Failure is one of the devils largest tools in hindering our progress with our God appointed purpose. Failure has to be experienced if you want to be successful. Many valuable lessons are learned from failure. Experience and failure are important for everyone to experience. The problem with failure is the reluctance to act in the future after a failing experience.
Walt Disney failed and then made from his mistakes a legacy. Many of the main bible characters were failures, yet God specifically chose them and called them for a great purpose just like he calls you. Mistakes are part of our compass. Mistakes are the building blocks in our foundation. This is the beginning of what is to come, but its contingent upon us not allowing the devil to hold us back.
Genesis 25 outlines the story of Jacob and Esau. Rebekah their mother noticed very early there was an intense turmoil inside her. She prayed and God revealed to her she was having twins. After they were born, Isaac and Rebekah had their favorites. Isaac was fond of Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob. Jacob was an inside kid doing more domestic activities. Essau was more of an outside kid enjoying hunting and so forth.
One day Essau was hungry and Jacob swindled him for the birth rights over a pot of stew. This rivalry went on for many years. During the swindling Rebekah and Jacob put together goat skins and Esau’s clothing to appear before his dad and swindle him. It worked. Esau wanted to Kill Jacob so Jacob and his mom swindled Isaac once again to get Isaac to send Jacob off.
Jacob went. God appeared to Jacob and he said in Genesis 28 if God takes care of him on this journey, this would be the God he worships and provides a tithe to. Jacob went to find his mother’s brother Leban, He found Leban’s sheep herders and they explained how they were having trouble with the well. Jacob saw Rachel, Leban’s daughter walking up. She was quite attractive and he wanted to impress her so he rolled the stone away.
After getting reacquainted with Leban he asked for Rachel and advised he would work for 7 years to be married to her. Jacob worked hard 7 years and finally asked for her. There was a big celebration and Jacob was tricked. He slept with Leah, Rachel’s older sister and had sex with her. Jacob was mad and confronted Laban who said we can’t marry the older for the younger but work 7 more years and I will give you Rachel. Jacob agreed to this. Interesting how we reap what we sew. Finally Jacob had Rachel, but the disastrous family feuds from Jacob sleeping with two wives and their maidservants with everyone trying to make him happy laced with jealousy proved to be a mess.
Now Laban offers to pay Jacob. So they have the spotted and striped animal’s discussion. Jacob bred the sturdy for his benefit and the week were for Laban. Yet another scandal. Laban’s sons realized the scandal and called him out. Jacob goes on blaming Laban for the scandals and tells the women they all need to move with him. Jacob then went back to the land of Canaan after turning the wives against their father.
Leban chased after and accused him of more. Finally they worked out their differences and entered into a covenant with one another in chapter 31. Leban blessed his grandchildren and left. In Chapter 32 Jacob then sends for Esau to make things right after decades of an ongoing feud. Jacob was scared and didn’t think Esau would handle the situation well. So Jacob divided his animals and hid some.
acob entered into repentance and asked God to save him. Then he put together a present for his brother Esau to include a large portion of his possessions. They made peace. Chapter 34 shows the heart change of Jacob.
He had a daughter who was very attractive named Dinah. Dinah ended up getting raped. Jacob, though upset didn’t act immediately. Jacob wouldn’t allow his daughter to be married to the rapist Schechm unless he was circumcised. Schechm and the whole community decided to get circumcised so they could marry into the wealth of Jacob. Just after while they were all sore, Jacobs’s sons Simeon and Levi went in and called all the men in the community to pay them back for the rape.
This situation is evidence of a swindler learning the grace of God over a lifetime. He overcame mistakes. He changed. God changed him. Do we cover it like Jacob? Blame others? Turn people against each other to hide your sin? Do you keep running? Deliverance only comes when we face the mistake:
James 16-18 (NIV): “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
There is no blessing in running from sin,. Proverbs 28:13 (MSG) “You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.” Our redemption is in the mistake. Analyze it. Learn from it, grow from it. And forget it.
Write down the following, put this on the refrigerator. Remember these scriptures are for you. You can overcome a mistake and God’s promises are for you.
Psalm 103 (MSG)6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
Your sins are forgiven. You can’t let mistakes hold you back from the direction God is sending you. Learn from them. You are forgiven. Your compass has been set, follow it. Follow it in victory because you have been redeemed.
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
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