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14. What Happens When I Fail?

Michael Dant
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There are many and varied ways to fail in the Christian life. What will failure look like and what happens when we fail?


Michael Dant

Embedded Computer Science Teacher at Southern Adventist University. 


  • October 29, 2016
    11:30 AM
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Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer and on February 15th 1902 Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to 15 life sentences for killing 17 people and he didn't just kill them he did unspeakable things to them Jeffrey Dahmer is a failure by any standard the lowest of the low demon possessed sin heart and devoid of any kind of love and my friends he is exactly what you and I would be without the Holy Spirit you realize there but for the grace of God there go I is so true to you and I would be as much or worse of failures as Jeffrey Dahmer if it wasn't for the Holy Spirit working on our lives every good and perfect gift the Bible says is from above coming down from the father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting set up shadows everything good comes from God Did you realize that by nature you are failures sorry about that sorry to share the bad news with you by nature we are all failures that's what the Bible teaches there is no distinction for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Paul tells us all of us like sheep have gone astray each of us has turned to his own way for we know the law is spiritual but I am of flesh sold into bondage to thin the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God for does not subject itself to the law of God for does not even able to do so my friend the Bible teaches clearly that by nature you and I are sinners still yours by nature if it were were not for the Holy Spirit we would be Jeffery Dahmer or worse but here's the good news the good news is that recognizing that we are failures is very liberating because God knows that we are failures and he loves this anyway. Right God knows that we are failures even better than we do and he loves us anyway God knows that we are failures and it is the perfect William wisdom he knows how to overcome our failures God knows and He loves us anyway the Bible says God has shut up all in disobedience so that he may show mercy to all God demonstrates His own love toward us in there while we were yet sinners Christ died for us God knows were failures and he died for us anyway most Christians believe that God exist and most Christians believe that God holds the universe in his hands but sometimes it is hard to believe that that same God loves us loves me even me that God would even deign to lift a finger to help me who am I too insignificant too simple to hopeless for God to care about you know the devil doesn't care how much we believe in God and how much we believe in his power as long as we don't believe that he wants to use that power for us that he loves us is willing to help us as long as we don't have faith in God's desire his longing to bless us the devil doesn't care how much we believe in God or how much faith we have in him when we are converted God does not remove our old meter immediately we have a long ways to go a long climb ahead of us. But Peter tells us that God can make us a partaker of the divine nature is not a wonderful thought we can become partakers of the divine nature another words God is going to take away a little bit of our nature and give us a little bit of his nature and he's going to keep doing that until we have divine natures and not sinful ones that's the the process of sanctification So during that process we're going to fall we're going to fail what happens when we fail. To important question what happens to God when I fail and what happens to me when I fail to very important questions we have to understand what happens to God when I fail and what happens to me when I fail what are the ramifications of failing to help us understand this let's look at 3 possible scenarios then compass all failures in this world every failure in any one of us will fall into one of these 3 categories the 1st one is Unser renders sin we sin because one surrendered to God The 2nd one is were surrendered to God but we commit in UN tensional sin and the 3rd one is were surrendered to God and we can make an intentional sin every failure known to man falls into one of those 3 categories so let's look at those 3 categories very quickly. Scenario number one UN surrender sin you know the UN surrender person should not be surprised when they fail when they sin they shouldn't be without the power of the Holy Spirit how can we possibly have victory over send right the Bible says submit to God resist the devil and the devil will flee from you but without the submission Do they really expect the devil to flee from them well I did most my life didn't work but yeah they should be surprised that they're going to fail it it's going to happen as expected when I was in Jerusalem a few years back they were putting in a new tram system right there by the old city and it was a beautiful new system they had beautiful cars it was quiet it was all the tricity driven there was no gasoline engines of the that kind of thing it was a beautiful system but where did that tram get its power from. If it didn't have an engine of its own where to get the power it was kind of hilly there around Jerusalem where did it get its power well it has this little arm on the top it's a very slender arm that reaches up and it connects with the power lines right Jesus says I am the vine you are the branches he who abides in me and I in Him He bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing my friends when we are disconnected even by the smallest gap from the power line above us we're going to be powerless we're going to sit there we're not going make any headway. We're going to be powerless and we should we should expect that unless we are totally surrendered to Jesus and connected fully with him we're not going to have power we're going to fail that should be no surprise so that's scenario one let's look at scenario 2 were surrendered truly surrender to Jesus Holy surrender to him but we commit an unintentional sin in other words we make a mistake or we have a shortcoming or a character flaw unintentional failure my friend is common even among holy surrendered Christians we saw that and in the how does a Christian sin presentation so still alive and fighting it will still try to give us impulses of pride in of selfishness and of jealousy and of anger and all kinds of bad things that we don't want we don't choose it we don't want it but it's going to happen as long as we don't dwell on it and accept it and choose it it's still an intentional sin so get used to it we're going to make mistakes we're going to step on glass not intentionally but we're going to do it 3rd scenario surrendered intentional sin This one's a problem area this is us this is the problem because here we are saying that we know God's way but we're rejecting him at least in some little area of our life and this separates us from God. Isaiah says that your sins separate you from him that's a bad thing there's no good there's no good to that we separate ourselves from the source of power we're going to fail even worse it's going to be a landslide of failure as long as we're separated from God. When we are submitted wholly to Christ Holy surrender to him it's intentional failure is abnormal it's not something we should expect intentional failure means that we are making the choice to walk away turn our backs on God submit therefore to God resist the devil and he will see from you that's a promise we know that when we are submitted wholly to God the devil will slip from us that's a great promise therefore since Christ has suffered in the flesh arm yourselves also with the same purpose because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin what a wonderful promise we should memorize these by yielding up our will your will to Christ you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers so my friends when you are surrendered to Jesus you should expect victory and if you're not getting the victory over intentional sins then you have to be concerned when the soul surrenders of self to Christ a new power takes possession of the new heart a changes wrought which man can never accomplish for himself it is a supernatural work bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The Soul that is yielded to Christ becomes his own fortress a love that statement which he holds in revolt and world and he intends that no authority shall be known in it but his own she goes on a soul those kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assault of Satan but unless we do you'll ourselves to come to the control of Christ we shall be dominated by the wicked one so these are the 3 scenarios we're in surrendered if we fail no surprise there were surrendered and we fail unintentionally that's normal or we are surrendered and we walk away from that surrender and we make an intentional bad choice those are the 3 possible scenarios in the Christian life and let me ask you a question in which one of these scenarios does God stop loving us which one. God doesn't stop loving us God's love isn't based on some we we deserve or we do or don't do God loves us regardless of the failure scenario there is no possible failure scenario that can get God to stop loving us that's good news have you ever heard someone say God can't love me i'm just too bad I'm too sinful I've done too many bad things I'm a hopeless case God can't love me have you ever said that to yourself maybe even subconsciously when you say that there reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of love God's love you're saying that God's love is conditional and that's not God's love. The Bible says that God is love not that he is loving he says God is love Have you tried taking replacing the word love in 1st Corinthians 13 with the word God God is patient God is kind and not jealous God does not brag and is not arrogant does not act and becomingly God does not seek his own is not provoked God does not take into account the wrong suffered God does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth God bears all things believes all things God hopes all things God endures all things God never fails his new wonderful. God is love what an incredible concept a concept that Unite have a hard time understanding because for us love is conditional We love because someone else loves us we love because the way people treat us we have this conditional kind of love but that's not the way God's work C.S. Lewis puts it this way We must begin at the real beginning with love as the divine energy this primal love is gift love in God There is no hunger that needs to be filled only plenty in this plenty of sniffs that desires to give God just wants to give God just wants to love God just wants you unconditionally a group of translators Bible translators were visiting an African tribe and they were studying this word love because they were trying to translate the Bible and so they realized that this African tribe most of their verbs ended with either I or you and depending on which ending it had it would mean something different and they noticed that the the U. form was missing from the language it wasn't used at all. So they decided they were going to try to figure out why this was they took all the elders of the African try to got them all together into a room and they started questioning them they said Is it possible to divide do divvy your wife the 1st one there and they said yes it is that means that you have love somebody before but not now so you've loved your wife one time but you don't love her any more then they asked Is it possible to divide your wife and they said yes that's love if in other words as long as she takes care me long she gets the water and provide the food and soft as long as she's a good wife I love her that's conditional love so then they asked the 3rd question can you do your wife and the whole room broke into laughter and he said no of course not let me just lover no matter what doesn't happen there's no words for that in our language and so Same with you and I we really don't have this word unconditional love in our language we have a hard time understanding it it's not a human thing it's a God thing God does not stop loving us regardless of our failure condition So again these are the 3 failure scenarios let me ask you another question we know that God doesn't stop loving us in any one of these these scenarios let me ask another question in which one of these 3 scenarios do we stop deserving God's goodness and which one of these scenarios do we start deserving because the goodness. Have you ever heard someone say I don't deserve to be happy I don't deserve to be saved I don't deserve to be blessed I'm so bad Have you ever said that to yourself even subconsciously my friends which one of these failure scenarios does deserving have anything to do with anything if we ask that question if we say God can't deserve me can't love me can't bless me because I don't deserve it we show a fundamental misunderstanding of the Christian life because it's not about deserving. Grace is unbearable which means undeserved blessings has nothing to do with our ability to deserve it you know the prodigal son and his brother had problems with this concept right before the Prodigal Son So hey Father give me the share of the state that falls to be Luke 1512 I deserve it I'm going to go I'm going to take that my money that I deserve or I'm going to go well that didn't work out real well for him after a while he was feeding pigs and he was longing to eat what they were eating and so he said you know what I'm go back to my father and I'm going to say Father I have sinned against heaven and your sight I'm no longer worthy to be called your son make me as one of your hired men this son had a misunderstanding of his father's love he thought that he no longer deserved to be loved what he didn't realize was that he never did his father didn't love him because he deserved it his father loved him because he was his son and that's how it is between you and I and God when the product of son came back to the Father and this young man gave his speech what did the father do did he say oh yeah you know you're right you really don't deserve to be my son the more sure. That what he did he nor the speech completely He didn't even answer it he threw a robe on him gave him a ring he's the son he's a son again your son has returned my son has returned from the dead he nor the holes I don't deserve thing because deserving had nothing to do with it. Well the part of the sun's brother had a problem with the serving too because remember what happened to him he came in he saw all this this party going on and he says hey that's not right I deserve to be treated better than that because I stayed here I deserve it I deserve better than my brother because I was faithful my friends deserving has nothing to do with it God doesn't love us God doesn't bless us because we deserve it so in none of these failure scenarios does deserving have anything to do with it I remember a time in my life after I had surrendered when I feel badly to him were wary of this in my application I feel badly and I remember saying to myself Man I messed up real bad I don't deserve God's goodness anymore I deserve not to be in heaven I remember saying that to myself and you know what struck me at that exact moment when I was thinking that those thoughts I was saying like when did you ever deserve it if you're saying that you don't deserve it right now what does that mean that means that at some point you fell you did deserve it when did that ever happen I never deserved God's grace never I never deserved salvation I never deserved any of the goodness of God. It's not about deserving So let's ask this question what happens to God when I fail now that we've looked at these 3 scenarios these 3 possible failure scenarios and we looked at God's love and deserving in the context of these 3 scenarios what happens to God when I fail well he does not stop loving us he does not consider us less deserving or more deserving based on our actions good news. Mark Pierce tells the story of one time when he overheard some of his children saying to his son you better obey daddy because if you don't he won't love you anymore. And Mark called his son over there and he says you know I asked you really not true and his son said but if I disobey you you're not going to love me more you. And his father said Yes I will you see when you obey me. I love you with the love that makes me feel good but when you disobey me I love you with the love that hurts me and that's what happens to God God still keeps loving us but he loves us with the love that hurts him that's all that happens to God God doesn't stop loving us he just loves us with a love that hurts him regardless of the failure scenario God loves us let ask you question do you think God loves Jeffrey Dahmer that serial killer who killed 17 people to think God loves him how is that possible that God could love him do God love Jeffrey Dahmer after his 1st murder of an innocent victim to God still love this terrible creature How about after the 2nd murder the 5th the 10th the 15th the 17th that God still loves him when Jeffrey Dahmer was in prison he was given a Bible and he read it and he was converted and he was baptized. Could Jeffrey Dahmer be in heaven that's just not right I don't know I don't know how that could possibly be right how can this guy who took all these innocent lives how can he be in heaven he doesn't deserve it how can God possibly love him my friends will dare Jeffrey Dahmer be in heaven if God has anything to say about it he will he will even Jeffrey Dahmer. My friends are 7 things that you and I should know about God One is he loves me more than I can possibly imagine 2 is that his patience with me is supernatural 3 that he is actively doing it using all his wisdom and power to bless me as much as he possibly can God is not leaving any stone unturned to bluff of the help of Number 4 God never gets tired God never gets discouraged he never throws up his hand this is love this person is hopeless I'm going to give up there's no wonderful news number 6 God does not make mistakes ever God knows what he's doing doesn't get tired doesn't give up doesn't make mistakes you gotta love. Number 7 God will succeed if I let him God will succeed even in you even in me God will succeed if we will only let him and he can help us let him so that better answers the question what happens to God when we fail he didn't stop loving us he just loves us with the love that hurts him what happens to me when I fail look at that question very quickly Well now this one this question the answer depends on the failure scenario those 3 scenarios this question the answer to it depends on which of those centers we fail on so let's look at those very quickly. If I fail scenario one when I'm under what happens to me when I feel well I will receive the temporal consequences of that failure either physical mental emotional social some kind of. Problem that I get from disobeying God discomforts it's natural consequence and I will be separated from Jesus. And I will need to repent and be reconnected or be connected to Jesus. That's what happens to me when I when I months rendered what happens to me when I fail and I am surrendered but I sprint but I make a mistake and I commit an unintentional sin well I might receive the temporal consequences of that sin the temp the physical mental a social emotional health I might receive that or God might protect me from it I don't know what will happen to me when I commit an unintentional sin I will mourn over it I will repent of it I will have a healthy self loathing for self in me in sin and I will repent and God will forgive me and my relationship with him will be affected God of righteousness Christ righteousness covers the unintentional sin we are told that there are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God yet they realize that their character is imperfect their life faulty and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit or 2 such I would say do not draw back in despair we so often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes but we are not to be discouraged even if we are overcome by the enemy we are not cast off not for saken and reject of God is not great news when we make a mistake as this as a fully surrendered Christian we should be praising God for the victories over the mistakes and shortcomings that he has given us because God does give us a lot of victory over our shortcomings in mistakes and character flaws we should remember those things and praise him for it not get discouraged because we're still flawed but praise God for the good things that he has been doing in us God is making wonderful progress God is pleased with us not because of what we are doing or what we are but because what he is doing in us. So that's an that's surrendered that's scenario 2 what happens is Scenario 3 when I am surrendered but I walk intentionally away from God this one affects us worse of all we will probably receive the physical emotional mental and social consequences of our failure and even worse we will be separated from Jesus. Separated from the one who is our strength who is who loves us will be separated from Jesus. The Bible says that if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they are again in tangled in them and are overcome the last state has become worse for them than the 1st so for those who are truly surrendered to Jesus and intentionally walk away their last condition is worse than the 1st and that's not a good thing that's really bad to separate ourselves from the Lord and do it intentionally The good news my friend says that God delights in accepting and bringing back and restoring prodigal children that's the good news even intentional since God is willing to forgive us if we confess he is willing to pick us up out of the mud he is willing to work in US powerfully to bless us and others but we must repent we have to recommit Our like to God and as soon as possible if we intentionally walk away from a surrendered life our life is going to be a downhill slope it's going to happen fast so as soon as possible repent and get back to that we committed surrendered experience Moses recognize that God forgive sin the Bible says pardon I pray the nuclear of this people cording to your greatness of your loving kindness just as you have also forgiven this people from Egypt until now Moses saw how much God had given Israel over and over and over again. Constant and flagrant failures falling in the mud and God can to you to forgive them they refused to listen and did not remember your wondrous deeds which you have performed among them so they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt but you are a god of forgiveness gracious and compassionate slow to anger and bounding your loving kindness and you did not for sake them even when they made for themselves the calf of molten metal and said This is your God who brought you up from Egypt and committed great blasphemies you in your great compassion did not for sake them in the wilderness the pillar of cloud did not leave them by day to guide them on their way nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go that's Nehemiah Chapter 9 is not a credible verse you my understood the forgiveness of God you look at the story visual it's there to encourage you when we fail it's there to encourage us it's wonderful that God refuses to treat us as we deserve and loves us unconditionally to see the loving patients of God you need merely look at the story of Jonah you know Jonah had a special connection with God He was a prophet right up got and one time God came to him in and he was asked to do something he didn't want to do and so he intentionally walked away from God as them to get as far away from God as possible you think sin separates us from God It sure does very quickly. Jonah didn't walk away from God He ran the stars he could get and yet And yet God did whatever it took to rescue Jonah and to get him back on track over and over and over again we've got a wonderful guy so my friends remember this. Where sin increased grace abound all the more don't forget that God loves us where sin increased grace about it all the more but I want to give you warning it's easy for us to take this wonderful message of God's love and this whole deserving and not deserving thing it's easy to say oh outbreak God loves me so I can go ahead and sin and repent and you know it's all thing. We have to be careful that we don't fall into that trap Don't forget that what Paul said What shall we say then are we to continue in sin so the grace may increase they'd never be may never be how shall we who died to sin still live in it talking about surrender how can you when you surrender like to cry still live in san Jesus came to give us victory that's the norm for the Christian life if we fail we must find out why why do we fail is it a and surrendered failure is it a surrendered but unintentional failure or is it as friended intentional fail failure and we need to plead with God to show us why we failed and how we can avoid it in the future we are failures by nature but God loves us anyway regardless of the failure scenario that's the summary of this whole presentation we are failures by nature God knows it God loves us anyway got to do everything he can to keep us from failing and to pick us out of the mud when we do fail if we come back to him then we commit our lives to Him So God wants to be our safety line when we fall is now wonderful Don't you want that rope attached to you when you fall that's all we can have when we are failing in the arms of Jesus when we are holy surrendered to Him He is our safety line we are failures by nature but that's good news God knows that he loves us and he can keep us from the really bad failure let's pray. Heavenly Father thank you for understanding our frailty and thank you so much Father that even though you do understand it you're still you still love us you're still patient with us you still work on tiring with us you still forgive us over and over and over again thank you so much Heavenly Father I pray that you'll keep us from failure especially intentional failure but you help us to grasp hold of you and never let you go we thank you for these blessings in Jesus' name amen 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 if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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