A Poem | On the Fear of Failing Again

I was pondering tonight the ongoing consequences of past sin. One of those consequences can be a lingering temptation to go back. There are sins I’ve overcome by the grace of God, but an ironic temptation to fear comes over me when I feel a pull toward old sin. It’s a fear of falling and failing again.

I wrote this two and a half years ago when this fear was very strong. It came to mind tonight, and I wanted to share it in hope that it might be a blessing to a brother or sister in Christ. My dear fellow believers, your sin is defeated and need not be repeated. There is hope. There is victory in Christ. And there is no need to fear.

Fear
clouds
the mind.

Blind, I can no longer see
Promises made to me
Much less believe
I can be received
After this.

Fallen once again
Into that same besetting sin
I thought that I was done
I thought that I had won
But today, I lost.

I tremble when I feel
This temptation – my Achilles’ Heel
Just the thought of its call
And I’m convinced that I’ll fall
When it rises.

The freedom of yesterday
In a moment ripped away
All the strength I had gained
Gone, and I’m left maimed –
Could I ever recover?

And what if I do?
What if I’m healed only to
Fall again?

For one such as me
What hope could there be
For victory?

I am a slave to this sin
When it rises within
I will fall again.

My eyes become blind
As I set my mind
On the kingdom of dark
And on the stark
Weakness I feel before it.

It is true; I am weak
And the outcome is bleak
If this all depends on me
There will never be
Freedom.

But
it
doesn’t.

When I remember the Lamb
Who overcame – the I AM
The Lion of Judah, the First and the Last
The Kingly Messiah before whom all cast
Their crowns.

The Christ, seated at the right hand of God
All things under His feet, who descended and trod
The depths of temptation, but never gave in
Man of Sorrows who anguished but never did sin
To the death.

He can never fail
He must prevail
At His glance darkness flees
Temptation falls to its knees
And sin dies.

For those born again,
This same Christ lives within
And greater is He
That is in me
Than he that is in this world.

Now
I have
a choice.

My mistakes scream at me
That I’ll never be free
That I’m a slave to temptation
And obedience is my obligation –
But these are lies.

I know in my head
That my old self is dead
My sin has been nailed
To the cross. Where I failed
Christ won.

But in my heart it feels
Like the lies are so real
Like maybe they’re right –
So thank God for the Light
Of Scripture.

He who trusts in his heart
Is a fool. With a start
I realize
In believing lies
I was calling God a liar.

So to myself I will die
My feelings I’ll deny
And instead of trusting in them
I will look unto Him –
The Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Temptation will come again
But I’ll fix my eyes on Him
As the dust begins landing
You will see the victor standing –
Not I, but Christ.

“My daughter, believe
What I have spoken; receive
The truth.

“Make your choice
To refuse the voice
Of lies.

“Is the power of the grave
Or My ability to save
The greater?

“Your sin is defeated
And need not be repeated.
It is finished.”

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