Many people wonder, "Is it too late for me?""Is it too late for God to do something with me?" Those questions come out of an honest searching where people think they're many failures have caused them to have forfeited their God-given destiny. But the answer is very simple. "No it's not too late. It's never too late for God."
In the Bible God frequently used broken people to accomplish his purposes on earth. Time after time in Scripture, we read about broken people whom God raised up in marvelous ways. He used Moses, a murderer, to deliver the Hebrew slaves. He used Jacob, a liar and a trickster, to fulfill his promise to Abraham. He even included Rahab, a harlot, in the messianic family line. If God redeemed their lives, He can redeem your life too.
Brokenness should never keep you bound. A truly broken person tends to understand the reality of John 15:5, where Jesus says, "Apart from Me you can do nothing." A broken person who has learned to depend on God is a force to be reckoned with.
Yet when you're staring at your past, strewn with failure, it's difficult to see your bright future, just as it's difficult to drive when you're constantly looking in your rear view mirror. When you drive, you need to glance at your rearview mirror, but if you continue to look there, you will end up hurting yourself and the others around you. That's why the windshield is so much larger than the rearview mirror-the windshield shows you where you're headed, not where you've been.
HALF TIME and HOPE
If you've ever watched a football game, you know that midway through the game, the teams go to their respective locker rooms for halftime. Halftime is a time for rest and reassessment. It's a time to regroup-to evaluate how things have been going and to decide what adjustments need to be made for the rest of the game.
The 1st half of any football game is important, but it is not determinative!!! Numerous teams over the years were ahead at halftime only to eventually lose the game. And numerous teams were losing at halftime, but by the time the game ended, they turned things around. Until the final whistle is blown, the game is still up for grabs.
The same is true in life. You might be in your 1st or 2nd quarter or heading into halftime, but if you are still here, the game of life is not over. Your clock is still ticking. There is plenty of life yet to live. Not only that, but your 1st half doesn't have to determine the outcome of the game. Maybe you've made mistakes and poor decisions; perhaps you've experienced many disappointments and failures. Maybe life has dealt you a harsh blow here or there. But you are still here. And as long as you're still here, the whistle has not blown and it is not too late for God to take you straight to the plan He has for you. It is not too late for God to lead you into a promising 2nd half!
See, God looks at your FUTURE while the enemy tries to keep you focused on your PAST. God says, "You CAN in spite of what has been done!" But the enemy says, "You CAN'T because of what you've done!" God will never DEFINE you by your past, but the enemy will try to CONFINE you by your past. Whether it's the good, the bad, or the ugly that dominates your 1st half, Satan's goal is to keep you chained there. But Gods forgiveness, redemption and restorative grace is to never let your yesterday keep you from your tomorrow. Learn from yesterday-just don't live in it.
FAITH MAKES IT SO
Faith means acting on Gods Word! Faith is acting as if something is so, even when it is not so, in order for it to be so, simply because God said so! Faith is always an action. That's why we're told to walk by faith. Without a faith action on your side the 2nd half doesn't come into being.
If you want a bag of cement to become concrete, you have to mix it with water. Likewise, you have to mix God's Word with faith in order for it to become a concrete experience in your life. Faith demands action, not just a feeling.
The people of Israel could have entered into the promised land in 11 days (Deuteronomy 1:2). But what should have taken 11 days ended up taking 40 years because they kept looking back. Maybe you expected to be further along in your life by now--further in your career, your relationships, your family, your finances, or even your spiritual well-being-but instead you keep looking back. You keep saying, "What if... why...but..." and everything else that can be said about yesterday.
You fear that you have blown it. You have missed your opportunity. You have failed. Or you fear that someone else has messed you up too much, that they have stolen your future or your hope. Yesterday is real to you. And it certainly is real. But most of the individuals that were memorialized in the Hebrews 11 Hall Of Faith had a first-half that makes you question how they got into Hebrews 11. For example Abraham lied and slept with his maid and had an illegitimate son, Ishmael. Jacob, as we mentioned earlier was a liar and a trickster and Moses was a murderer. Rahab was a harlot and Samson had a huge problem with lust and gave away God's secret. David was an adulterer, a murderer and a concealer. Yet all are remembered for having fulfilled God's calling in their lives. God is waiting for you to join them in taking the Hebrews leap of faith into His arms of restorative grace.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE
Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, handing us difficulties, and presenting us with challenges that can strip the wind right out of our sails. When this happens, many of us long for a do-over, we long for another chance. But the reality is that we can't change the past.
It is true-even God can't change your past. But He can change your future, and that truth alone should give you hope. There is always hope when you have God on your side. Why, because it's never too late for God to turn your mess into a 2nd half miracle.
It was not too late for Jonah. He ignored God's command to preach a call of repentance to the people of Ninevah and ended up in the belly of the whale. But God rescued a repentant Jonah, who went on to lead one of the greatest revivals of all time.
It was not too late for Samson. He turned his back on his vows to God and partied with the Philistine woman. He lost his supernatural strength because of his sin, but in his brokenness, he called on God one last time, and God used him to defeat his enemies.
It was not too late for Sarah. Sarah doubted God's promise that she would give birth to a son, laughing at the news because of her old age. She plotted a human solution in a failed attempt to bring about a supernatural promise, but God in his mercy fulfilled the promise in Sarah's later years.
It was not too late for Saul before he became Paul nor was it too late for Peter and it is definitely not too late for you. God has a purpose and a goal for your life. You can't change your past regardless of how much you may want to. But your past does not have to determine your future. It's not too late to live in the hope and the high calling that are yours in Jesus Christ.
Regardless of what you have done, regardless of what others have done to you, and regardless of the depth of the pit you're in ... God can still restore and use you.
Jim & Sally