Thursday, February 4, 2016

When Failure Strikes - Martin Wiles

Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. Joshua 7:11 NLT

He sat on the bed and listened as tears meandered down her cheeks. 

Her tone had been somewhat gruff of late. She blamed it on her tiredness due to a heart issue. Now she admitted she was frustrated with him. He questioned what he’d done. So he sat beside her on the bed and listened. She reminisced about how they once did everything together. They enjoyed merely being in each other’s company. But life had changed…he had changed. The busyness of life, his career, and his hobbies had taken him away. Not literally, but in spirit. When he was with her, she needed him to BE with her. He got the message. He had failed.  

Joshua and the nation of Israel were also failing. Moses was dead. Joshua had led the people across the Jordan River and to their first victory in the Promised Land: Jericho. From here, they attacked the small town of Ai but were soundly defeated. The reason? Sin. A man named Achan had taken items from Jericho God had said must be destroyed.  

Failure is common and inevitable. I’ve not recorded mine—and attempt not to dwell on them, but had I, I’m sure they’d fill a book. I’m living within an imperfect body accompanied by an defective mind. A combination that guarantees failure. Unintentional failures are to be expected, but Achan’s was intentional. God understands my unintentional failures, and he expects me to take action to guard against and rectify my intentional failures. 

Achan tried to cover up his failure (sin). Only when confronted did he admit his failure. Yet his admission addresses the line of action I should take when I fail God. I must admit I’ve failed before I can receive help. Then I must acknowledge the moral wrongness of my actions. If I don’t see the sin, I’m only sorry I got caught. Next I must accept the consequences. Rarely does God remove these. Consequences are His way of reminding me not to tread in that particular area again. Finally, I must chart a new path of obedience by strolling down the paths of righteousness. 

What line of action do you take when failure strikes?

Prayer: Father, when we fail You, move us to repent quickly and return to the path of obedience. 


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