Love Richer from Failure
I would have to say that probably most of my relationship with Abba and His Son and the Spirit has really been more out of my failures than out of my successes. Things that I remember most, things that have touched me the most haven't been my successes. They've been my failures. And that couldn't be if I was approaching the whole thing from a "discipline" standpoint in the external sense. Some scenarios: If my son fell down skiing and broke his leg, he would have more memories from me carrying him down the hill with his broken leg or arm and being by his bed while he was mending. He would have more memories from that failure than if we did a bunch of positive things and everything was going great.
If you go back through your life and if you look at it in a fleshly way, people that have shown you love and forgiveness and compassion and sensitivity at times when things weren't going well, those things tend to stick with you more than the things that just go well. It's the same way with our relationship with the Father. He draws us to Himself by seeing that apart from Him we can do nothing. That's not some threat that He makes. As we recognize our neediness, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." And the people that know God, that see God, that see His kingdom and experience His Kingdom are the blind that receive His healing touch. Those that can see don't need Him. It's the sinners that need Him. He said, “I didn't come for the righteous. You don’t need Me. I came for the people that need Me. I've come for the ones that have failed. I've come for the ones that haven't done very well with the disciplines. I've come for the ones of you that aren't so good with all this religious stuff. The religious stuff is for someone else. But the ones I bring to Myself are the ones that maybe don't do so well with all of that, but they love Me, and they want to sit in My lap and they want to work it out with Me. They want to find their peace, their shalom in Me.”
Seventy percent of my growth hasn't been from the successful disciplines, but from the mercy and the compassion and the perseverance that He has shown me when I haven't done so well, and thus the defeats become my greatest victories, because the only victory worth having is a deepened relationship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. That's the only victory really there is, and so my failures become my greatest victories, if I turn to Him. If I work it out with Him, it deepens my gratitude. "He who is forgiven much loves much." The world might say, "Failure, failure, failure," but for those of us that view Jesus as a person rather than an object to be obeyed and a lifestyle to be embraced, for those that view Him as a person, we follow Him wherever He goes. Not a "Christian lifestyle," but we follow Him wherever He goes. If that's really what Christianity is to follow Jesus wherever He goes, then I don't have to be afraid of failures. I don't have to be afraid of my shallowness, or my "dry times," or my sins. I don't have to be afraid of those things because He is a Person and He loves me and His perseverance, His kindness is what brings me to repentance. His perseverance and patience and love for me is what deepens my respect, my admiration, my loyalty to Him, and so my failures become my greatest successes, because my loyalty is greater and my love is richer and more steadfast. That's a world apart from religion, isn't it? I don't mean in the bad sense --the religion of things to believe and things to do. That's not ever what Christianity was meant to be --things to believe and things to do. It was meant to be to follow the Person of Jesus just exactly like you would if He were physically here in the flesh. What is a Christian? A Christian is one that follows Him wherever He goes and responds to Him. The sheep know the Shepherd's voice. He knows them by name. He knows my name. I'm following Him. It's not this "lifestyle." It's devotion to a person and to follow Him wherever He goes and to hear His voice and to love to hear Him say our name.