These are notes from a message I shared at Bridgeway Community Church on July 13, 2014. You can see the archived video HERE. Or, see a 4 part YouTube video of the entire service [my wife, Tracey leading worship] HERE –
When you blow it, what next? I recently took a look at those who blew it, and the steps they took – good and bad. Adam blamed, David ignored then confessed, Peter had a sorrow that caused him to run toward Jesus. The Prodigal came to his senses, and humbly returned. Israel went into Exile.
When we fail, how can we be a comeback story? Let’s touch on principles to embrace after we’ve blown it… oh, and we all blow it.
Don’t let your FAILURE become your FUTURE… we have options… different conclusions to our story…
After Failure… Bitter or Better? Destroyed or Deployed?
How can you turn the corner, and be a COMEBACK story, a COME BACK to God story?
Chuck Colson – God uses failures as much as successes. ” the real legacy of my life was my biggest failure —
Rick Warren – Likely your greatest ministry will come from your greatest pain.
Be assured, “Every Saint has a past, and every Sinner has a future”.
In the wake of failure, you can be destroyed or prepared to be deployed.
Go through or Grow through.
Don’t endure the Pain in Vain.
Be Romanced in the Desert
Be Romanced – One of the many secret blessings of failure, is God’s relentless pursuit of you – creating the potential for intimacy with God, humility, the experience of Grace, and self-awareness
Hosea 2:14, 15 NIV84
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure [woo] her;
I will lead her into the desert [isolation, distractions are stripped away] and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
Too Loving to be unkind… “he stores our tears in a bottle”
God is more concerned with your maturity than your comfort…
He’ll bless you with the loss of it all if it means He gets you.
Embrace Exile –May not LOVE or even LIKE your LIFE, but you MUST LIVE your life. Beg for relief
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
“I know the plans” not Forgotten or Forsaken – Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Live your life!
Settle in… 70 yrs… build, settle, plant, marry, seek prosperity of Babylon. Bookends of v. 11 [v. 5/28]
Transformation takes time. Methamorphoo = transformed in Rom 12:2. Moses – backside desert for 40 years, Israel – 40 years wandering in wilderness, and another 70 years in exile….
The person who has failed isn’t the one to demand or determine when and how they should be restored. That’s up to The Lord. Can’t dictate path… Let God determine
Settle in… it’s going to be a while…
It takes time – Gal 6:1, 1 Peter 1:7, James 1:2-4
John 11 – Lazarus – loved, not heal a sick man, but raise a dead man. Healing comes through brokenness; Finding self through losing self. Living through Dying
Exile Promise… Isaiah 43:1 ….“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”
v. 5 Fear not, for I am with you;
v. 18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
Hide or Seek – Adam or Peter [don’t run, but return – Prodigal], David David’s Failure – Don’t Repress, but Confess [1 John 1:9] – Don’t wait for Nathan [9 months]. “Be sure you sins WILL find you out”
Adam – Failed, Hid [leaves, garden] – Stalls your process. Blame Woman, Devil – Justify/Rationalize – Real Need, 1 John 1:9 – Confess
Psalm 32: 4,5 NLT
Ps 32:4,5 NLT “4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Spurgeon on Ps 32, “None knows the pangs of conviction but those who have endured them. The rack, the wheel, the flames are ease compared with the hell which a guilty conscience kindles within the breast: better suffer all the diseases which flesh is heir to, than lie under the crushing sense of the wrath of almighty God.”
Some repress, and experience the anxiety of David, some simply quit – and a buried in shame and contempt.
But some, like Peter [John 21:7, post failure and resurrection] – run to God
and the Lost Son [Prodigal]
Luke 15: 17-20 ESV
ESV Luke 15:17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
One of the many secret blessings of failure, is God’s relentless pursuit of you, creating the potential for intimacy with God, humility, the experience of Grace, and self-awareness.
Get Shaped and Shipped [embrace your story! It may be humbling, but it also may be your best Ministry platform.]
Be Shaped and Shipped. Grow, then prepare to Go…
Jeremiah 18:4 NLT – Land here, but first…
Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 45:9 – “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, `What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, `He has no hands’?
NLT | Je 18:4 “But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. “ Grow and then [when asked] Go – get Better, not Bitter.
Ps 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
Gal. 6:1 you can set a bone in a moment, but it takes a season to heal, recover, and gain strength. The same is true is overcoming our failures.
Moving Forward – There came a point when I needed to believe God for my future… I needed to have Hope & Faith that God had not forgotten or forsaken me, and that my Failure didn’t have to destroy my Future. With the help of God’s Word, Spirit, and People… I moved forward.
How about you?
“Such a Freedom I have found in You! I’m Moving Forward…” Isaiah 61:3 teaches us that God can provide beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of a spirit of despair. “Every Saint has a past, and every Sinner has a future”.
Phil 3: 13 ESV Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Moving Forward – “Here to declare to You my past is over, In You all things are made new, You have given me a second chance – Hallelujah
Embrace your story – may be your best ministry platform. Pain > Platform, Failure > Fruitfulness – God redeems and writes stories, Beauty from Ashes.