Phoebe Palmer in The Promise of the Father wrote of receiving an impression to speak a word for the Lord. She hesitated and decided to pray about it first.
She went away to pray and just as she bowed to pray, the Holy Spirit whispered, "This morning didn't you ask to be filled with the knowledge of the will of God? Why then did you not do that which was in your heart, knowing that the Lord was with you?"
She saw her error and hurried back to speak, but her opportunity was gone. She wrote, "I felt ashamed before the Lord; but I felt my heavenly Father did not condemn me, for He saw that my intention was to please him."
When we realize we've failed, we may feel unworthy of God's favor. But we don't receive God's favor because we've done everything perfectly. In fact, God takes special note of us who believe He is merciful when we've failed.
If we've done something with a clear conscience and later see we did the wrong thing, we can trust God to protect us from ill effects. King Abimelech, not knowing Sarah was Abraham's wife, had her brought to him at his palace.
God warned him in a dream, "that woman you took is married" (Genesis 20:3 NLT).
Abimelech protested, "I acted in complete innocence!" and avoided punishment.
Any of us can make a mistake and miss God's will in some decision or action, but our God is loving, merciful, and understanding! As Richard Taylor said, "It is the devil who cracks the whip, not God." If we have missed the Holy Spirit's leading, His correction will be gentle.
Thank You, Father, that You are much more merciful than we allow ourselves to believe.
"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:18).