Thursday, April 30, 2015

Future failure?

To follow up on the previous post, I wanted to share a concept I hadn't considered until I was asked.

What if your greatest failure is yet to happen?

This question isn't to cause you to live in fear, but to warn you, we could all falter at anytime.  If you study the Bible long, you'll see those who failed the greatest often thought they were doing the right thing.  Eve, Jacob, Saul, Judas, Saul/Paul, to name a few, all thought they knew best, some God redeemed, others He did not.

It's a warning to keep you on your knees, seeking God's grace to live for Him, to understand His Scripture that you are studying diligently.

When I look at my past, I couldn't imagine my greatest failure to be future, I've messed up so much.  But there's a chance, even greater if I become confident in myself, slack off in my pursuit of God and His word and lose the awe I have of Jesus.  This is where having fellow Christians that you live in community with are helpful to pull you back on track if they see you going astray. 

Take warning, love God, humble yourself before Him.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Back to where I failed

It's a scary thought - to go back to a place where I failed so greatly.  I knew it would probably happen and it did.  I will serve as a leader next year where I failed four years ago.  God has matured me greatly in the past four years, for that I am thankful.  Godly courage isn't the absence of fear, it is the willingness to trust God, obey Him in the face of fear.

In studying the Life of Moses, I got to look at how Moses too was called back to where He had failed.  He probably sensed God's calling for Him to lead the Israelites, but he went about it in the wrong way (murder.)  After the humbling experience of the desert, God calls Moses back to where he failed.  I learned that God focuses on our present faith and not our past failures.

In taking that to heart I know if I rely on God (which I should do!), there will be victory.  God is giving me a second chance.  He is a good God!

With that, God has shown me how those I lead before have grown closer to Him.  Perhaps it wasn't just me that failed that year and was motivated to seek God.

During that year, I saw CV come out of her shell and talk openly.

JM went on to leadership within two years and now works full time in ministry.

CC, as quiet as she is, is beginning leadership, stepping out of her comfort zone in a big way.

SK isn't so focused on self now that she's leading others.

I know the other ladies went on to continue in the Lord.  I'm not saying that I had a great influence in their lives, but I was a direct part of it for a year.  God took that failure and in His normal godly way, turned it into BEAUTY!

So if failure is looming over you, don't let it get you down.  Turn to God, return to Him and He will lift you up.  Look at the beauty of the Cross and the victory of the Risen Christ.  Once you get to the other side of a trial, you are at Victory!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What to do?

I have this compulsive side that likes to know.  I want to plan, I want to have it all aligned.  Of course, it is completely differently to what faith is about and trusting God**.  Just another example of me needing to lay my life down to follow God.  He calls His people to a land of the unknown (Abraham), He calls us to battle with few resources (Gideon) and uses us in ways we couldn't imagine (Mary, but just about everyone who ever loved God.)

In this God is working great things in me so I can die to self.  When I want to plan and make decisions on my own on how things should be, I am focused on self.  I don't take into account others, nor do I really consider God. 

In Bible study, I was reminded of a time when I used the following verse to remain focused on work, not on the pain of my foot (see this post.)

so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" Neh 6:3.

And of course it applied to what I was doing with my self-focused planning.  I was allowing it to be a distraction - which is what the men addressing Nehemiah wanted - to stop the Lord's work.  As I reviewed the verse again, placed it above my kitchen sink again, the awe of the verse spoke to me.  I challenged my planning and I called the distractions what they were - attempts to get me to stop working on the great project before me - God's Kingdom.

What is distracting you?  What is consuming your thoughts?  Fight with your husband?  Fantasies of the perfect life?  Food?  Weight?  The worldly storyline of your favorite show?  

**(And I know all planning isn't out of God's will or sin for God wants His people to be prespared - I'm saying my self-focused planning was!)
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