The spiritual crisis of stumbling in sin while reaching for the highest things in the Word of God is common…

The Key to the Spiritual Crisis of Stumbling in Our Walk

by Mike Bickle
7/14/14 Teaching

The spiritual crisis of stumbling in sin while reaching for the highest things in the Word of God is common for every believer. Of course, I am talking to people who really love Jesus, and who do not treat their stumbling as a casual thing, but as sin. Stumbling to them is a crisis.

How we respond to this crisis determines whether we will go forward to grow strong in the Lord or whether we will draw back in failure, disillusionment, shame, or apathy. When confronted with the depths of their own sin, many people become discouraged; they don’t see the loveliness of who they are in Christ, and so they are ready to give up. They think, “Forget it. What am I worth?” If you have an “I-just-want-to give-up-it’s-not-worth-it” feeling, you need a revelation, not only of the darkness of your heart, but of how lovely you are before God in Christ. Like the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon, we discover that “I am dark, but lovely” (Song 1:5). We are lovely to Him, even in our weakness.

But our stumbling does not make us hypocrites. We generally see a hypocrite as someone who says one thing, but does another. But more specifically, a hypocrite is somebody who says one thing, but has no intention of doing it. Everybody says one thing and does something else at some level. For example, if we tell others to walk in love, but come up one degree short of perfect love ourselves (in actuality we miss the mark by a much greater margin than one degree), then we would be hypocrites according to the first definition.

But aiming high and coming up short does not make you a hypocrite. No, it is when you proclaim something to be true or important, for example, but have no intention of seeking to live that way yourself or obey God’s command that you just proclaimed. If I tell you to seek God, but I am not trying to live that lifestyle, I am being hypocritical. However, if I am sincerely trying to live a life of seeking God, though I may stumble and fail on many occasions, I can still truthfully and genuinely call others to seek God wholeheartedly.

The key to rising above the spiritual crisis of stumbling in sin is having confidence in the Lord’s love—that He loves me, enjoys me, and sees my weak love as genuine. Though my love is weak, it still moves Him. And having this confidence sets our life on an entirely different path. The devil loses much ground in our inner life when we settle this issue, which involves renewing our mind again and again as we declare the Word, speaking these truths to God, thanking Him for them, and asking the Holy Spirit to write them on our heart.

Mike Bickle


  • Founder, IHOPKC

Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship. He is also the founder of International House of Prayer University, which includes full-time ministry, music, and media schools.

Mike’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer, and the end times. He is the author of several books, including Growing in Prayer, Passion for Jesus, God’s Answer to the Growing CrisisGrowing in the Prophetic, and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man.  Mike and his wife, Diane, have two married sons and six grandchildren.

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