Tag Archives: Spiritual transformation

Calling From God that Goes Beyond the Natural Life


Couter Cultural Christianity“11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” (Galatians 2:11:17).

The Call of God and the Authenticity of the Gospel

Politics, nepotism, and social pressure from cultural religious networks of people are nothing new to the religious world. In fact, the context of this scripture suggest that these forces were at work placing pressure upon the early servant of the faith and many times severely hindered the work they were trying to accomplish. Look at the words of Paul as he spoke of his past life and the way he was entrenched in a religious system of belonging, controls, and social pressure creating conformity to the ideas of men, which equaled religious humanism in the 1st century. Unfortunately, those immersed in these cultural representations could not see the problems associated with these socio-cultural entrenchments because of  their ingroup affiliation that validated their life and existence. Thinking upon this morning, I am reminded of how much that churches have become social units,that are heavily influenced by traditions of the world and have moved away from a clear sense of calling from God, and have become social units that propagate cultural Christianity that is indigenous to a culture and not subjected to the scripture or submissive to God.

The Counter cultural Message

The apostle Paul presents a counter cultural message that asserts that its source is God alone. Therefore, the call of God is not a call to serve Him through contact with God and that contact with the nature of God will develop my understanding of the call and the direction it will take. Further, contact with God will assist me in gaining an understanding of what the call of God means for my life and how the call is to be measured out into definable actions. The call of God is an expression of His nature; the service, which results in my life, is best suited to me and is an expression of my nature that God has created in me and works through me. A deviation that occurred from the natural life was stated by the apostle Paul that was initiated by God—“When it pleased God . . . to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [the message purely and solemnly expressing Him alone] among the Gentiles”

The Call and the Developing Understanding

Two challenges speak very loudly as I read Paul’s statement about the way he received and understood the message. The word revelation is overused, misused, and misunderstood by many Christians to mean some private mystical and private word from God that others have not heard. That was the heretical teaching of 1st century Gnostics, the experience of paranoid schizophrenics, as well as, other cults and mental disorders. Therefore, this application leaves a a unreliable etiology to reliably understand what revelation points toward. It is abundantly clear that the Bible is the only revelation of God that we will ever need and is the full disclosure of the supreme revelation, Jesus Christ. When Paul says that he received his message by revelation, it was not until his eyes were opened by Jesus and he could see past the temple, the Torah, the Targums, the Mishnah, and the Rabbinical writings that were a part of his enculturation. Then, as he met Jesus, his eyes were opened past His acculturation. God took the things that he had been taught in the Old Testament writings and revealed Jesus that he had not seen before because he was blinded by everything that he was absorbed in within his culture believing he was doing right and everything within him that attributed meaning, as he understood it from a human cultural perspective. Then Jesus cleared it up for him in a process of three years. As I read this, I am really aware that the word of God is of no private interpretation and God has a process of revealing His message, but it comes when we become aware of Him and separate ourselves to let His word speak to us that we might understand the revelation of God. A firm conclusion reveals that Jesus is the revelation that made the message clear as Paul’s previous knowledge was clarified by an encounter with Christ, God’s supreme revelation

Separation to Service

Service does not result from belonging to a ingroup, it results from belonging to Jesus and being devoted to Him alone. The message determines the mission and service is the overflow, which pours from a life filled with love and devotion for the Savior who calls us to a radical mission. Service is my gift of obedience in the relationship and reflections my identification with the nature of God that has been revealed to me. Service becomes a natural part of my life when I have separated myself from cultural Christianity to radical Christianity that elevates the Gospel to its proper place of priority in our life and the church. Service occurs when God breaks my will and brings me into the proper relationship with Him in order that I can understand His call, and then serve Him from a pure motivation of absolute love. Service to God is the deliberate love-gift of a nature that has heard the call of God. Service is an expression of my nature, and God’s call is an expression of His nature that invites me to participate in His work. Therefore, when I accept His nature and hear His call with an understanding ear, it is at that moment that the words that God has spoken in His word are revealed clearly.

Your words oh Lord separate me from the normal way of the world to the higher ways of God that result in sacrificial service that does not come from men or through men, but are a result of an encounter with the nature of God on the road of life. Lord, Your Word comes so quietly and so pervasively to convict my heart —Lord protect me, insulate me, and isolate me from the trappings of cultural Christianity and religious conformity that has a death grip on the church. Break the bonds in Jesus name through the power of the gospel.

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God’s Call and My Response


Isaiah 1_8“1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.11Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 13But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof” (Isaiah 1:1-13).

This morning as I revisited the message of Isaiah and reflected upon the message of Isaiah where a vivid portrayal of the personal experience described by Isaiah of being lifted into the presence of God and viewing the manifestation of God’s majestic wonder. Isaiah’s account of the ascent into the presence of the holy angels declaring the glory of God describes an experience that moves beyond any finite ability to understand the Holy place of Heaven and descriptions of God in His glory in human terms and presents an  apocalyptic of the presence of God unknown to man. In the midst of the shaking of the of the foundation of the posts of the Holy of Holies in the atmosphere of worship and the smoke of the incense from the altar God there came a profound conviction, a personal cleansing, and a prophetic call that Isaiah deeply felt and expressed a response to by accepting God’s offer.

Application of the Vision

While pondering the events described and reflecting upon the events from the personal experience of Isaiah, I am impressed that at the heart of the matter that when God lifts people into His presence, the first response should be recognition of their sinful state and conviction  about their part in the condition of the world followed by heartfelt repentance in humility in the presence of the glory and majesty of God. I am challenged to consider that when God calls for a response, it really, it doesn’t really make any difference what anyone else does, thinks or says, I am only responsible for how I respond to God’s invitation to respond to His call. IT is the only thing that is important.

The Voice of God and Response to the Call

Many times while thinking about the calling of God, I have overlooked the central and most compelling component relating to the call of God resting in the attributes and character of Him who calls to service. Every day there are many things calling and demanding my full attention, but none more important than the call of God to transformation and service and to follow Jesus and live the gospel. Obviously, some of these things calling for my attention will be answered out of necessity and others will not even be heard because they are insignificant to the purpose of God. However, the call of God is revealing of the nature and desire of the person whose call to service from the heart, to a king, in a kingdom, to a way of living that transcends human reason or ability. Therefore, I recognize that I can only understand the call when I share the divine nature in measure with the one who issues the summons to service. As a result, I must not be deceived for the call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not mine or for my glory, but His alone. God providentially has woven the tapestry of His calling into my life so  I can understand and discern the nature of His call and learn to distinguish His voice from other things calling. It is the revealing of God’s voice through His word about definable concerns; therefore, it is meaningless to seek others opinions about God’s specific call. The way I process of the call of God and the direction that it takes me should be kept exclusively between He and I.

As such, I am reminded that the call of God is not a reflection of my nature or my personal desires and my temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God clearly. Nevertheless, when God brings me into the right relationship with Himself, I will be in the same condition as Isaiah on the mount of the Lord. Isaiah, who was so attuned to God because of the great crisis he had just endured and the call of God penetrated his soul with the burden to go and be a witness of the glory of God. Therefore, I am convicted and convinced that the great majority do not hear anything but echo of personal desires for existence. When we do not attune the heart to the voice of God calling, it is because we have not been brought to the place or conviction, repentance, and willingness to hear the call of God and be to be profoundly changed by the burden to go for Him.

“Lord, allow me into your presence that I may feel the convicting power of your glory. Let me be attuned to Your voice”—that is my prayer. I am willing beyond all my expression to be obedient to go as I hear you speak. May I I be your willing and obedient servant in a time of great crisis to bring truth to a dying nation and a crippled people who have lost their way.”

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Expectation Hope and Boldness in the Gospel


Gospel-CenteredLife“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).

Today I have the earnest reminder about how hard it is for me to stay on task when my life is encompassed with immeasurable odds that drain my emotional and cognitive resources below a breaking point. It is hard to be at my best and make good decisions about eternal matters when I feel the pressure of the vice tightening every day. A normal reaction is a reaction that usually is not the best response; therefore, my earnest hope and expectation is that is the things that we must go through in life that in all that I do that I will bring glory to God.

Keeping Expectations High

Paul’s aspiration was, “my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed” I am reminded today about how I will feel very much ashamed if I do not yield to Jesus the areas of my life that He requires me to yield to Him. It is as if Paul were saying, “My solitary purpose in life is to be fully committed give the very best for His glory.” Keeping expectations high and arriving at that level of resolute commitment is a matter of exercising the will, not of reasoning my way through a set of facts. Therefore, keeping expectations high requires an absolute and complete surrender of the will to the purpose of Christ. Staying on target means that today that I have to take myself out of the center of the equation and put Christ and His purpose at the center of every decision that I make.

Thinking about my needs and myself too much feeds the fleshly need to I have to be satisfied and happy at every moment and distracts my thoughts away from the primary goal of placing my thoughts, expectation, and hope on Christ in every decision. The danger within self-absorbed distraction is that I can pretend to care for others and neglect my care for Christ by ignoring the central purpose of Christ in the gospel. Keeping expectations high means that the message and purpose of the gospel must be at the center of everything that I do today. The purpose of Christ is to win the lost and disciple the believer for His glory alone.

Keeping expectations high means that grace cannot be selective; it must be available to all and must not simply result in compassion, but a challenge to life change. As I ponder God’s call seriously and what it will cost others —and if I do not obey the call of Jesus, I will lower the expectations of the gospel for myself and the people’s lives that I touch; then, we will not know what obedience to the gospel means.

Keeping expectations, high means that I must shut out every other thought and keep myself before God in the gospel of Christ alone. Therefore, I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.

An Unquenchable Thirst for His Holiness

Paul says, “Whether it means life or death —it makes no difference!” Paul states that he was determined that no obstacle would deter him from doing exactly what God wanted him to complete.

However, something that I gleaned from this passage reveals that before I choose to be obedient to the gospel and follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in my life. This happens when I tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler attempts to gain my attention. He brings me to the place where He asks me to surrender to a radical faith in Jesus Christ that put’s the Gospel first above all else and then I begin to debate with Him. So, God, providentially produces a crisis that puts me in a place where I must decide for or against a life centered in the gospel of Christ.

That moment becomes a greatest crossroads in life and if you have found yourself at a crisis of faith and belief, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably that Christ might be glorified.
Father, in the scope of your sovereign power and with the touch of your grace, breathe Your precious Holy Spirit upon every person who reads these words today.—how I long to be face to face with You today. Forgive my inability to pay attention when I should, awaken me oh Lord to what is possible through the power of the gospel of Christ.

The Driving force of the Christian Life: The Gospel of Christ


The GospelHave you left everything behind for the Gospel?

“One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).

One of the particular attributes of a gospel-centered Christian is that they give of themselves sacrificially to others and find purpose in surrender by taking up our cross—mission in life by following Jesus.

This scripture is a reply to the statement of Peter by saying that the purpose surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29).

In contrast, surrender was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves wanted from following Jesus. There is a sound warning to be cautious about surrender motivated by personal gain or prestige. Some people believe sincerely “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin because I want to be made holy” to draw attention to themselves. The power of the gospel delivers us from sin and makes us holy because we are right with God.

The result of being right with God is a gospel-centered life, but surrender resulting from prideful thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for recognition or personal gain. Unfortunately, people are self-centered that they only go to God only for something that benefits them and not for God Himself. It is like saying, “I want to be the center piece of you grace and power to demonstrate how I am so Christian above others.

I want to enhance myself, my position, and my purpose, However, I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done for me.’” Gaining heaven and being delivered from sin and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal preference for Jesus Christ Alone.

Where does the gospel of Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our earthly relationships? Many of us will abandon Him and offer an excuse—“Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me, and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57–62). Then ” Jesus says, “you ‘cannot be My disciple’” (see Luke 14:26–33).

Indeed real surrender to the gospel will move us far beyond natural surrender to Christ. If we abdicate our human desires, God will surrender Himself to embrace our lives with His Grace. Be cautious of easy believism and stopping anywhere short of total surrender to the gospel of God. Unfortunately, many Christians only a conceptual knowledge of what surrender to the Gospel Means and have never personally experienced transformation through the gospel that brings total surrender.

O Lord, cause my intellect to glow with Your Holy Spirit’s teaching

What God Wants More Than Anything Else


Woman at WellIf somebody asked you to describe the Christian life in a few words, what would you say? If somebody asked you, “What does God want from us more than anything else?” What would you say? If you said moral devotion, if you said ethical behavior, if you said religious ritual you’d be wrong. The essence of the Christian life describes a relationship characterized by love and affection expressed in a covenant relationship of eternal commitment

The Bible says indicates that, as God’s people we are the object of God’s unfailing love. God made you to love you. He made you to be an object of His love. He wants to have a relationship with you. That means that you are created for having a relationship and, as a result, the most important thing you can know in life is that God loves you. Moreover, the most important thing that you can do in life is to love Him back.

Jesus said it like this in Matthew 22 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Nothing is more important. If you do this, you will fulfill your primary purpose in life. If you learn to love God and you let God love you, your life has fulfilled its meaning, its purpose. If you miss this part of your life, your life is a failure. Because you have missed the very reason that God created you and put you on earth – to love and be loved.

There is a concept in the Bible that describes expressing love to God —“worship”. We think of worship as a ritual or routine or something you do in a church. No. Worship simply means expressing love to God. Any time you are expressing love to God, you are worshiping whether you are by yourself, in a small group, in a large crowd or wherever. When you express love to God in any way, you are worshiping.

You may have noticed that sometimes, for some people it is hard to say, “I love you.” Sometimes we feel it; we just do not know how to get it out, how to say it. Therefore, we do not know how to express our love to our children, to our wives/husbands, to our friends and neighbors, the people we work with or even to God. It is somewhat difficult. Why does that happen? Why is it sometimes hard to say, “I love you”?

Life Experience: You may have been raised in a very non-expressive home where there was love or maybe there was not and you just did not talk about it that much. You did not frequently say, “I love you.”

Maybe you were taught to stuff your emotions, push them down, and hide your feelings. Maybe you have been hurt in the past and you say, “I don’t want to get hurt again so I’m not going to tell anybody I love them.” Alternatively, maybe you are resentful of hurts in your past so you say, “I don’t want to love God. There are things in my life I don’t like.” However, maybe you just do not know how to express your love to God.

How Cultural Trends and Communication Influences Perspective


I only Railroad tracks have one opinion so it is the only one I can give.  I know that sounds narrow minded and resistant, but isn’t that really what it boils down to with everyone?  However, the problem with opinion is that many time opinions are irrelevant in an atmosphere of constantly changing culture in the 21st century.  As a result, one of the present challenges in a modern world is to keep up with the rapid pace of ideas that are speedily changing culture right before our eyes. Therefore,  on the high speed information network, this challenge presents a constant need to adapt to changing constructs,  and to understand  the limited ability for most people to comprehend the amount of information passing before our eyes.

What Happened to the Measuring Stick?

In a world  where a narrow perspective is swiftly vanishing, some people may question whether any generation has possessed a  point of view that is constant, timeless, and irrefutable through all of time, generations, and cultures to provide a standard that information can be measured against to synthesize information contained in the the present communication of ideas.  Obviously, while there are differences about the answer, the ideas that many people hold as timeless principles of truth seem to be quickly vanishing in the milieu of ideas and being edited within the context of modern culture.  A strong point to consider about information and communication in a time that is technology bound is that the happenings of culture today are affecting, not only what subjects are relevant to the times, but the methods of communication in the 21st century.

Perspective Shape Ideals and Ideals Constantly Change

In regard to the present evolution of ideas and communication, Ed Stetzer (2011) cited Adlai Stevenson who stated, ‘”That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.”  He did not have a particularly high view of the next generation, but he does challenge us to consider the radical changes in thinking that are sometimes visibly witnessed between generations” (Stetzer).   The apparent point to be understood is that every generation has a perspective that shapes contemporary beliefs— what is deemed important—values that form a perspective about level of importance of certain ideas.  In addition, it is not just the message of communication and values that is important, it is the fact that methods of communicating from the past are vanishing and being replaced on the super highway of technology.  Consequently, what is apparent from an understanding cultural transformation in the 21st century is that a present cultural perspective is shaping point of view and validating the principle that both the vehicle and the message in every generation creates a shift in the way and method that people in a given generation arrive at a conclusion that they believe to be trues in a vehicle that  creates a mind-set.

What Shapes Perspective?

Just as people from different cultures, races, and people groups think differently about important issues, generations are cultural subgroups of the macrocosm of human existence.  It is evident that each  thinks differently about matters of  believed to be of importance.  However, remember that successive generations hold a different point of view that is emerging and is relevant to the time.  Therefore while people may disagree, different perspectives are worth taking time to consider. It is said that one thing common to every generation is how the collective perspective is internalized. Ed Stetzer  (2011)  cited George Orwell’s perspective, which states that “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it” (Stetzer).  Someone from a past generation may ask: Are current generations really more intelligent or are earlier generations wiser?  Obviously, the answer depends on perspective – what it looks like from where you are standing.

What perspectives are influencing the way life is understood in the 21st century?

The perspective, the unique way life is understood today, is a sociological and cultural phenomenon. For those who want to deny reality and continue to ignore what is shaping the point of view of the emergent culture of the 21st century only creates frustration and disconnection, which does not offer any substantive answers or a reasonable framework to understand reasoning behind current ideals.

Creating Effective Communication

Ideologues and philosophers offer suggestion about what is occurring, but unfortunately understanding ideals and philosophy alone will not provide efficacy that creates effective communication. Ideals, are generally moral ideas or mores’ based on certain group identification that create expectations about how people should think or act. Philosophical assumptions are the ways that beliefs are rationalized into reason.  Thus forming, the informational content of perspective. Values or axiology has more to do with what is deeply felt, importance, passion, and motivation that affect beliefs. For example, the felt importance of something believed to be true.  When tension are deposited in life experience that raise a conflict with existing values, it results in conflicting passions and ideals about what is important; thereby creating a  disconnect between perceptions and experienced reality.

Then people must decide who/what determines the way values that are espoused or felt are to be rationalized when the experience does not match a current belief or value.   As a point of reference something that needs to be understood is how  perception is connected to reality for people in the 21st century.  There is no doubt that  the constant flow of information  redefines  importance of things deemed to be logical in one generation as information is disseminated and absorbed into successive generations.  Therefore, there is a constant tension that exists in the message and mode of communication resulting in aberrations about how people process what is  felt about information, which places great emphasis upon personal or group perspective.

Obviously, anyone can give an opinion about what is wrong with something.  However, knowing what is wrong is not the critical issue in disseminating information into efficacious results.  One perspective held by some people s to write people off who look different, think different, and have a differing perspective.  Another point of view is to embrace the culture and learn the language, thinking, and mindset of the 21st century to more effectively address the issues of our time.  Seeing someone else’s perspective is not whitewashing culture or moralizing behaviors, it is asking why do people do that in the way they do and understanding if people desire is to connect, communicate, and build meaningful relationships, there remains a need to understand more than what we know.

With the increasing isolation of people and the desire to have relationships, there is a tremendous opportunity to step outside a solitary opinion and understand people as part of a culture that thinks different than we do.  The opportunity demonstrates a tremendous potential, if we will take time to understand how perception formation is impacting beliefs and governs the content and methods of communication in the 21st century.

Point of View Perspective Beliefs God Theology Church Traditions Statistics Surveys Theory Demographics Communication Context Relationships Unchurched Christian Universalism Philosophy Vision Mission Outcome.

Learning from Failure


Change your stinking thinkingNot Yet Another Failure

The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament tells us that the way we think determines who we are: “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he. ..” (Prov. 23:7, KJV). Thus, when we focus on failure, we actually risk MAKING ourselves fail. If you spend much time worrying about failure, you, too, increase your chances of taking a fall.

Redefine failure as teaching points toward genius

Many people are deathly afraid of failure. They see it as their worst enemy. But successful people recognize that failures treated properly–can lead to great success.

Elbert Hubbard said, “Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping-stones of genius.” Failures can be great learning experiences. As a leader, I believe I’ve had more failures than most people. But I’ve also had many successes. Why? Because , “trying” is more important than “not failing”. And when I do make mistakes, I use them as learning experiences, asking, “What did I do wrong, and how can I do it better next time?” Don’t try to hide your mistakes. Admit them, and then learn and grow from them. Since you will have failures, why not treat them as the friends they can be?

See failure as a momentary setback in the process of growth

Failure sometimes affects people so negatively that it stops them permanently. Rather than treating failure as the momentary occurrence that it is, they build a permanent monument to it that blocks their forward progress. I remember once working with an organization that hadn’t grown for a number of years. When I outlined what they could do to grow and expand, they said , “We can’t try those things! We might fail!” This fear of future failure had already caused them to fail in the present. Don’t let momentary mistakes keep you from long-term growth

Learn how to turn setbacks into success

Abraham Lincoln said “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” And he was a man who knew defeat. He was born into poverty. The only education he received he acquired himself. He failed in business, and he were defeated many times for public office. With each setback, Lincoln continued to persevere and learn from his mistakes. Rather than being a failure at success, he experienced successful failures. The experiences didn’t stop him; they taught him.

See failure as an opportunity to redefine your outcome goals

The Apostle Paul is a wonderful example of someone who faced failure positively. Rather than seeing adversity as defeat, he welcomed it as a fresh opportunity.

When shipwrecked on Malta, he ministered to the people. When arrested, he saw it as a chance to preach the Gospel. As he said, “My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news” (Phil. 1:12, CEV).

When our attitudes are right, failure actually helps and improves us. It gives us a chance to see where we fall short, to change, and to learn more about ourselves and how we can grow to our greatest potential. The bottom line is that “failing to try” is the greatest failure anyone can experience. If we don’t make the attempt, we cannot succeed. As leaders, we must make the attempt and become the best we can at whatever God is calling us to do. And we will only do that if we put failure in the proper perspective. Failure doesn’t have to be final.