There is always a way back. No matter what you have done, no matter your failure, no matter the people you have hurt, there is always a right set of choices to make that can lead back to the call. I have been around church long enough to have seen and watched many people crash out of ministry. So how do you get back? Instead of forever running from the call of God on your life, there must be another option that can lead to other years of intentional and meaningful ministry. One story that stands out in this regard is David once he recognises his great failing in 2 Samuel 12:1-23. Hopefully a few truths taken from this story can reveal the road back. We serve a gracious God who works with people who fail if they turn towards Him again and follow the path of restoration.
1. Listen to the people God sends you (vs 1a)
God sent Nathan to David, however painful it would become for David, it was God’s grace that sent Nathan. Sometimes when we have done something wrong we isolate ourselves and turn away people that God is sending to bring about redemption and restoration.
2. Consequences (vs 10-12; 13b-14; 15b-19)
There will always be consequences, but that doesn’t mean disqualification. David wasn’t disqualified from his call and significant place in the story of redemption, but there were some significant consequences to his failing. Things will never go back to the way that they were. There is no way to get the bullet back into the gun, but God can take what the enemy intended for evil and turn it into good.
3. Repentance (vs 13a)
This is where all of this will rise and fall. David recognised how far he had strayed from his close relationship with the Lord when God used Nathan to turn the light on. Upon this realisation David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. There has to come a point of genuine repentance and then
4. Move forward (vs 20-23)
Once you have come to terms with these first 2 things then you can begin stepping into a new season of fulfilment, because anyone who has a call knows that you wont be fulfilled unless you are pursuing what God wants in obedience. The painful process of enduring consequence and doing the right thing is difficult and is often the thing that keeps people away from their purpose forever. David dealt with this in a way that was sincere and wise. He never once complained about the fairness of the consequences nor did he pitch a tent in the valley he was in. He prayed that the boy might be saved, but he understood God, washed himself off, went to the Lord’s house and worshipped. The time for looking back was finished, it was time to move on. Many things would never be the same, but He understood that he was powerless to change that part of it so it was time to move forward. You need to dust yourself off and start making new moves in the right direction. Things for you will be different, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be fruitful and effective for the Kingdom. Move forward!
It’s interesting that God’s response to David is not to strip him of his crown, remove him from his role, or strike him from the history books. No David remained king, David is still remembered as the greatest king in Israel’s history, even though he failed. There is another season for you if you’ll move beyond what you’ve done in a healthy way, believe the truth, and step forward into your redeemed future.