God will keep you from stumbling! Isn’t that an awesome promise?
Did you know the Greek meaning of now (used here) has no connection with time? It means moreover, and, but, and even. The word keep means to watch, to guard, to have an eye upon, to observe, and to care for. Stumbling means without sin, standing firm, and exempt from falling.
God. Is able. Having power to keep you standing firm, exempt from falling. Able to keep your feet from stumbling, tripping, or staggering.
This reminds me of the character Otis on the old Andy Griffith show. As the town drunk, Otis, on one of his binges, would stagger into the jail, take the keys off the hook, unlock the cell door, let himself in, and lock himself in, withdrawing from harm to himself or from harming anyone else.
I know this may seem like a silly place to find a spiritual lesson…but I did.
When instead of walking the path the Lord deems best for us, our ears get tickled, our eyes are tempted, our hearts are wooed, and, soon, our feet flee His path and wayward we go. We trip and stumble and stagger…and we’re in full-blown sin.
A. B. Simpson said, “Satan would much rather knock us down with a feather than with a gun.” It’s the feathers, the little things, that trip us up the most.
When we feel wooed to the stumble zone, we need to get off that downhill path, grab the key, and unlock the door to safety. Lock ourselves in with the Lord and away from temptations, praying to keep ourselves from harm or from harming someone else.
Otis stayed locked up until he, uh, felt better. Came to his senses, so to speak. And that’s what we need to do. Come to our senses. And think on the consequences of what we might have done.
How does God guard us from stumbling? And how do we keep ourselves out of the stumble zone and on the right path? By our choices and our obedience to God’s Word!
The blood of Jesus keeps us cleansed, allowing us to stand faultless in the very presence of God’s glory.
And Jude gives us the rest of the answer, the moreover, which is found in Jude 20-23. These verses tell us to build up our most holy faith, to pray in the Holy Spirit, to keep ourselves in the love of God, to look for the Lord’s mercy of eternal life, to have compassion on some, and to save others.
We do those things, standing firm, not wavering. But strengthened in faith. Empowered, endued with strength, enabled. (Rom. 4:20) Being “fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” (Rom. 4:21 NLT)
Are you trusting in God to keep you from the stumble zone?