Pastor E.A. Deckard
by Pastor E. A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward-Times

“I had the chance to make every possible mistake and figure out a way to recover from it. Once you realize there is life after mistakes, you gain a self-confidence that never goes away.” ― Bob Schieffer, This Just in: What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV

Hebrews 4:16 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Forward Thinkers, the devil wants to steal your confidence; thus, we have already established the reality that all will fall short of the glory of God at some point and most of us have fallen multiply times. Forward Thinkers, the enemy desires to steal your confidence by flooding your cognitive understanding with negative thoughts about your fallen past. Forward Thinkers, God’s grace and mercy through the “new” covenant of grace is in place to rescue us to get us back up and moving forward.

Forward Thinkers, remember after Adam messed up he tried to cover himself up and hide from God because the devil had stolen his confidence. The Bible says, Adam and Eve would walk around in fellowship with God but, after the fall they lost their confidence which resulted in them being separated from the presence of God.

Forward Thinkers, today we will look at three examples of men who fell and we will learn from their experiences.

1st example

Judas in the book of Luke.

Luke 22:4-6 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Forward Thinkers, the enemy wanted to get rid of Jesus because they were afraid of the people. Forward Thinkers, I pray you see the connection here; the enemy was afraid of the potential of the people under the leadership and teaching of Jesus. The enemy knew that depressed people under the right leadership would become empowered people whom would break loose from their oppressors. Forward Thinkers, the plantation model of house slave versus field slave is still in full effect because, the enemy realizes united people will gain the confidence to break the chains of bondage.

Forward Thinkers, there is an attack on spiritual leadership because, the enemy desires to weaken the confidence of the people by destroying the integrity of the leaders. Forward Thinkers, it is not by accident that the media is filled with stories of fallen spiritual leaders and educators. The enemy has a plan to rob the leader, the teacher, and the father of their moral compass so he can steal the potential of the people assigned to their authority.

Forward Thinkers, notice the Bible says that Satan entered Judas. Forward Thinkers, please be aware that every fall begins with the entrance of Satan. Forward Thinkers, we must be very careful what we allow to enter through our eyes and ears; the devil tries to manipulate you by forcing negative images through your eye and ear gates. Forward Thinkers, we must protect our gateways at all costs because the enemy is happy to push you down and hold you down.

2nd example

Peter in the book of John.

John 18:26-27 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Forward Thinkers, after boldly declaring he would never deny Jesus, Peter ended up denying Jesus “three times.” Forward Thinkers, I often warn people to be careful how they judge the actions of others because we often misjudge the person without knowing the full scope of the situation.

Forward Thinkers, Peter was overcome with fear and his fear led to him denying Jesus. Peter realized he was not strong enough to fight off the enemy which led him into a state of fear. Forward Thinkers, the Bible states the Lord did not give us the spirit of fear and if the Lord did not give fear to us we should not accept fear as a part of our Christian walk. Forward Thinkers, we must reject fear because fear will rob you of your confidence to trust God.

Forward Thinkers, we must also understand Peter was very confused after eye witnessing the events surrounding the arrest of Jesus. Peter had been following Jesus and witnessed most of the miracles performed by Jesus and now Peter was confused because, Jesus appeared to be heading to a death sentence. Forward Thinkers, a major trick of the enemy is to keep you confused because, being in a confused state will rob you of your confidence.

3rd example

Jesus Christ himself.

Matthew 27:46 46About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?”(Which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Matthew 26:38 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Matthew 26:39 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:42 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

Matthew 26:44 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Forward Thinkers, for six hours Jesus the Son of God, would be separated from God the Father and that period of separation caused Jesus to experience life in a human manner. Forward Thinkers, the fact Jesus could not handle being separated from God should speak volumes to you because, we often find ourselves so busy we forget about spending time with God.

Forward Thinkers, separation from God will cause you to fall no matter who you are. We must remember at all times the enemy desires to kill, steal, and destroy our confidence to trust in God’s grace and mercy.

Forward Thinkers let’s discover how they respond to falling:

Judas ~ Hangs himself in Matthew 27 and in Acts 1 we see his body explodes wide open as it hits the ground.

Forward Thinkers, Judas lost his confidence and he didn’t believe grace and mercy could save him. That is the goal of the enemy; to rob you of your confidence by robing you of all your past mistakes.

Forward thinkers, Judas’ are also filled with a vortex (whirlwind) of condemnation, guilt, and depression. The devil will not stop until he convinces you to give up but you must believe there is nothing too big for God’s grace and mercy to save you and restore you.

Forward Thinkers, Judas lost his confidence and ended up losing his life.

Forward Thinkers, Peter falls back temporarily but, grace and mercy found him; Peter gets back up and moves forward with a new found purpose and passion. Forward Thinkers, Peter could tell all those who watched him fall that winning was his new protocol but, did you realize God used Peter more after he fell forward than before he fell at all? Forward Thinkers, we must be like Peter and get up and use our testimony to bring God’s kingdom glory. Forward Thinkers, we must not allow the devil to steal our confidence because then he can control our destiny.

Forward Thinkers, Jesus teaches us how to fall forward when He declared never the less let your will be done and on the third day Jesus got up and overcame death. Forward Thinkers, Jesus has empowered you and I with the ability to get up and move forward also. Forward Thinkers, grace and mercy has been assigned to help us secure our confidence.

In conclusion, Forward Thinkers, I pray on today you will make up your mind to get up and go to church and give God praise for another chance to reach your full potential. Forward Thinkers, I also pray you will use your new forward thinking life to help others get up and move forward.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at or the church website

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