I have heard this statement so many times but only recently did it really come alive for me. Everyone great business person I have read about or listened to says failure is a great teacher, and I agree. It is the place where we test our presuppositions and figure out if they are true or not and adjust our course accordingly. However, there is a dimension of it that I never looked at before.
My father has always said that we cannot fail when our lives are premised on God. There are numerous examples of people in the bible who walked very hard paths but came out victorious in the end. So I begun looking at them; Job, Joseph, David, Esther, Mary and others. One thing stood out for me over and over again, even with difficult times and some big falls, they achieved the plan of God for their lives.
Take David for instance who plotted the murder of a man so he could have the man’s wife. When she was with child he was rebuked and when he repented God relented and he was called a man after God’s own heart.
Mary was pregnant out of wedlock and by all intents should have been stoned yet as Joseph planned to let her go quietly God stepped in and explained things to him and it was done.
Joseph had dreams of grandeur and the more he shares them the deeper the anger from his brothers who eventually toss him into a well and sell him off into slavery. He is accused at every turn of different things and in the end forgotten by those he helped before God sent out the word and he rose to number two in the land.
Daniel was faithful to God and kept his heart on the commandments yet he got thrown into the lions den. God came through and he was unharmed but the same could not said of those who had him thrown in there. The lions made a meal of them in minutes of being thrown in.
So here is what I learnt: every hardship or ‘failure’ is part of the process. The intention of the process is to get me to full dependence on God no matter what. In the eyes of man things in my life could seem like I am failing but as long as I am connected to his ultimate purpose there is nothing like failure. I must be like Zerubbabel governor of Judah and Joshua the high priest who placed full trust in God so that he said to them:
Yet now be strong Zerubbabel says the Lord, and be strong Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest; and be strong all you people of the land says the Lord, and work for I am with you says the Lord of hosts. According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt so my Spirit remains among you; do not fear!
The premise of the strength and the completion of the assignment is His covenanted word. This word can be relied on and depended upon for generations to come. In Isaiah 55:10 he says;
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return here , but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So does My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
So indeed, if my life and actions are predicated on a clear word of God that I can track then there is absolutely no possibility of failure. Everything that comes my way will produce more of Him and the end result is His version of success. However, if my life is predicated on my own feelings and understanding then you can be sure that even though I may enjoy success for a while, there will be a limit to the success.
Far be it that I spend my days on my own path. I choose to go back to God’s word and live according to it and never fail again my life. Once this is done, every challenge is simply part of the process and will no longer have the capacity to break me.
Today I choose His word over me and walk in it with confidence.
What about you?