"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what He has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord."  Psalm 40:2-3....."Called To Serve - May We Never Fail."  Declaration of a Bible College's graduating class of 1984


My vacation goes on here in Colorado Springs, and I continue to go to places that have had very special meaning in my life.  One of the foremost of these is the campus of the Bible College I attended and graduated from in 1984.  While walking about the campus and remembering the many joys experienced there, I came upon a small, shaded area with two benches and a stone pillar with a metal plate containing the above declaration.  I was a member of that class, and I had forgotten what that plate said.  As I read those words, I was affected by a powerful sense of His Presence.  Leaning over that stone pillar, that place became my altar.

Called To Serve - May We Never Fail.  It's a wonderful desire.  No one wants to fail.  Others, ourselves, God.  But we do.  We have.  Often.  The key for us is, what do we do with our failures?  And, who is that defines the failure? And then, does our failure define us? Many of our failures are real, but others come only from the expectations, most of them not realistic, that we place upon ourselves.  Then, and most painful of all, are the ones assigned us by others.  The Church is not a safe haven from such.  The Church may be more severe in this than even the world.  The result is to find ourselves in the place David writes of in Psalm 40; the mire and pit of despair.  Many never leave that place.  We live in a fallen world, and failure is very much a part of it, even in the lives of the redeemed in Christ.  We fail in our marriages, as parents, in ministry, and yes, in how we serve, follow, and love Him.  The miry clay of failure will seek to suck us ever deeper into its prison.  Here's the beauty.  All others may seek to keep us there, He will not.  If we'll but look up, we will see His face shining down upon us, and His hand reaching down to lift us.  Yes, we need to take our failures to Him, confess them, repent of them, and then be cleansed and freed of all the effects of them. David failed in every way.  The Father didn't leave him in his failure.  Neither will He leave you, us.

I said I made that stone pillar an altar.  I did so because as I read that inscription, I thought upon all the times I had failed others, myself, and above all, Him.  All the times I had been trapped in the pit, and how in every one of those places He had come.  He had taken my hand.  He had lifted me out.  He had set me once again on His solid ground in Christ, and yes, with a new song in my heart. Were others astounded?  Only eternity will reveal that, but I can tell you that every time I was astounded anew over His mercy, love, and healing.  Through every failure, He not only lifted me up, but took me more deeply into Himself.  And this my friends is what true success is.  Failure does not define us, He does.  And as long as He does, it will never be what we say, or others say, or the enemy himself says of us that means anything. It's only His definition that counts.  And He is able to redeem even the darkest, deepest failure.  

None of that class of 1984 was able to live up to that inscription, at least as we defined it.  But none of us who looked to Him would ever be left there.  Into our failures, He comes.  Out of our failures He brings us.  He makes steady our unsteady feet as He walks along beside us.  There will be more pits, but if we'll look up to Him, He'll lift us out of them all.  Do you need a new song today?  He has it for you.  Look up, and live. Be free of the pit.

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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