I have stumbled many times in the physical sense…as a child, I ran faster than my legs could go, tripping over things; as a teen, I would be busy talking, a curb attacked me which I never saw coming; as an adult, I might trip over a leg on a piece of furniture; as a senior adult with my spinal cord having bone spurs, disk problems, and a cyst, I began stumbling over things and even over nothing…I just fell. Stumbling happens to many, if not most, of us.
I have also stumbled spiritually. Oh, my! Yes, I lost my way…wandered in deserts, in places where wild things lived.
God talks about stumbling in His Word, both the Old Testament and the New. We stumble spiritually when we disobey God, when we don’t listen to know His way for us. We can easily be led astray, causing us to stumble spiritually.
to stumble, stagger, totter, waver
to be made to stumble
to make feeble, make weak
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the LORD are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them. Hosea 14:9
Staying close to God and His Ways is what keeps our spirits strong. We wait upon the Lord…to hear His still, small voice, to know the wind of the Holy Spirit as He guides us, and to remain steadfast to our Creator.
“True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity.
“For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
“But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 2:6-8
Finding the path of wisdom through God’s instruction and through godly counsel keeps us near. Stumbling can occur when we turn from God’s Ways, listen to the ways of men who are not of God, wander from the path of righteousness, are disobedient. We can also cause others to stumble.
Jesus speaks of stumbling and a stumbling block in the New Testament.
to entice to sin
to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
a stumbling block, a trap, a snare
any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall
fig. applied to Jesus Christ, whose person and career were so contrary to the expectations of the Jews concerning the Messiah, that they rejected him and by their obstinacy made shipwreck of their salvation
any person or thing by which one is (entrapped) drawn into error or sin
“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” Matthew 18:5-7
For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2:6-8
Many trip over Jesus. The Name of Jesus causes some, many, to lay up a defense and they will not open their eyes nor their ears to the Truth that is Jesus the Christ.
Jesus calls us to walk in His Light.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. John 12:35
Oh, that darkness makes the stumbling even worse. Peter reminds us who we are and the image we are to portray to those of this world.
As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5
Father God, I pray that I will stand upright and close to You with each and every step. May I sense Your very Presence that I would not turn from Your ways and that we would be obedient children to You, our Father. I have stumbled physically so much, especially in these latter years, but am so much better now. I have also stumbled spiritually yet You never left me. You were right at the door and ready for me to enter Your Kingdom. I pray that I would not lead one astray, ever. I pray I have not done that in my past Sunday school teaching or any other time as I spoke with others about Jesus. Hold me strong as I grow older. Keep me from stumbling both physically and spiritually. I want to be holy as You are Holy. I thank You, LORD, for loving me through all my history and calling me to You. Oh, I am so grateful and I give You all of the glory. I did nothing to deserve Your mercy and Your grace. I pray in the Name of Your Precious Son. Amen.
photo/graphic of Jesus:Stumbling Block…from http://www.campusbiblechurch.com/message/jesus-christ-stumbling-block-or-stepping-stone