What do you do when you hit the wall? Nobody likes hitting the wall. Athletes hit the wall when they can’t go any farther. Students hit the wall when they can’t study any more. When you and I make the decision to go our own way, leaving God’s path to chart our own, it always results in hitting the wall.
Usually this comes in the form of some crisis or difficulty. Sometimes it comes in a feeling of loneliness or desperation. Often it comes in a quiet sense that we are far from God, and we don’t know how to get back. Suddenly, we realize we are not living out God’s intended purpose for our lives. We recognize we don’t have peace with God or with people. We acknowledge that we don’t have assurance that when we die, we are going to heaven. It is then that we understand the road we have taken has led to a dead end, and we are isolated from God.
Hitting the wall is separating from God.
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear,” (Isaiah 59.2 NIV). Sin always leads to separation. At some point, you may try to do things to get yourself back on track with God. You may try being a better person, doing good things for people, even becoming more religious, but nothing can change your situation. Again, Isaiah wrote: “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags,” (Isaiah 64.6 NLT). Even our best isn’t good enough.
When you turned to go your own way, you turned your back on God. But in His love and kindness, God didn’t turn His back on you. He will often bring you to the place where you realize how far you’ve drifted.
Facing the wall of God’s justice.
Hitting the wall is actually a good thing because it awakens you to your desperate need for God, and gives you a chance to make a course correction. However, if anyone stubbornly continues to go down the wrong road, ultimately that person will hit the wall of God’s justice. (Romans 14.12 NLT) says, “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. Those who are found guilty of sin and refuse to turn to God will experience God’s justice.”
(Nahum 1.3 NLT) says, “The LORD is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.” Because God is just, He cannot tolerate injustice. Because He is holy, He cannot ignore sin. What is the punishment for sin? (Romans 6.23 ESV) begins with these startling words: “For the wages of sin is death.” The punishment for our sin and waywardness is not just physical death, but spiritual death and separation from God forever. This is the bad news of the Bible. We’ve lost our way, and we are powerless to get back on our own.
Being good is never good enough to make us right with God. We need both His mercy and justice to help us get back on the right road. Whenever you come to a place where you hit the wall and realized you were far from God, repent and ask for His mercy. Like a shepherd with his sheep, God will never let anyone be astray.
This blog features an excerpt from our book, Walk With God.