Are you a failure?
Before the Almighty guided me into the truth, there were a number of events and circumstances in life that all pointed to the fact that I was a failure. During a number of years of living in the truth, I have experienced a lot of testing, temptations and challenges which try to affect my faith, spiritual strength and the direction I should be taking.
However, God has used these experiences to bring me to Himself. Actually, it is important to have Jesus Christ at the centre of all our experiences. The failures we may experience in life will all have a great ending, provided we develop a deep level of faith, trust and love for God. Recently, when reading the book of Joel, I found this verse of great encouragement:
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army that I sent among you” (2:25).
Of course, this promise applied to natural Israel, if only they would heed God’s commandments. But it is also true for us who have experienced the dimension of God’s grace and goodness. But God has not promised to restore everything instantaneously, for the apostle says:
“For you have need of patience that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).
So we must take the long term view.
My failures have brought me near to the Lord, but have also enabled me to continue walking with Him over these many years. I can now say without any reservation that given our efforts in the flesh, we are all failures. That is, without Jesus Christ at the centre of our lives, we are failures. Jesus said that without him, we can do nothing: “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers: such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:5-8).
Our personal failure should cause us to look up and fervently seek the Lord. The sign of true wisdom is when we realise that we can do nothing without God. Any time that man, by his own efforts and flesh, tries to do even the works of God, failure is the inevitable result. Consider the tower of Babel where man, by his own efforts, tried to build a tower to reach to heaven (Genesis 11). Think of Abraham who tried to bring forth the promises of God by his own effort; Ishmael was born, but God said the son of promise would be the child of Sarah and Abraham. Moses wanted to deliver the people of Israel before God’s time, and he had to go and live in the wilderness for 40 years.
I have tried in my own effort to get employment, but all in vain. I am now in a rural village trying farming. Perseverance is required. I now realise that we must not only carry any burden that is given by God, and that includes the trials of this life - but we must also have the motivation of wanting to let the word of God direct our steps and have a vision that will be realised in God’s set time. God’s ways are different from the ways of man. His plan and purpose will be fulfilled. His kingdom will come and His will shall be done on earth as it is now done by the angels in heaven. Amen.
Bro Green Mumbelunga (Ndola, Zambia)