Saturday, March 23, 2013

Failure



Scripture:


Josh. 15:63 ¶ But the people of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so the Jebusites live with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.

Observation:

God had promised the children of Israel that he would drive out all of their enemies before them.  Now, as they enter the promised land we discover that they never do dislodge all of the people in the land God has promised them.  This is a significant statement, for not even all of Jerusalem is taken by the children of Israel.  The Jebusites remain in the city of Jerusalem until the time of King David.  But is this a failure on the part of God?  Why is it that God has promised them victory and now they are unable to drive out the enemy?  This is not a failure on the part of God, but this is a failure on the part of God's people.  They were unwilling to put forth the effort to displace the remainder of the people and to allow God to lead them.  The result was failure and a divided Zion.  Failure was not a part of God's plan, but it was the path the children of Israel chose.

Application:

None of us ever wants to be a failure.  That would be a rather crazy idea and yet there are times when we are like the children of Israel.  God promises us that he will go with us and that he will help us to be victorious in certain circumstances of life.  Sadly, there are times that we too are willing to put up with less than what God has for us.  Often fear becomes the culprit.  Maybe it's fear of failure that causes us to stop before going through to completion.  Fear of failure causing failure.  Maybe in this way we think we can control the failure and have a good excuse rather than seeing what happens if we trust God.  And that's the rub.  We don't always want to trust God. 

God is working and moving in this world and he's inviting us to participate in his work.  This is not about your failure or my failure, but it's about God.  When we hold back and refuse to jump in wholeheartedly we will be like the children of Israel who did not get to experience the kind of freedom and victory which God had intended for them.  The result for them was disastrous.  They struggled with fidelity to God for they allowed foreign gods to remain on the soil and they were drawn to idolatrous worship.  Lack of trust in God means that we are trusting in something else.  It could be something that seems quite good.  It could be our spouse, or our job, or our friends, or our finances -- but all of these can potentially be distractions from the full intention of our participation in the kingdom of God.  I don't want to fail therefore I must trust. 

Prayer:

Lord, may you take the doubts of this world away and may I fully rely and trust in you.  Amen.

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