Friday, January 23, 2009

My Failure

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I am very disappointed in myself. I recently spent time with someone I am very close with, someone who I know to be an ardent non-believer, and I kept my mouth shut about my reinvigorated faith and my journey this year to become closer to God.

I must now confess that I find it easy to talk about God and the blessings he has showered on my life when I’m talking with a likeminded audience, and find it difficult when I fear I will be waved off or outright rejected by someone I count among my friends. It is a fear I know I must overcome for what good am I accomplishing trying earnestly to live the Word if the only people I share my faith with are also faithful?

I’m reminded now of the story of the shephard leaving his flock to go find the one lost sheep. I’m ashamed; I turned a blind eye to a lost one and left him in the wilderness.

And as I sat down with the Daily Devotional Bible to write today’s post two passages in Psalms greeted me: “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth” (26:2-3), and “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (27:10).

These passages told me three very important things: It only took me 22 days to have my first failure at what was really a very simple test, there will indeed be more tests, and in order to walk continually in the truth I must be prepared and willing to lose so much more than the company of an old friend.

But also as I sit here writing this I realize I can overcome my failure by refusing the next time to shy aware from sharing my faith with non-believers (including this particular friend), and, I further realize, perhaps loosing a friend because of my beliefs will not be the result after all. Why would I think that, me of little faith? I’ve been praying to God to use me, to let me be a tool in His work. Why did I doubt his power? Would he not use me to help find lost sheep? Isn’t that what I’ve invited Him into my life to do? Do I not trust Him?

Of course I trust Him, and of course I believe in His power. Yet I chose to dishonor Him by remaining silent about Him.

I could use a swift kick in the butt.

I also read this in the introduction to Judges in my Bible for Blockheads: “Our success or failure depends on our willingness to faithfully follow the Lord (pg. 84).” I notice it doesn’t say to follow the Lord when it is easy to do so – it says we must follow faithfully to succeed. That can only mean to follow Him all of the time, in easy times as well as in difficult times.

I fear God may not use me if I continue to fail at the very task I asked Him to place before me; therefore, I resolve, I won’t fail at it again. I will not turn away from living in a God pleasing way; I will not pass up the next opportunity to talk with someone, anyone, about God, His love, His mercy, His grace, and His wonderful blessings.

My friends, even though I have already asked you many times to pray for me, I am now asking you yet again. Please pray that I might gain strength and confidence and overcome my fear of talking to someone who doesn’t already know God. Please pray that I pass my next test.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for my family, too. Now go out and hug somebody!


Ginny said...

One of the many things that I find awe inspiring about God is that He is so very patient. We stumble; He forgives us; He teaches us; He strengthens us; He opens doors for us to serve Him. And then, in one way or another...we stumble again. He tirelessly forgives us again, and He teaches us to more fully rely on Him. Amazing.

Nana said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. You are just starting to grow in the Lord. You will have lots more opportunities and you will be faithful. God always gives us lots of chances to share Him. Your friend will see the change in you and will most likely be very happy to hear about it.