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Posts Tagged ‘redirection’

Getting lost is a very frustrating thing. I can remember a time when I found myself lost driving around in the labyrinth that is downtown Washington, DC. Every road seemed to lead me further and further away from my desired destination. The longer I spent wandering around the “not so great part of town” the more I grew in anxiousness and fear. When I finally arrived at where I was supposed to be, I missed half of the party I’d been really excited about.

This illustration always reminds me of how my sin leads me in a labyrinth away from my desired relationship with the Lord. The definition of sin is – anything in our thoughts, words, or actions that create distance and separation in our relationship with the Lord. The bible states that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone has experienced separation from God.

The bible also describes the “wages of sin as being death.” There have been some clear times in my life where I have experienced death in my sin. I can honestly say that when I experience separation in my relationship with God, I feel a loss of life. In essence, failing is what happens when separation from God is experienced. It feels like death.

Life is meant to fail outside of him. Sin is failure to remain in him. Sometimes I am more aware of my failures. Sometimes it takes the nudging of frustration, a hunger for satisfaction, or a growing attitude of demand or entitlement to open my eyes to failure.

The weight of sin and failure can seem harsh and relentless in our lives. If you think about it, God wants to use our failures as redirection to himself. Where God is present, so is the nagging opposition of one who would love to silence the voice of redirection.

There are many lies that can accompany failure. Satan would love for you to attach yourself to words such as worthless, wounder, incompetent, unlovable, unforgivable, or damaged. He would love for us to believe that forgiveness has limits, or that the love of God has a cut off point. We grow up with a built in mentality of, “you got yourself into this, you get yourself out.

I am guilty of staying in the place where these lies carry too much weight in my life. The truth is that God has no limits. God will never stop redirecting us back to himself. We will fail. We will wander. But my hope is that you will begin to see and know that he is God. I am hoping big for the weight of failure to fall away from your life and mine. I am praying for a heart that exhales in the gift of redirection.

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The bible is filled with stories of failure. I think you could label the Old Testament as the “Old failure Testament.” As you read the Old Testament you can see that the theme of failing is a direct result of the Israelite’s attempts to find life outside of God. Many of the stories talk about a people who did everything they could to seek after life in any form. This is not a new concept as we still have this problem today.

If you look back and read about the Israelites journey through the desert, you will see a people who wandered around for a long time. The Isrealites made what could have been an eleven day trip to the promise land a long forty years. That is a long time of mundane walking before someone decided to do something about it. It took forty years before the realization that the reason for the wandering was taking God off the throne of being King. The Israelite’s suffered a lot of hardship and frustration in trying to make life happen on their own.

The longer the people of God spent away from him the more suffering was experienced in the journey.

I am very aware that I do this all the time. I battle with the tension of moving in the direction of God being my king, and seeking life outside of him. Let me tell you, I experience failure every time. Failure is a guarantee.  Outside of God being our God, life is meant to fail. The lie is that life works and is available outside of him. You can see Satan attempt this lie with the temptation of Jesus.

Failing affects me emotionally. After experiencing failure, I am really bad about not attaching the label of failure to everything about my identity. God, in his gentleness, reminds me that failure is a gift. Failure is a tap on my shoulder reminding me of the path I am meant to be on. There is so much freedom to be known in releasing my failings to him.

Changing my mentality has taken me a long time. I have not mastered this by any means. I have definitely taken one too many laps around the desert.  I want to rejoice in failing. I want to be so grateful that God loves me so much that failing is the gift of being one step closer to experiencing life to the full.

Where do you get get stuck in releasing your failure to him?

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The word “fail” holds so much weight in our hearts, minds, and down deep souls. The word fail represents so much in our culture and world. The weight of that word can ignite a negative thought process concerning our every day lives. To experience “failure” or “failing” can cause one to spiral downward in doubt.  The affects of this word can look like questioning your ability, confidence, skills, and worth. This word can rock your self-esteem.

But is it supposed to?

Our world has enabled a skewed view of the word “fail.” This word has very negative connotations to it. Let’s be honest, no one likes being associated with that word. No one likes to “feel” like they failed or fell short of something.

The dictionary defines fail this way, “to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved.

There is nothing positive about this definition in reading it. I am learning that failure is a gift. Failure is not a reflection of my ability or skills. It is not even a reflection of my worth or who I am. Failure is really redirection. When we fail at something it is the gift of redirection. Failure says, “hey that thing you just tried, didn’t work so well. Try something else.”

This week, I want to talk about different examples of what failure as redirection looks like. We are people who struggle with sin and being a fallen people. That is not a new truth. In our battle to keep God on the throne of life, failure is a likely thing.

Failing or failure is that nice red flag or tap on our shoulder telling us to examine our path. Failure is a gift to redirect our way back to where we are supposed to be. Failure is not meant to play the role of being a slam to your total self-esteem. Failure doesn’t define who you are. Failure kind plays the role of your path’s GPS.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how failure is defined by you.

How does failing affect you?

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