses to an end and move on.

Maybe your mistake was a sin against God. Maybe a sin against another person. Whatever it was, God wants you back—your mistake has hurt you and God wants to heal you. Your mistake has bound you and God wants to set you free.

My prayer as you read through this is that you will know in your heart you cannot go on with this hurt unresolved and as a burden. “”Even now return to me,” God says. You may have adjusted your whole life to accommodate this injury but it is not too late. For God is your healer, God is your supply. He wants to bring you refreshing freedom from it. And more than wanting—He can.

Loving heavenly Father,

I carry a heavy burden. There are things in my life which have entangled me and tied me down because of mistakes that I have made. I have taken on board regret and I keep looking back. I have not brought this problem to You and been released from it for many complicated reasons, some of which I am probably not even aware. I come before You now and name the mistake/s I am burdened with…

You are with me. Your Word says that you lift my up from the depths ( Psalm 40), that I will rise on wings like eagles (Psalm ). I long for that release. You are mighty, and even now You are willing and able to bring me this healing and freedom. I ask for it now. Thank You that you have given me this release, Help me to apply faith to this unseen miracle and grow into the healing and forgiveness You have given me. In Jesus name I ask these things. 


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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.