Wednesday, September 9, 2020

In and out of the wilderness

But Simon answered and said to Him, 
“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; 
nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”

Luke 5:5

No one knows how to help you in your times of failure as Jesus does! He will not overlook your shortcoming or simply encourage you to do better the next time. He will give you victory in the midst of your failure.

Peter had fished all night without success. His was not just a meager catch; he had caught nothing, even though he was a skilled fisherman. Jesus could have said, “Peter, don’t worry about your empty net. You’ll soon be in a different business anyway.” Instead, Jesus told him to launch out into the deep and to cast out his nets for a catch. How humbling it must have been for Peter! Here was a carpenter telling this outspoken fisherman how to fish!
Jesus often gets your undivided attention when you fail. He sometimes takes you back to your place of defeat in order to build something good into your life. You may assume He must not want you to continue because you failed so miserably in your attempt. Perhaps your problem was that you relied on your own strength instead of the Master's. Maybe you failed in a relationship. Jesus will not allow you to abandon it; He will help you learn from your failure and experience the difference He can make when He guides your relationships. When you try in God's strength, you may discover that success is indeed within your grasp. If you have recently experienced failure, you may be on the brink of receiving a profound revelation from God! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

What does a word about being in and out of the wilderness have to do with failure? 

Go back to Exodus.  For a total of 80 years the Israelites spent time in the wilderness.  Learning and relearning lessons. 

Learning from failures.  Failure to trust God, failure to listen to God. Failure to obey God. There's a list. 

Failure was evident.  They failed to trust, failed to obey, failed to see what life was to be about  

In my own life for not nearly 40 years, more like 5 or so, you might say that I was in the wilderness.  Being taught and re-taught things that I evidently wasn't getting in life prior to leaving where I had been working.  Hard to believe that in a few months I will have been back 2 years. 

Not quite a wilderness but in modern times it's close.  There are times when God brings people back around to do many things in terms of growth.  Interestingly enough when I returned I had read a statement.  In it, the person was saying something along the lines that God was going to rebuild you in front of those who tried to destroy you. 

It's a fine line between pride and accomplishment recognition.  I don't want a swelled head by the things that I have been able to accomplish in 2 years.  Quite often my prayers going into work have included asking for Jesus to keep a hand on my mouth as well as  guidance through the day.  That He would lead me, not me leading me.  What I do is one thing, how people see me is another.  I want to show people Christ in me, not me in me.  That yes we would get things done, but not by way of sinful pride. Being proud of what we accomplish is one thing, having the pride of Nebuchadnezzar is another.  It's not about what I did, but what God did through me. 

Failure is going to happen.  We live in an imperfect world that isn't getting better.  Society doesn't even see that it's being manipulated by Satan, that the things happening are pointing towards what will happen after the Rapture of the Church. 

Failure is a consuming fire at times.  It's easy to get wrapped around the axle on what went wrong.  Satan loves to remind us of our failures.  Why? Because the more time you spend on it the less productive you are for Christ. You go through the should have - could have - would have thoughts.  You begin a trek of worry and not praying.  You expend great energy doing a whole lot of nothing for Christ. 

Why is forgiveness such a profound thing?  It breaks the wrap around the axle problem.  Why is prayer such a profound thing? Same reason.  Why is time in your Bible such a profound thing? Same reason.  It takes our eyes off us and puts them back in motion.  

Tobymac has a song called Move. 
We aren't to stay where we were. We are to move.  Peter could have stayed in the boat. He chose to move and Jesus granted it.  In Proverbs it mentions the waste of a lazy person's life.  Even standing firm in Christ is still an action.  You are doing something productive. 

Funny, after reading this morning's devotionals I didn't know what I was to write.  Yet God still provided a message.  He still had something to say.  

No you may not get everything right in life, but doing what you do for Christ is what's important.  It keeps your eyes off of you and keeps them where they should be.  I certainly struggle with perfection in doing things.  To me I often beat myself up over the should haves.  God's still working on me.  He's still working on you too. 

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