I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of high school students at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event. I had no clue what to say to those students or what they needed to hear, but as I was preparing for the message I was going to give them, I realized God was speaking to me just as much as I was about to speak to them.
I’ve been asked to speak at events like these more frequently and every time I gather the courage to say yes, I can’t help but feel completely inadequate in what I’m preaching. But I guess that’s the point. If people had to be perfect or an expert on what they were preaching, the only person who could do those teachings, or give those lessons would be Jesus himself.
The reason I didn’t want to speak to students or children about Jesus or anything for that matter was because I was afraid I was going to fail. Which is exactly what I wanted to talk to them about. Failing. But not staying away from failure, but chasing it.
What if the quickest way to succeed was to fail?
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? We all have something we’d love to do, or someone we’d love to become, but the fear of failing is holding us back. Failure is not an option; it is a necessity. When you stop taking risks you will stop growing and you will stop learning. The fear of taking risks is the exact thing that leads to failure.
Whatever you’re afraid to do, God is encouraging you to be courageous. The person God wants you to be is a person that is not afraid of anything, regardless of the outcome of your dreams.
The path to your greatest potential is often through the path of your greatest fear.
So today start your plan to become who you intend to be tomorrow. I once read in a devotional that, “the bridge between who you are and who you want to become is simply courage.”
We can learn from two important people in the bible. The first is Peter, now Peter is one of the bibles biggest failures. Not only did he chop off some guy’s ear, but he also denies Jesus 3 times, the third time cursing the very son of God. After all of this God does not reject Peter and his failures, but Peter is one of the first 12 that Jesus appears too. Peter becomes a leader of the disciples and preaches the first evangelical message after which more than 3,000 people get saved. (Acts 2:14-36). Who was better prepared to teach on repentance and forgiveness?
Another notable name in the bible when talking about failure and fear is Joshua. Joshua was about to replace Moses to lead his people. Joshua was clearly scared out of his mind. So much so that God had to tell Joshua not once, but three times in Deuteronomy to “Be strong and be courageous.” (Deuteronomy 31). By the time we read through the first nine verses of the first chapter, Joshua had to hear the same encouragement six times. What has God been saying to you over and over that you have yet to act on?
As humans, we make excuses to make our fear logical. Our excuses serve as reasons why we delay our destiny. But God’s word is a reason to overcome it. God gives us individual gifts and then we spend years thinking of excuses for why we think he’s wrong and question the very thing we are created to do. You believe God is calling you to do something but you’re too scared you don’t have what it takes. Do not bury your talents but invest them in the very places that he calls you.
God is so adamant about us being strong and courageous that he made it a command. It’s not something we view in the list of 10 commandments but God says in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God is so invested in us overcoming our fears and insecurities that not only does He COMMAND it, but He is present through it. You’re going to mess up, and that’s why you need Him. A pastor I had the pleasure of listening too once said in his message “God is an insurance policy to our success.”
Remeber that a failure is an event, not a person. “Something had to happen to me before something could happen through me.”
So today pray that you fail, fail big and fail often. And pray that your success is for the glory of God, because your failure will take you further than your success ever will.
Verses for Encouragement and Failure: