Director of SOULS-West
- January 21, 2017
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Father in heaven I reverently kneel before you acknowledging my need. Thanking you so much that you choose darkness to reflect light thanking you so much that you choose sinners. To tell creation story. Thanking you that you choose the weak the weak to confuse the wise and Lord I come before you asking that you would join us this morning that you would speak to me and through me that you would be with my sick and fragile voice and that you would help me to be able to share. What I've been studying. I pray this humbly in the name of Jesus. Amen grew my water tank and lifted over there. Or is a failure part of God's plan. If I were to have some sort of statement or thesis of this message. It would be success is not defined by the result. But by the faithfulness through the journey and that's what we're going to be studying today. Let's delve right into the scriptures and go to judges Chapter six verse twelve and thirteen. Again we're learning when failure is part of God's plan. We're going to the Book of Judges Chapter six verse twelve and thirteen. Judges Chapter six first twelve and thirteen. And if you'll pardon me my voice isn't as strong today. But it gives me a chance to lean on the strength of God judges Chapter six verse twelve and thirteen. Wait for us all to get there before we read it just have a small disclaimer that the intended. Audience for today's message is someone who is sincere in their walk with God someone who has given their heart to God who sincerely following him and is experiencing failure and wondering why. There are other times God grants us favor failure God gives us failure in our lives or trials and it's because we're in stubborn rebellion that God allows us to go through those things but my intended audience today is for someone who has made a decision to follow God they're sincere in their walk with him and they're experiencing failure. They're experiencing trials and they're asking why. Judges Chapter six verse twelve thirteen Gideon is asking that question. The angel of the Lord appeared on to him and said unto him the Lord is with the the mighty men of valor notice Gideon's response he doesn't he doesn't he's not flattered by the Lord coming to him and calling him a mighty men of valor Instead he has a question. And Gideon sent out to him. Oh my lord if the Lord be with us. Why then is all this be fallen us and where be all his miracles of which our fathers told us same Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt but now the Lord has for sake in us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites Did you understand. Gideon's sincere question. Do call me man of valor and how was the Lord with us. How was the Lord mighty. When we're slaves. I thought we were the apple of God's Eye good in is asking a very sincere question. The children of Israel of course would experience success but they would fall to their enemies over and over again. Why does this happen. I found this quote that hopefully would help us to answer this question. Peterson prophet says in page four thirty seven. And if they fail to endure the trial he brings them again to the same point did you get that. Have you ever experience failure in your life and then you experience it again. Or maybe you've gone through a trial you know you failed and then another year passes by and you're like wait a minute. This looks familiar. The problem the Lord is telling us that if you feel too under the trial. Guess what is coming back. It is the second time the trial will come closer and be more severe than the preceding this is continued until they bear the test or if they are still rebellious God would draw as his light from them and leave them in darkness. In other words if a trial comes your way. Let me tell you what not to do don't run from it. Don't give up because if you do. Guess what come back to you. That same trial is coming your way. Some people they think they can just run away from a trial. They think and they just run away from things but you don't understand beloved That trial is coming back to you and it says this time it will come closer and be more severe than the first one. Five Lessons from failure the first one. If we fail attests God will bring you to that same trial. That's guaranteed. Second lesson from failure. Let's go to Exodus three verse fourteen. Exodus Chapter three. Was fourteen. Very familiar passages the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses is minding his own business. Sees this bush on fire. Bush starts talking to him he realized God is calling him God tells Moses I am that I am in verse fourteen and he said. Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel. I AM has sent me into you. And then of course you know Exodus Chapter four Moses gives a few excuses as to why he's not qualified to lead got people. And that good enough. I'm not eloquent my speech he gives excuses. Now God convinces him by showing him miracle and telling him that he would be with him. So imagine you're Moses' God has said to you I will be with you go to Pharaoh. And tell him let my people go and if he doesn't Moses' here's the plan. It's good Exodus five. Exodus Chapter five. Now let me ask you the question. What is the result of Moses going to fair and I imagine this God tells you do this you will succeed and you go in front of Pharaoh. And you say Let my people go and Pharaoh says no. I wasn't expecting that. And then says you know and for you being so obnoxious. I'm going to make their work a lot harder. And then that will confuse me. Wait a minute the burning bush and had leprosy in my state. After owning into a snake god was with me. Why did I fail. Verse twenty two. Listen to Moses he also has a questioning moment. Exodus five years twenty two. Moses returns into the Lord and said Lord. Wherefore you have so evil intreated this people. Why is it that you have sent me. So he's asking and why would you send me so that I could. What a verse twenty three for since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name he have done evil to this people. Neither has he delivered your people at all. Now of course we know what happens at the very end. Hindsight is twenty twenty. But imagine you're going through this trial God has told you do this you'll succeed you do it and you don't succeed you do it again you don't succeed you do it again you don't succeed. Would you just give up somewhere in there in love with this quote by the way if you haven't read a Turks and prophets it is a must read. There is something about this book that gives just new insight to truths that are in there and you're just scratching your head. I love what this quote says paychecks and prophets and prophets and kings those two just explain things so well. Sometimes he trains his workers by bringing to them what. Disappointment and notice that what is that. There is the keyword what you might think as failure is apparent failure doesn't mean you failed it. It is his purpose that they shall learn to master difficulties success will come to them as they struggle against difficulties second. Lesson of failure. God allows failure to build a character through struggling through difficulties want to show you a picture of my good friend. Me So you might know him his name is J.R. Cottle and I got full permission to tell the story so don't worry. Means a lot to me specifically because he grew up not ave. And he was sent. He was given a flyer to a meeting I was preaching in two thousand and six grew up Catholic his whole life got this flyer. I was preaching does God exists he gave his heart to Jesus. I had the privilege of seeing him baptized a year later after doing Bible studies with him. Since then he has taken over as director of one of the ministries that I've started and so he's been following God's will. Has it back slid been faithful to God. After doing ministry following God sincerely bringing countless of people to G.Y. sees another different type of youth of events. He now says OK I could serve more by being a medical evangelists he studies real hard finishes nursing school takes the end collects guess what happens. Wait a minute. God I've read the Spirit of Prophecy I've read that the health message goes hand in hand with evangelism. So he takes it again. Guess what happens. Fails. Wait a minute. God it's not like I'm living a life of rebellion I'm not going out and partying I'm not doing those things. What's going on. So he takes it again. And guess what fails three times. Now you would think maybe God would allow fever to come into his life. No failure failure failure. What is it like to face friends. Specially when the rest of his family is not evidence. Where's your god. Now imagine coming home to your own mother who still Catholic. And says OK so you gave your heart to God You're failing three types. Now there's a good news to this story to the story he passes the fourth time. And I asked you are so why do you think going to allowed you to fail and he said the the lessons I've learned through difficulty. The lessons I learned through failure. The lessons I learned to trying to pick myself up when I was down. He said I feel if I can do anything. No And he says I'm not scared of failure anymore. You know I think that failure is something that handicaps us. Maybe you saw this on the Internet but there's this there's aging guy and he puts one hundred days of failure and one see that he basically goes and says he's going to feel a hundred times in so he purposely thinks of things were he could feel like he randomly asked people at whole food he would you go to dinner with me and my wife they're like no creep you know like so he thinks of all of these random thinks of how he could fail. He's in Los Vegas and you know this really shy timid Asian guy is an engineer or something and he asked the waitress would you dance with me you know stuff like that where you know like people are going to think you're kind of what's wrong with you. You know over and over and then he said at the end of this experiment. He realized he was cured from the idea of failure. You know but I believe that God allows us to fail sometimes because there is something about going through failure. We're just like you know what I just don't care what people think of me anymore. I'm just going to go out and do it. And there's a silver lining to this story. J.R. You know one reason why he he told me he didn't want to be a nurse is you don't want to you know have those three dates. Twelve hour shifts. Will it just so happened. The fourth time after he took his own clocks he met someone at the Princeton Review got him his job where he works forty hours at his own pace. Whenever he wants and that only would have happened if he failed he believes four times because he met the right person that four time. Sometimes God has the right plan for you just gotta go through the exercises. It's good accept or seven verse twenty one through twenty two as we continue this journey. When it is part of God's plan for us to feel. Acceptor seven. First twenty one. Acceptor seven verse twenty one. Again starting the story of Moses I believe that if you want to study failure there are two people you should study that's most isn't Peter. Those are the two people that we're going to kind of. Take a look at. Actually after seven verse twenty one notice this. And when he Moses was cast out pharaohs daughter took him up and nourished him for her own son. Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Gyptian and was mighty in word and indeed. Let me ask you a question. Did Moses learn many things at the University of Egypt. Yes he learned a lot in fact Ellen White says if you repeat Orcs and prophets that he was undefeated in battle and the men would make up songs about motes. They would just think of songs of conquest because Moses was so brilliant. He was all learned in the wisdom of the Egyptians he was mighty in word and deed. Verse twenty three and when he was forty years old. It came to his into his heart to visit the children of Israel. So now after this. He knows and he studied the prophecies of Genesis and he knows that after four hundred years that God would sin and deliver and it's clear to him that he's a deliver. He's followed in searching the scriptures and now he believes that he's the deliver and watch this. Verse twenty four and seeing one of them suffer wrong. He defended him and a venture to him that was oppressed and smote the Egyptian now in Moses' mind this was the moment he's undefeated. He understands all the battle plans knows every way in and out of the Kingdom and in his mind there are more Israelites than he Gyptian and he says this is the chance for us to go and take it and so he smites an Egyptian he hopes to rally the Israelites and lead them to victory. That's the game plan but watch this twenty five. This is got to be a shocker. For he supposed his brethren brethren would have understood how that God by His hand would deliver them but they understood not what does that mean. Moses in his mind. He thought that they would get it that they would exalt him as hero. But instead he failed his splendor of conquering the Egyptians had failed. He fell flat on his back. Now imagine you're most. All you're used to is a silver spoon in a red carpet your entire life you have experienced nothing but royalty. You were next in line for the throne. And you decide consciously to give that up. Just so you can help these Israelites. And you fail. New or now be jetted by them. And you rejected of course by the Egyptians. Moses most of felt like a failure. He didn't understand that God was actually learning a teaching him certain lessons along the way. I look at this as here. In order that Moses might be fitted for his appointed work. God separated him from his former surroundings. He was to enter another school the school of Providence. Looking at this experience from a human standpoint observers would pronounce it. What I love would only it's of that call that a splendid failure can't get better than that. A splendid failure on the part of Moses the Lord sent him into the mountains to obtain an education that would fit him to stand as the general of Israel of course you don't see it that way when you're flat on your back when you've failed in your plans when you're rejected by both families. You don't see it that way. All you see is the failure in front of you. Help in daily living says abbess often our plans fail that God's plans for us may succeed. You know what I realize is that many times it's actually not a failure. It's God moving you from one area where he needs to teach you and then he's bringing you to another area and saying I needed teach you here and in our minds are like I failed and then you go to another area I field again in Gaza. CONAN And no. I'm just bringing you through this master plan I have for your life. When I tell you another story is now my. Michelle. Shelly. Thank you Michel for letting me use the story. Michelle imagine if she graduated from Stanford University undergrad and graduate level and she could not find a job now in that kind of weird like would you think that that's kind of odd and you would think that maybe you go to our C.C. or San Bernardino Valley College you apply for a job you can get it like oh well I went to R.C.C. or I went to Stanford you know valley gullet that you would think in your mind you go to Princeton Stanford Yale you would think you were a shoe in for just about any type of job is that right now imagine for a moment you're applying for a job on there at Stanford good grades everything and you can't get a job. When that cause you to question things a little bit. Michelle told me in the only opening for a job that she had at the time was an opening at a small school in the middle of nowhere called Watch the hills college. What if failure is simply God moving you through his grand scheme so that he could bring out the character development that he needs for your life. When in reality you know that you would never pick that in there are you know first place. Right. You see what I realize about human nature is we like. We don't want to suffer. We don't want to go through the hard things. So God sometimes has to close doors in our life and make it seem like failure. When in reality he setting you up for success. Another lesson we've learned about failure Failure to us. And others might actually be success to God what if what the world calls speedily or God really calls a success. Go to our fourth lesson method to. Six verse thirty three. Matthew twenty six. And verse thirty three. No magic for a moment with me. You've been following God for close to three years. You've gone where God has gone you've left your wife and children a home. You don't know how or where you're going to pay writ you follow Jesus slept on ships and floors and wherever God has led you. And at the pinnacle of following Jesus you look to the man that you have been following for the last three years and he sits you down and says Peter. Tomorrow you're going to fail. Just want to let you know you're going to hear this rooster and you're going to feel you're going to deny me three types. Now I would be kind of crushed the person one following would tell me and basically I'm going to feel that I wouldn't learn after three years of following Jesus. How do at least on my ground. Matthew twenty six wrist thirty three. Peter answered and said into him though all men shall be offended because of you yet I never will be offended but there is a I'm not going to I'm going to fail. I'm not going to fall. Now we know what happens. Peter experiences failure. Now watch this. Watch this inside right here this for me. Just floored me. There are some lessons that will never be learned. Except through what. The does that doesn't sit well with me. I don't know about you. The pen of inspiration is specifically saying. Yet there are certain lessons that are going to come in your life and you're only going to learn those lessons through failure to rejection through falling and then it gives us why God allowed Peter to fall. Peter was a what. A better man after this fall. As fire purifies gold. So Christ purifies his people by to teach. And trial. Many of you experience failure and after that you know you are a better person. You are more humble more teachable more relatable with others and God understands that and so he allowed Peter to go to this fall because ultimately he wanted Peter to be the best that he could be. Let's go through the four lessons of what we've learned so far. Number one if we fail attests. God will bring us to that same trial. Number two that allows a pale year to build our character through struggling through difficulties. Number three failures objective. What if that failure to us is actually success in God's eyes and number four some lessons will only be learned through failure. Now I have another point I want to make regarding Peter and desire of a just brings this one out. It was on the point where he Peter that Himself strong that Peter was weak. So he appears thought that he was strong in this area but really Ellen White says he was weak and not until he discerned his weakness. Could he realize his need of dependence upon crime. Yes. So why does God allow us to fall because sometimes it's only when we fall that we look up. Had he learned the lesson that Jesus sought to teach him now. I love this part don't know some of us who say Oh so so failure and in falling is always God's plan. No no no no no no no it's make sure we get that point clear too had he learned the lesson that Jesus sought to teach him in the experience on the sea he would not have failed when the great test came upon him. So God tries to build us up through the little feelers of life and if you learn the lesson the first time you will feel the second time but because Peter Field in field and field in field which we already know God will bring that test to us again he had to go through that big test of the nine Jesus. Now of all the quotes that Illinois has and there are a lot of them. I'm going to give you one of my favorites this right here is Mason my sleep someone to give it to you. Listen carefully. Why does God allow failure. H.P. one twenty four. Do you make mistakes. Evan hope yes or no. All right. Only five people. I know we all make mistakes. Right. Do you make mistakes do not let this discourage you. Isn't that beautiful but if you fall if you feel. Don't let that discourage you. The Lord may permit you to make small mistakes in order to save you from what. Why are they. That is such a new concept because in our mind we don't want to feel at all. We don't want to go through the shame to the feeling of defeat. But this quote says that the Lord allows us to go to the small mistakes. For the purpose of saving us from one making the big ones. That's why I love what first Corinthians ten thirteen says right. There is no temptation that is taking you that such as is common to man but God is faithful to what. So that you will be tempted above that you're able but will with the temptation provide a way of escape. In other words God measures each trial that that you come across and he sees if you can overcome and he will never give you a trial that you can't overcome and sometimes God will give this trial and says OK I know this was going to be hard for you. Michael and if you fall it's OK It's the small one because I want to train you now. So then when it really counts when I step out of the most holy place when I am no longer interceding for since he would have overcome. The last lessons we can last a lesson. We can learn. Sometimes God allows failure in the small things. So we don't fall in the big one. There's a story that my friend Anthony told me about this happened to my friends Brittany and Thomas they had their newborn baby and. Anthony was tell me the story of how he was just sitting down and reading something and. Britney would allow their baby to fall on the floor and as you know if you've ever seen a baby kind of pick himself up and stumble and fall it sometimes hurts and it's sometimes painful and my friend Anthony you know of course he he's single and doesn't know anything about kids and neither do I And so he's thinking meant what about Mother. Like how dare she let her kid fall. You should watch kids. Kid would like you know. Have a little row burnin he get back up and then you'd fall again and he just watching this and you know as my friend Anthony is watching this. He's watching the mother in the most they just sit there doing nothing. And of course you know the thoughts of laziness in the thoughts of bad parenting and oh she didn't reach out guidance I mean these thoughts are probably coming in their mind. Well then what happens is the baby ventures from the carpet area. Moves over to the kitchen where there's tile. Hard concrete tile and as the baby goes into There in is about to fall. The brother gets up from her chair and almost like a superhero grabs her baby before the baby could fall. And as I was thinking about this story and illustration I think about what God allows in our lives. He allows us to fall in the areas where maybe we get a little bruise or maybe will have a little boy burn it won't feel good and friends will make fun of you mate. Maybe gun allows us to go to these things build our character but if it's an area where we would get seriously injured or hurt if it's an area where if we would fall. It would we would leave Christianity or wouldn't help us or profit us God has known and. I'm here for you. As I close I want to bring up one more story. And this story for me is the most difficult story to understand. So I'm going to tell you already judges chapter twenty. I can't find an explanation in the commentaries it's not in patriarchs and prophetess non-profits and kings. This is that a random story that I can't figure out about failure. Judges Chapter twenty verse fifteen. Want to close with this story because I believe there's one more point I want to make. You really know the five main points of the five reasons for failure but there's one more that I want to end with judges after twenty and here's the context of the story. In this story. The children of Israel are united. That's very rare. They're all united except one specific tribe. That's the Benjamin Knights. And in this story. A high priests or someone from the tribe of Levi. He goes into an area where the binge of mites control. And as he's in that area. The Benjamin mites. Then habitants of that city basically try to kill him. And his wife need. Now they succeed in killing his wife. But he pretends that he's dead and so they don't kill him. And he goes back to the rest of the eleven tribes and says this is what the bingeing mites have done. They kill my wife and so all of the leaders they get together and they think of a plan to go to verse fifteen. The children of Benjamin were numbered at that time there are twenty six thousand. Beside inhabitants of give year which number seven hundred chosen men. Now it tells you a little bit about the bench of mites and then you see that the Israel there were four. Hundred thousand men. These are the good guys. First see the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God and asked counsel of God. Now let me ask you a question are the Israelites doing the right thing by asking counsel of God yes or no. Yes. So here they are asking God Council hate the bend your minds are not with us. They're not united by the way they're they're committing idolatry. They've just killed an innocent person and they asked God specific advice. What do we do notice what it says and the Lord said Judah shall go up first verse eighteen and the children of Israel rose up in the morning and encamped against give you and the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin and the men of Israel put themselves in a rate of fight and give you and the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah and destroyed to the ground twenty two thousand men. What happened. Did you get it. The good guys lose the Israelites who prayed and sincerely asked God. What do we do with Benjamin got as I want Judah to go first and Judah goes and the respecting victory God had told them to go and they lose twenty two thousand men. Go to the next story. Keep going. Verse twenty three know and the children of Israel web went up and wept before the Lord until evening and asked counsel of the Lord saying Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother and the Lord said go up again. So here God is that the children of Israel are confused and think do we fight again do we try to bring Benjamin in this way we're tribe and God says go again. And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day and Benjamin went forth against them at a good be a the second day and destroyed to the ground the children were of Israel eighteen thousand men same expectation. No explanation. God is telling them to go. So they could lose. What's going on here. First twenty six. Then all the children of Israel and all the people went up and came up to the house of God and wept and sat there before the Lord in fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings and the children of Israel. Inquired of the Lord. Of the Ark of the covenant of were God was in those days and Phineas the son of a liaise or the son of Aaron stood there before in those days thinks a lie yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin or shall I see this and the Lord said go up for tomorrow I will deliver them in your hand verse thirty. You will see that the children of his Are went up against the children of Benjamin and they finally one. Let me ask you a question why would God allow them to go through that failure. Where God specifically says goal. And they fail not what's not twice. They have to go against them three times before they finally succeed in. I have come to my last point in my last point is this. In the midst of failure when there is no explanation could you still trust that God is good. Could you still trust that God has the whole world in his hands could you trust that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called to his purpose. Do you believe God's promise when it says that he wants to give you life and life more abundantly. In the midst of failure trial and death. I want you to think about the words of this song is invite my good friend and us up. What blessings come through failure. What if in those times. God is really teaching you the lessons. He wants you to learn. Thank you. Vanessa. Thank you. Jad. What if those failures are blessings in disguise. It was because of our failure that God sent us a savior. Just to recap the things that we've learned today. I believe that if we fail a test. God will bring us to that same trial. Secondly God allows failure to build our character through struggling through difficulties. I also find their failure subjective Will made it what we made defined as failure. God may define a success. Something I learned through this experience is some lessons will only be learned through the hard knocks of failure. And probably one of the greatest most encouraging thoughts. Sometimes God allows failure. In the small things. So we don't fail the big. In the last lesson I hope that we took away from this is in the midst of failure. When we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we don't know or have an explanation. That we would still trust in God that we would know that he is good that he is loved. In that he is going to do all that he can to save us into His kingdom. Even if it means bringing us through an array of trials in this world. And many of you this morning. You want to accept that God is good. And that he has your best interests in mind when raise your hand and how many of you know this might be a little bit harder. You will not only praise God in the good times. But in the midst of that trial. In that failure. That you will exultant. The people will see God's character personified through you. Through that dark experience of failure and if you want to praise God in the bad times as well. Praise God let's pray. Father in heaven we think you for the lessons we can learn. And we thank you so much that through the Bible in the spirit of prophecy. We have a lens that can go back in time and extract these precious lessons. It's so easy to find a cause in effect to find reason. And explanation in the Old Testament and when things have been done. But all of us in this room are going to experience a degree of failure of trial in the future may we draw near to you May We praise you in those difficult times is what I ask this all in the name of Jesus promised in this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.