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Monday, September 27, 2010

Some days I just get sick and tired of stumbling.  I get frustrated with myself for losing my temper, overlooking someone's feelings, or not being the sharpest tool in the shed.  Some days, I feel like quiting everything.

Do you ever feel that way?

Do you ever look at your life and think, "God could never use someone like me."  Do you ever feel like a spiritual failure?

How we answer this question can have significant impact on effective ministry. By ministry, I mean whatever God is calling you to do. Because if you do feel like a spiritual failure, my guess is at some point you stop trying.  Because, after all, what's the use?  You know you are just going to stumble again.

What if God doesn't see your "stumbles" the same way?  What if God looks at your life without your highest victories and lowest drops? Kind of like a teacher who allows you to drop your lowest grade.  What if God is looking more at the pattern of growth in your life?

He certainly did this for the heroes of our faith. Consider Abraham.  God promised to give a child to Abraham and Sarah.  Yet there were 25 childless years before God fullfilled the promise.   Was Abraham perfect during those years?   If you read Romans 2, you would think so:

"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."
Hold on a minute.  Did that just say "without weakening in his faith" and "he did not waver through unbelief"?  When we read the life of Abraham, we see a different man.  We know that Abraham actually didn't wait patiently for God to fulfill that promise, and had physical relations with his wife's maid, and subsequently fathered Ishmael.

As I read it,  Abraham wasn't the "perfect" example of a God-follower.  Yet through the Holy Scriptures, we are told that Abraham didn't weaken or waver.

That's how God saw Abraham.  In spite of Abraham's stumbles, God saw him as a man of faith.  By the time Abraham took his son Isaac to the altar, he had become a man of great faith.  But it was a process.  And it was the process that God saw and blessed.

I believe it's the same way with us.  Yes, we fall.  No, we aren't the perfect examples of God-followers.  We do have great days, and bad days.  But the most important thing is our progress.  Are we more faithful today than yesterday?

That's the question.  It's not a question of being a spiritual giant or spiritual failure.  Is our faith moving up and to the right?  That's what matters.

So today if you feel like a spiritual failure, read Romans 2.  There's some hope in there for us today.

In His Love,


Kristen said...

Glynnis, I can't even tell you how much comfort your words brought me this morning. I truly feel like a spiritual failure today! I think God sent me this message through you. Thank you so much for your honesty. I love reading your posts and look forward to them!

Spring M Fricks said...

Needed this today. Thank you.

kim said...

As I seem to have hit a bump in the road, your words provided much comfort and encouragement. Thank you!

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post. It is so easy to get down on ourselves each time we fail. But your post is so true and I have never thought ot failures and growths this way. Yet, God looks at us the same way a parent does. We have seen our kids succeed and we have seen them fail (and hurt for them when they do) but we have watched them grow from the moment of birth. It is nice thinking that is how God see us.

Anonymous said...

At least we have forgiveness in Christ and each day gives us a new day to start again. I think we all feel like spiritual failures at some point. But if we try to do our best, God knows and he forgives us and loves us. Grace is awesome!

Molly said...

I am so glad that God chose to show the weaknesses in the heroes of faith in His word. Otherwise we would give up before we even got started. It has taken me many years to get to the point where I realize when I stumble, it is not the end of my faith walk nor is it a closed door on God using me. When I seek and receive His forgiveness, He uses the incident to make me stronger. His mercy and His grace being new every morning not only is a great truth, it is the foundation of my day.