This is part of the Not About Me November series. Check out the rest of the series here.
What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you think of the word failure? My guess is that the word gift didn't come to mind. But in reality failure is a gift.
God so highly values wisdom that He allows really excellent things to fail for lack of it. Here's what I mean. Say you're organizing a bible study or missions trip. You put together the logistics of when, where and what, but don't use wisdom in recruiting so nobody ends up going. God will allow you to experience failure of not seeing anyone come for the purpose of driving you to get wisdom. (Just to be clear, this is not always true, there are occasions when God does the miraculous, but by and large wants us to function by wisdom, not passivity.)
Proverbs 2-5 practically shouts at us how important getting wisdom is. But getting wisdom takes a whole ton of effort, it takes intense pursuit. Getting wisdom is putting effort into learning the "practical how to's". Knowledge is knowing information, wisdom is knowing how to use the information you have. But there is no wisdom apart from the Lord, so we need to walk with Him, partnering with Him, letting Him lead us as we seek and learn. This looks like prayer, Lord, how would I ______? Lord, what is the next step? as you are moving forward, actively seeking answers.
Because it glorifies God. God is wise and when we are successful through the use of wisdom we show the world what He like. And because His wisdom is a delight and there is so much joy in discovering, and that discovery leads to "Wow God!" moments, the fear of the Lord, being in awe of Him. It's like that moment you learn something new, say biology, and your mind is blown about how amazingly intricate God is, that is the fear of the Lord which comes from wisdom, what He passionately delights in.
Try, yes, try my dear friend. By the strength and empowerment of the Holy Spirit give your best effort and know that failure is a gift from God to show where we need wisdom. When you fail, recognize it as an area that needs more wisdom and pursue the answers, pursue wisdom. Pursue it as though you were searching for gold. We live in a culture that values getting things easy. And if we are not careful that translates into the Christian culture but said in much more spiritual terms like, "if it's God's will..." God wants us to try and learn and grow and put in the effort to excel. He wants Christians to be leading the way in so many areas like the arts, science, government, education and so on. But it takes excellence. It takes trying and practicing and learning. After all we have the mind of Christ and He wants to give us the gift of wisdom if we would just put the effort in to pursue it.
"If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." Eccl. 10:10 So where you are unskilled don't let it hinder what God has called you to do, but rather get wisdom.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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