It’s OK to fail.
Failing is a part of life. Everyone makes mistakes, does things they regret, and does horrible horrible things. Everyone.
Some people are better at hiding it than others.
What I want to give you today is permission to fail, and the ability to learn and move on past the failure.
Let’s start with Moses, you know, guy who parted waters, said ‘let my people go,’ wandered around in a desert for 40 years with an entire city of people? Yeah, that guy.
We don’t often think of Moses as a failure, but he was an utter complete failure. He started out his journey to freeing the people of Israel with one of the worst possible cases of failure, murder. Exodus 2:11-15
Moses was an outsider to his own people. He had grown up in Egyptian society, but still felt a strong connection to the people of Israel. In Exodus 2:11-15 we see that Moses not only felt that the Egyptians were treating his people terribly, he also felt that he could do something to ease the suffering of the Israelites because of his position. Moses’ way was to kill the Egyptian that was beating this Hebrew. Unfortunately, the Israelites didn’t feel that Moses was a ruler or a judge and possibly even really one of them, because Moses had been raised by Egyptian royalty. Since murder wasn’t really looked as a good thing, Pharoah tried to have Moses killed, but Moses fled into a different country.
Talk about major failure.
Here’s a guy who feels serious injustice is happening and tries to do it on his own terms.
That’s when epic failure happens.
How many times do we feel something we’re supposed to do or try and when we do it fails on an epic scale?
I mean, hopefully it’s not murdering people, but then again, you might be in that position.
You might even feel like Moses did, after running from Egypt.
See, later on, God approaches Moses and tells him to go and tell Pharoah to let God’s people go, that God himself will deliver and rescue them from the Egyptians, Moses just needs to deliver the message. Exodus 3:1-21
Moses protests and gives all kinds of excuses, (Exodus 4:1-17) ‘they won’t believe me’, ‘I don’t speak well’, and then asks God to send someone else. Each time God gives an answer and provision for Moses, including allowing him to have someone else speak for him.
It is possible that the thing that was really bugging Moses, was the people who were after him for his previous sin. The murder of the Egyptian.
It isn’t until after Moses agrees to go that God says in Exodus 4:19, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.”
If we allow our failures, or even the possibility of failing to paralyze us, we create a stagnation in faith for God to work. It wasn’t Moses who parted the waters, who delivered the Israelites from Egypt, who fed them in the wilderness, God did all that. Moses just delivered messages. Sometimes, we think we have to do all the impossible work, when all we need to do is be obedient to what God is telling us to do.
God is willing to work with us despite our mistakes, failures and shortcomings. The Bible is filled with people who failed miserably, but God was able to work around and past those things. Moses, David, Peter, Thomas, Paul, Elijah, etc. Read the gospels for people who failed and then continued to fail even after following Jesus, even after His resurrection. Failure does not exclude us from fulfilling a life that we’re meant to live.
Moses didn’t have to convince the Hebrews, God did.
Moses didn’t have to convince Pharoah, God did.
Moses just delivered the messages.
All of the difficult stuff wasn’t on Moses to do, he just had to show up and be faithful and let God do the hard work.
What is it that God is telling us to do?
Is it to submit applications to places that are hiring?
Is it to be faithful in plugging away at a project you’ve been working on?
Is it just showing up and being willing to lend a hand?
Is it saying hello to that person you see everyday?
What is it that God is nudging you to do?
Reading: Exodus (the entire book) and Acts