When Feelings of Failure Settle In

When Feelings of Failure Settle In

Feelings of Failure

All of us have felt it at some point in our lives. The sinking feeling that happens when the feeling of failure settles in. Then looking down at what you made, whether a situation or a piece of art knowing that you’ve failed. Sometimes it comes from other people. Other times you just know. I’ve heard some people say they aren’t artistic, and maybe they aren’t. However, I believe God gives us the need to create. Create relationships, blogs, art, music, lyrics, cultures, food. If we were made in the image of God our creator, we were made to create.  It seems where creativity is, failure follows. Of course, when we do things for the first time, failure is common. But what does God say about failure?

It’s easy to get discouraged by our weakness and so often feelings of failure get wrapped up into our identity. However, God doesn’t see it that way. We are more than the sum of our works or what we create. He defines us. Not our failure, our sin, our goodness. God does. In Ephesians 1:7 it says “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”. Here we see, God sees us through the lens of Jesus’s righteousness. No matter how much we fail. Our failure does not change who we are or how God sees us. 

True Failure

Failure is a term we throw around a lot. We pour ourselves into what we create. When we sin, feelings of failure come quick. However, it’s not a true failure. True failure is giving up. For example, a boxer in the ring, if they do not get back up, is when they lose. It doesn’t matter how many times they fail to block a punch or how many rounds they go. What matters is not staying down and getting back up. Satan is really good at telling us about our own failures and wrongdoings. But if we don’t quit, we win. If we continue to create, whatever it is, we are not failures. We can take our failure and use it. Learn from it. But we don’t get to do that if Satan has us wrapped up in shame of our shortcomings and failure.

What Would Happen if We Didn’t Get Back Up from Failure? 

So what would happen if we let our feelings of failure become a defining moment? If we were to get stuck in our shame, we wouldn’t get to experience God’s redemption and beauty in our lives. But our failures give God a chance to show up. Non-flawed people don’t need Jesus. Likewise, people would not get to experience the unique part of God that we bring to the table, the creativity that God gave us, the specific way that we can love people.

Sometimes we get stuck in our shame and failure and it makes us shut ourselves off to people. We know that God never fails (Joshua 21:45). So we can’t stay down. We can’t stay defeated. We have to run to him. Repent. Let him make all things beautiful in our lives. God never fails.

Take a moment to sit and ask the Holy Spirit where you have let feelings of failure become part of your identity. He wants to restore where you, others, and the enemy there are feelings of failure. 

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Say “Yes”: Abram’s Covenant With God

Say “Yes”: Abram’s Covenant With God

Abram Said “Yes”

Abram’s covenant with God is a great example of what it means to say “yes” to Him. This is part two of our five part series. In the last blog, we talked about practically what it means to live a life with God today. In this blog, we will look at the life of Abram as a biblical model to take us deeper into the concept of saying “yes” to God. Please use your bible to read along, primarily in Genesis chapters 15-16.

The Backstory

Before we really dive into the significance of the covenant, it’s important to have context to the plot of the Bible so far. Even though the Bible is made up of 66 individual books, they are composed together to make one whole story. It begins at the very beginning of life itself, the creation of earth and humanity. Then, it progresses to the fall of humanity, which is where humans got separated from God because of sin. The state of humanity just spiralled downward from there, becoming more and more wicked. That’s when God decided to almost completely wipe out life on earth and start over.

God chose a man named Noah and his family to partner with Him in rebuilding the population of the earth. God told Noah to build a giant boat called an ark. Noah filled the ark with his wife, his sons and their wives, and a male and female of every kind of animal. Then God made it rain for 40 days, which wiped out all of the remaining life on earth. When the flood subsided, the ark was able to reach land. Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives, and the animals began to repopulate the earth. Sadly, humans continued to sin by attempting to work their way to heaven. God made a promise to Noah that He would never destroy humanity like that again. So, He scattered humans across the earth and gave them different languages. You can read all of this from Genesis chapters 1-11.

Who Is Abram?

In the story of the Bible, we are first introduced to a man called Abram at the end of Genesis chapter 11. The Lord chooses Abram and his family to be a part of restoring humanity to His original design. He does this by calling Abram out of his homeland, into a life journey with Him. When God calls Abram, He promises to bless Abram with a family so big that it will be a great nation. By chapter 15, Abram is about 80 years old, has no sons, and has been through quite a lot. So when the Lord promises, yet again, to make Abram “a great nation,” he starts to question it. He tells the Lord that basically at this rate he will die with no children and his inheritance will have to go to his servant. God hears Abram’s heart and decides to make an official covenant with him.

What Is A Covenant?

In the Old Testament, covenants held more weight than what we might think of when we imagine a promise. It wasn’t merely giving someone your word. There was action involved. Here’s an idea of what it could look like.. Typically, it would be a “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours,” scenario between two or more parties. It was like a partnership! Then, they would come to an agreement on the conditions. If one of the parties fail to keep their word, they can be killed by the other. So.. it was like a really intense partnership! This is where it gets a little weird.. They would kill an animal, usually a cow, and cut it in half from head to toe. Then, they would lay each half down separate from each other. Joining hands and declaring the conditions of the covenant, the parties would walk between the carcass in a figure eight. This act would bind their promises in a formal way. The idea is that upon failure, the fate of the animals would be their fate also. Weird, right?

Abram’s Covenant With God

The actual commitments of the covenant God made with Abram were that God would give him as many offspring as the stars in the sky, as long as Abram would trust Him. That’s all Abram had to do! So Abram agreed and prepared the animals for the covenant. The sun went down, and Abram fell into a deep sleep. He awoke to a smoking pot and a flaming torch passing between the animal carcasses. So in essence, Abram did not actually participate in sealing the deal he made with the Lord..

The beauty of this is in the fact that God is always faithful. It is against His very nature to be anything but. So naturally, God will always fulfill His vows. However, by passing between the animals on Abram’s behalf, He took on the responsibility of Abram’s vows as well. This means that even if he fails the Lord will remain steadfast for the both of them, no matter what. God knows that Abram will fail, which is why the promise is not contingent on his faithfulness, but on His faithfulness. We can see that it was necessary in the very next chapter, chapter 16. Already we can see that Abram and his wife Sarai began to distrust God. As a result, they plan and execute how to get God’s promise on their own. Still, God accommodates to the situation and sets them back on course. This is the first of many readjustments! From there the Bible is simply the story of the completion of God’s promise, as He brings humanity back to His intended purpose.

What Does It Mean For Us?

God has chosen to be in partnership with us, and to walk with us through all the trial and failure. It may not be the easiest or quickest solution. However we can be confident in who He is. We can trust that what He does is out of love, justice, and mercy. Despite all of His efforts, He left us with the choice. Whether we use it to choose Him, or not. That’s the beauty of the God that we serve. It’s just one of the things that make Him like no other. We get to step into that covenant knowing that when we say “yes” to Him, He says “yes” to us.

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I Say “Yes” to God

I Say “Yes” to God

“I say ‘Yes’ to God,” has become sort of a catchphrase for YWAM Redding. If you have seen our worship videos on Instagram or Facebook, you may have heard it. But what does it mean? It seems pretty self-explanatory. It could simply be summed up to “just being obedient to God.” While that is true, that definition doesn’t accurately capture the depths of the promise you make to Him when you give Him your “yes.”

This is the first blog in a five-part series! In this page, we’ll deconstruct the meaning and impact of making a commitment. The next few blogs will walk through moments of faithfulness in the lives of biblical figures. Through their lives, we’ll be able to see characteristics of who God is and the results that come from loyalty to Him. The last blog of the series will be practical ways to say “yes” to God from wherever we may be in our walk with Him.

What You Say Matters!

Your “yes” to God is a promise.

An important part of making a promise is understanding what you are saying when you say it. When you make a verbal commitment to something, you’re saying, “I will do everything it takes to do this well.” Which means you are giving it priority in your life. When you say “yes” to God, He takes first place in your life and He is so worthy of it!

Step One

The first step to saying “yes” to God, is saying “yes”  to Jesus. In John 14:6-7 (NIV) it says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” If you believe in Jesus and have declared Him the Lord and Savior of your life, you have said “yes” to God. You have agreed to love Him and be loved by Him! You have accepted His plan for your life. By having accepted Jesus, you’ve also accepted the Spirit of God to live within you, to guide you. The first step is arguably the most important one, but the commitment isn’t complete without the other steps!

Say “Yes” to God and His Word

In order to say “yes” to God, you have to say “yes” to His Word. In Greek, there are 2 different words that can be basically translated to “word” in English: logos and rhema. However, there’s a slight inflection in the meaning of them. The logos Word of God is His constant, written word. The rhema Word of God is His spoken word. The two of them work together beautifully to give us a personal relationship with the God of the universe. 

Steps Two & Three

The second step to saying “yes” to God is to commit to follow God’s logos word. If you accept Jesus into your life, you also accept the Bible as holy and true. Therefore, you agree to read and obey the written Word of God. When you read the Bible, you open yourself up to revelation by the Holy Spirit. When you obey the Word of God, you open your life up to transformation! 

The third step to saying “yes” to God is to commit to follow God’s rhema word. God speaks. He speaks life into situations. He speaks resolution into conflict. His rhema Word never contradicts His logos Word. Everything that God says today will align with what the Bible says. When you listen and follow His voice, you know He is with you and you know He hears you. You get to have an individual and deepening relationship with Him as you get familiar with His voice. His rhema Word and logos Word are a powerful, powerful duo. 

Just Do It!

To say “yes” to God is to make a covenant with Him. It’s to give Him priority and to follow the plan He has for you. It’s to obey His Word with everything you have. This commitment is more than just something you say, it’s something you live out every day. The more you do it, the more you’ll fall in love with Him!

If you want to grow in your relationship with God, check out the schools we offer! Click the link below to learn more. 

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