The thing with failure is the longer you stay in failure the more it gets a grip on you. The longer you fail to make a new start, the harder it is to move on from failure. Take Moses for example, his failure had him stuck in the desert for 40 years! This man went from great leader in Egypt to forty years in the back-end of a desert taking care of sheep. Forty years of failure – why did he stay there that long?
Failure has a voice.
The longer we sit in the downward spiral of failure, the more certain voices get established in your head.
Every time you step out to make a new start, the voice of failure speaks to your heart and mind. End result – we shrink back.
To move on and make a new start, we need to deal with the voices of failure.
- The voice of uncertainty or lack of confidence. In my head, this voice is cynical, it tells me that there is no guarantee that making a new start will give me a better future. It undermines my hope and causes me to question the value of prayer. We see this lack of confidence in Moses who says to God “Who Am I” to go up against Pharaoh. Or Elijah who says: “I am tired, it is only me left, I can’t do it anymore.” Voices which cause us to no longer remember who we are in God, or what we have achieved in the past. Instead they are focused on what we think we are not, our own weaknesses.
- The voice of inability, your lack of qualifications or admirable qualities, your past failures. Moses says to God “I can’t speak, leave me, I have tried before,” but Acts 7:22 tells us that he was “educated in all wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” He was so entrenched in his own thinking about his abilities, that he never thought he could actually do it. Elijah says to the Lord: “I have had enough Lord.” He was so aware of his own limitations that God had to reveal His power to him, to make him look beyond his own limitations.
- The voice of our identity, the view we have of ourselves. This voice tells us that we are “no good”, “a failure”, “no big deal”. So entrenched was Moses in this identity, that he needed God to give him some form of proof to tell the people that he was speaking for God. Elijah thought he was finished and that God could not use him anymore. So focused on his own limitations, that He failed to catch a vision of what God could do.
It is important to recognize these voices of failure.
When we make a new start, we need to seek a fresh revelation of God. Both Moses and Elijah had a revelation of God that enabled them to make a new start. These voices of failure have to be replaced by a fresh understanding of:
Who God is and who I am in God, i.e. God’s identity and my identity
God’s ability and not my ability. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)
God’s certainty. I may be uncertain, but with God, all things are certain. Matt 19:26; Luke 1:37.
Father, reveal yourself to me and help me to identify these voices of failure that keep me from making a new start in You. I know You want me to make a new start, but these voices encourage me to shrink back and settle for a small life. Help me to step out, even though it gets mentally uncomfortable as these voices shout at me. Help me step out on what I know about You and what You say about me.
If you benefited from this post, you may want to read the previous one and others listed below. It is my sincere hope that you have been given spiritual food for thought.