Encouragement

I Hate Failing

You know all those cheesy cliché one liners that are supposed to motivate you past your fear of failure?

They really motivate me for a moment.  Sadly, a moment isn’t enough.

I don’t think I realized how afraid of failure I was until recently…Ben and I were driving through the hills of Tennessee on one of our famous highways, talking about some recent failures. We want to get better at hearing from God, but we’ve made some mistakes and we were talking through them. We’ve made a lot of them through the years. Eventually I blurted out in tears:

“I don’t want to get it wrong. I HATE getting it wrong. It’s easier not to try, because then I know I WON’T get it wrong.”

Right there in the passenger seat, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to try anymore.

Ben gave me the saddest face ever. And he had the right. There it was, another one of my ugly truths.

But really, it is easier not to try. If I don’t try, I don’t fail. And when I don’t fail,  I won’t disappoint anybody. I can stay in my little corner and watch others step up in my place.

But isn’t that just so sad?

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The other day, it took my daughter an HOUR to put on her shirt. AN HOUR.

90 percent of that time was spent telling me why SHE JUST CAN’T .

on and on and on it went.

1 of those minutes included her actually trying (and failing.)

In the last minute? She succeeded.

I wonder how much of our time is spent thinking of reasons why we can’t do something.

can’t write a blog because I don’t want to fail. I could list a million reasons.

I didn’t want Ben to pursue his dreams in starting his business because… what if he fails? What will happen to us financially? Again, I could go on.

But us not trying is ultimately saying we don’t believe in God and his endless mercy. HIS grace. Or his resources, encouragement, or promises. We could even go as far as saying

“God doesn’t believe in us”.

And as Christians, we know that simply isn’t true.

Once we get solid in our beauty before him, our value and worth won’t be the sum of our failures. It will stay displayed through his ultimate sacrifice (the cross).

Failure doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Try. Fail. Repeat.

Succeed.

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Paul disobeyed God and decided he would go to Jerusalem to preach the gospel. A worthy endeavor, but it was a wrong one. God told him not to go, and the prophets eventually stopped trying to persuade him.

He went and ended up in prison.

You know what happened afterwards? He wrote some pretty famous books of the bible.

Let’ s put our faith in God.

He is able to make us stand and succeed. He can steer us in the right path when we trust in his ways and make his word our path!

Jude 1:24 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

Encouragement

I Wanna Hear God

John 17:3

This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 

One of my biggest and most current desires right now is to practice the presence of God and to actively hear from him.  To know him in an experiential, real-time way.

How often am I unsure or afraid, and I don’t seek out and know the Lord’s presence? In theory, I quickly affirm he is there. But his real presence? His voice? His guidance? His help?

His active and real assurance?

Until recently, this concept was vague and too hard to grasp. We are to actively seek him… but finding him? What did that mean?

Growing up, I thought the voice and face of God were reserved for only special or momentous occasions… given only to those who were extra spiritual and extra faithful….and really only for someone else’s benefit. I called it revelation. Not for me.

Revelation was a BIG mountain to climb…Who knew if I could ever attain it.

Has anybody ever read 2 Peter 1:19?

This verse showed me that God’s voice is God’s word. It’s more sure than any experience anyone could ever attain.

Although this is true, I translated this to mean that God rarely speaks outside of his written word and that I should be content with never (or rarely) hearing from this God I called ‘Dad’. My Dad only spoke to me in notes. In a note. A note I called the bible.

Here I am, a good little Christian girl, evangelizing and telling people that God wants a relationship with them (this is a core message of the gospel after all) and yet my relationship was only that of studying, memorizing, and applying scripture.  Even though these are all really really good things, my relationship with God was very one sided.

I’m ending that chapter in this season of my life.

God wants to speak. He wants to walk and talk. God lives in Jesus, who LIVES inside of me. He wants to COMFORT.

Jesus, wasn’t he the KING of scripture? And yet he did crazy things that didn’t make any sense to anyone, all the time. (Especially the religious leaders)

Were they ever out of bounds from the scripture? no…. but walking on water never happened until Jesus did it. The bible didn’t tell Jesus which disciples to choose, or to spit in a guys eyes.

Now they are written down, because of experience.

God wants a relationship. A real, two way, active, relationship. The Holy Spirit is a comforter, a companion, an affirmer and guider of the truth. God is seeking to show his glory, his presence, his power, his might in the face of Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m hungry for his voice. His presence. I want to wake up and feel him. I want to go about my day and have the Spirit guide me into all truth.

John 5:19-20

19 Jesus said to the Jews, “I can guarantee this truth: The Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does. 20 The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. The Father will show him even greater things to do than these things so that you will be amazed.