FAILURE – A STEPPING STONE
Thursday, December 14, 2017
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“From the Negev [Abram] went from place to place until he came to Bethel… where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.” Genesis 13:3-4

Some of us live with the fear that we are no longer useful to God when we have failed and acted in disobedience, but this is simply not true of Scripture. Failure is never final, but can actually be a stepping stone to better things. In fact, God often works through our greatest failures.

When a severe famine hit the land of Canaan, Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham, chose to leave the land God had called him to and sought refuge in Egypt. While there, to protect himself, he pretended his wife was his sister because of her beauty, and allowed Pharaoh to take her into his palace as his own. As a result, the Bible tells us “the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household” (Genesis 12:17). Judgment came on Pharaoh because of Abram’s disobedience. He not only deceived Pharaoh, but looked to Egypt for security instead of God, and everyone around him paid the price.

Our failures will have consequences, but this does not mean they have to rule us. It has been said the best way to get over a fall on a bike is to get right back on the bike. Many of us might feel unworthy to return to God’s calling after we have failed, but Abram knew better than to mope in his downfall. He humbly returned to the place where God had first made His covenant with him and sought God’s forgiveness. He may have said something like: “God, I am sorry I strayed from Your will. I am not concerned about myself anymore, but only with Your purpose for me. I trust You and am totally available to You.” God did not give up on Abram. He became the father of our faith, and from his descendants, our Lord was born.

There will be times when we act in disobedience, but past failures do not need to stop us from humbly submitting ourselves to God again. All our gracious God requires of us is a repentant heart, and He not only forgives us, but gets us back on track. This is not to say we should abuse God’s grace. Paul writes, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2) Regardless of how serious our sin and failure, God will turn those dark times into opportunities in which we realize our need for Him. The best thing we can do is get back on the bike, humbly submitting to God and realigning ourselves with His will and purpose for us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for using my failures as a means of drawing closer to You and realigning myself with Your purpose for me. I submit my life to You again today. Thank You, God.


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