The Fall by Pastor James Collins


O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?Romans 7:24

I am blessed that the Lord moved me to Fort Scott. I love the people, the beauty, the history, and the excitement of building a church for the Lord Jesus Christ. I love Southeast Kansas. But I don’t like the weather. It tends to get cold here. Very cold.

This past week, it was so cold, the local politicians had their hands in their own pockets.

It was so cold, I had to wave a blowtorch in front of my nose so I could sneeze.

It was so cold, we had to chop up the piano for firewood, but we only got two chords.

Because of all the ice and snow, schools were closed Wednesday. Our church was also closed. However, instead of working from home, I decided to go to my office at the church. My old truck has 4-wheel-drive. So, I didn’t have too much trouble getting to work. However, when I stepped out onto the church parking lot, my feet went flying out from under me, and I landed full force on my back.

The sensation was strange. I had no air. I needed air, but I couldn’t breathe. Finally, after long moments of laying on my back gasping, I was able to inhale.

Why does that happen when you get the wind knocked out of you? It would seem that the body would immediately desire to fill the vacuum, but it takes long, agonizing moments before you can breathe normally.

The same thing could be said about Holy Air. When you take a spiritual fall and force the Holy Spirit’s fullness from your life, it would seem that your spiritual being would immediately move to invite Him back. Unfortunately, many times, a long agonizing period goes by before you surrender to His filling you afresh.

Last Sunday, I fell. Oh, I didn’t physically fall like I did on Wednesday. Instead, I had a spiritual fall. A man raised his voice at me after church because he was upset over something trivial. When he raised his voice, I reacted badly. I got mad. I screamed at him and walked away. I have been mad ever since. I am not mad at him. I am mad at myself. I should have handled the situation differently. I should have controlled my temper.

The other day, I went to visit a patient in an assisted care facility. She was wearing a bright yellow bracelet on her wrist. The bracelet read: FALL RISK. The words on her bracelet meant: Watch this person carefully. She may be unsteady on her feet. Help her get from place to place.

I suppose that I should also wear a bracelet that says, “FALL RISK.” I haven’t lost my temper for years, but I did last Sunday. Even though I am saved by the blood of Jesus, I still fell.

I appear to be in good company. The Apostle Paul considered himself to be a “FALL RISK.” Paul was one of the greatest Christians to ever live, but he said he was the “chief” of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). He called himself a “wretched man” (Romans 7:24). Even though he had a strong relationship with Jesus Christ, Paul knew that he still had within him a sin nature.

As followers of Jesus, we sometimes get knocked off our feet. However, it’s one thing to fall; it’s another to give up. If we get up again and ask the Lord for forgiveness, He will fill us like a breath of fresh air.

The point is: When you get knocked down, look up. Jesus is there. He understands and cares. He will help you get back on your feet again.

James Collins is the senior pastor at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. Find out more about his ministry at the website

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