Yet a paradox of life is that we usually learn so much more through our failures than through our successes. So why are we so afraid of going to a place that may mean that we don't see the results we want or expect to see (in other words, 'failure')?
The life of faith is a call to walk to places in a way that very possibly takes us where we don't want to go, don't expect to go, or requiring change that we don't want to do. And this call may very well be a call to 'fail' (at least by our usual definition of failure).
Yet the Apostle Paul reminds us,
"I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands. For God did not give us a spirit of fear (timidity), but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
Instead of worrying about the 'what-ifs', we are to stir up the fire of Jesus. What counts as 'success' is your passion for Jesus--not a new program, a strategy, or busyness. If we are smack dab in the middle of God's will, we have nothing to fear--including the fear of failure! The only thing that can quench this fire is sin or self-sufficiency.
I was meeting with our church leadership team last night and we were discussing an opportunity that God seemed to be orchestrating for our church to get involved in. A few of us (including myself) shared how this undertaking would be easier to handle if we only had a few more resources. In other words--WE MIGHT FAIL!
How easy it is to slip into that self-sufficiency mind-set--quenching the spirit of God--and inviting in a spirit of fear. 'Heart check' time!
Paul reminds us that it is about heart position--not "results." Walking in obedience to God is always a 'win' in His eyes. And that is all that really counts in the end!
(If you want to be notified of future blog postings, friend me on Facebook 'John Schmidt'. Also, my recent sermons in both an audio and video format can be found at www.NVbridgechurch.com.)