Monday, November 16, 2009

The blessing of failure

God's plan for your life is for you to look to Him. Of all the things we experience and go through, every single one of them is for the purpose of drawing us close to Him. The 'blessings' we receive whether they be physical, material, psychological, etc.. are to produce the type of praise and worship that draws us close to Him.

Not only does God use the good to draw us to Him, but He uses the bad (from our perspective). This is usually very hard for people to grasp, which is primarily based upon an ignorance of the way God blesses His people. For those of us in the West, we are so comforted, so prosperous, and so sheltered that we truly believe that we have it really good, yet we are 'unfulfilled' 'unhappy' 'depressed' 'struggling' 'stressed' and generally more compromised then the rest of the world. If only more people would seek to learn and read of the lives of Godly people, not to mention reading of the lives of our Christian brothers and sisters in present hostile lands!

Maturity in the Lord isn't comparable to 'progress' in any other aspect of life. For maturity or progress in this life means "I" am able to care for myself in greater and greater measure or "I" am in LESS need of help or assistance from others. However this is not the reality of Kingdom living, for the believer his/her progress is not growth toward ever increasing degrees of independence, but ever growing degrees of DEPENDENCY!!

Humility promotes dependency, and the more we consciously depend on God, the more we glorify Him. This is why for many of us, we experience more FAILURE than 'success', because the Lord is protecting us from our pride. It is the Lord who is withholding the rain, it is the Lord who is causing you to be pruned, to be stripped of self-glorification. In the valley of failure, (if sensitive to the desire to bear much fruit for God) we are forced to look within, to wonder if we are truly honoring the Lord-- this is a much needed means of keeping us humble; heart searching is a forgotten art (don't allow the effects of legalists who turn this into meriting the love of God, deter you from begging God to search your heart often). Should we not be bothered when few of our prayers are answered, when few people turn to Christ, when few come to church, when few are relieved of their trials, when few seek to pray, when few want to come to bible study, when few want to give??? On the one hand the Lord calls us to continually ask, seek, and knock and on the otherhand we must recognize that the Lord IS doing something for us presently. During the waiting period, during our times of 'sowing' we are being taught patience, and being taught what it means to glorify God. IF we don't learn this, then we WILL be tempted (like many) to improvise, to make modifications to the commands of God, rather then focusing on being faithful we will take it in our hands to 'give the increase' which is God's exclusive claim!

James 1:2-4

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The Lord knows best, He always does best for His people and the situation you are in right at this moment IS working for your good! You are dearly loved child of God, yet you (and I) have much to learn about trusting in Christ alone, and if we were to be instantly delivered from the trials that we are presently going through, we would only suffer! That's not to say that your present attitude or response to your situation is acceptable, for we should NEVER be content to allow our circumstances to dictate our desires, affections, and actions. It's our attitude and response to our circumstance that cause us to compromise and to grow distant from God. Such things are grace reminders that point us back to Christ, to look for our joy in the grace of God displayed at Calvary and to find our hope in the abode of God (Heaven) that we await!
Our failure is our keeping from swelled heads and foolish mistakes.
  • God caused Moses to go through forty years of FAILURE concerning his call to lead the people(these years humbled this hot-head, in order to be God's prophet)
  • God caused Joseph to experience much FAILURE concerning his dreams of power (this spoiled child was crushed by betrayal, false accusation, and imprisonment which taught him to wait on God, to be faithful while he waited and to receive a tender-forgiving heart before his being lifted up)
  • God caused Peter to experience FAILURE in regards to his bold claim to stand for Christ in his own power (this motor-mouth learned how frail the promises of men as opposed to the 'precious' promises of God, he learned by bitter repentance that his call to lead was but by grace)

The list goes on of men and women whom God has through His wisdom and care, caused to go through much struggle and strain before allowing them to see the fruit of their labor. All that is accomplished in the kingdom of God is HIS work, not ours. We have been redeemed so that He may enjoy us and so that we may enjoy Him, the rest including the work we do is apart of that. May we learn to be faithful and to wait upon the Lord! May we learn to fear any 'work' any form of 'success' that is produced of the flesh and not of the Spirit. ALL EYES ON CHRIST!!!

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