Today @ The Gathering – April 5th, 2009

Icon_small1Today at The Gathering I finished our present series, “The Power To Prevail,” with the last installment, “Turning Failure Into Fertilizer.”

We talked about the three main reasons we fail.

1.    Sometimes we fail because of circumstances. The stock market goes south, a market shifts, we get our realtors license the day before the bottom falls out.

2.    Sometimes we fail because of competencies.  We don’t have the skill set to succeed at what we’re trying.  It doesn’t mean we can’t get smarter and it doesn’t mean we won’t succeed in the future, but right now we need to get smarter.

3.    Sometimes we fail because of character.  I’ve found over the years this by far accounts for the greatest percentage of failure.

The point is, you’re not a failure because you’ve failed; you’re a failure if you avoid changing what needs to be changed so you won’t repeat the same old behavior.  It’s been said that the definition of lunacy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  If you’re failing and it’s related to character, it means you need to change.  Losers resist change in the following three ways:

1.    They avoid the bad news.  They don’t get on the scales.  They don’t measure anything.  They don’t balance their checkbook.  They dread reading the mail.  They just simply think avoiding it will make it go away.

2.    They deflect personal responsibility by placing the blame on others. “It’s my mother, my father, my background, my environment, the government.”

3.    They would rather complain than change. Somehow we get stuck in the same old responses: shaming, blaming, and criticizing.  It’s always someone else, not us.

One of the most important things to realize if you are a child of God, if you’re related to God through Jesus Christ, if you live with a converted heart, something more than just joining a church or assuming a certain set of facts; I’m talking about a real heartfelt passionate connection to Christ, to God; if that’s true for you then you are a child of God, you’ve been adopted, you’re a son or a daughter.  So God relates to you as a father would relate to a son or daughter.  So when He sees you going down the wrong path, He sends failure into your life for one of four reasons.

1.    To stop your progress.

2.    To starve your pride. The Scriptures tell us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

3.    To turn you around. That’s the definition of repent: to change your mind enough to turn around and go in a different direction.

4.    To win your heart.

The amazing thing is God cares when we hurt.  He created the church as a place where we can gather around our common pain, but be held together by our common passion.  We come together needing God’s love and healing.  We stay together because we have received it and we want to extend it to the rest of the world.

The Gathering is an exceptional place, made up of exceptional people.  But let’s face it; we’re messy.  That’s why we must specialize in God-simple.  God the Father loves His children and He will discipline us out of love to bring us back into alignment for our own good. That’s the lesson to be learned.

FightBack_IconNext weekend is Easter. It’s an opportunity to invite someone to come and be a part of the experience.  We’ll begin a brand new series called “Fight Back!” The truth of the matter is, you can’t always turn the other cheek.  This would be a great time to invite someone to experience The Gathering, and what following Jesus Christ could mean in their lives.