“He….encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” Acts 11:23
Failure Is An Event – Not A Person!
VI. During times of failure we must not forget the purpose of our call
Note: Times of failure are gentle reminders to reexamine our call, renew our commitment, stop having pity parties and remember that failure is not a person – it is an event! From time to time it is very important for us to truly examine our hearts and be reminded of our call to ministry. In each of the lives of these three men who sensed failure and wanted to quit, “The Word of the Lord came…..” This is why it is so important for us to stay in the Word of God. God’s instruction to Moses was “Go teach….” – to Elijah, “Go touch….” and to Jonah, “Go tell…” This is about as simple as it can be explained. In fact, if I am not mistaken, this is basically, in reverse order, the Great Commission!
1. MOSES: Numbers 11:16 – “And the Lord said unto Moses, gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our teaching and training of others to help in ministry!
2. ELIJAH: I kings 19:15-16 – “And the Lord said unto him (Elijah), Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus….and anoint…Elisha….to be prophet in thy room.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our touching lives for the glory of God! Pouring yourself into the lives of a few will cure you of pouting because of the many!
3. JONAH: Jonah 3:1-2 – “And the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I Mid thee.” Feelings of failure should never interfere with our telling people about Jesus!
God doesn’t want His star players on the bench because of feelings of failure. Failure is an event…we must look at it that way. We must keep recommitting ourselves to the call of God in our lives because there is just too much telling, touching, and teaching that still needs to be done!
CONCLUSION – Helpful Hints For Desperate Times
Note: Feelings of failure have been around for as long as sin but the Scriptures have been around forever (Psalm 119:89). Richard Halverson once said, “It is not failing that is the problem; it is what one does after he has failed!” Following are some of the Scriptures that have helped me in such desperate times. Maybe they will help you.
1. His prayer support: And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you are returned to Me strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32.
2. His provision: “Many are the afflictions (failures) of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
3. His presence: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God….” Isaiah 43:2-3
4. His power: “Now unto Him that is ABLE to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” Jude 24-25 Amen? Amen!
Failure is an event – not a person! Failure is not sweet, but it need not be bitter!
Maynard H. Belt
Mich. Assoc. of Regular Baptist Churches
Volume 50, Number 9, October – 2004 Issue of the Baptist Testimony
From Where I Stand
Maynard H. Belt
MARBC State Representative
"The Hand of God and the Arm of Flesh!"
Well, dear friends, once again we are just around the corner from our 62nd Annual MARBC Conference which will be hosted this year, October 25-26, by Pastor Tom Townsend and the dear folks at the First Baptist Church in Rochester. You will enjoy their lovely facilities, as together, we worship and learn from the Lord. For nearly 30 years I have been attending these conferences, even before I was a part of the MARBC Fellowship, and I have never been disappointed yet.
This year’s theme is "The Hand of God and the Arm of Flesh." Four timely messages from the book of Judges for God’s people living in mundane times will be delivered by Dr. Colin Smith, professor and conference speaker from the Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. Many of you will remember his effective ministry to us two years ago and that is why we have asked him to return to be with us once again. He will also be teaching an informative Super Seminar on "Our Baptist Heritage," a subject that is so important for us to re-visit from time to time. Dr. Smith believes that today we have an opportunity to re-emphasize our Baptist position from a biblical stance, not simply from history or tradition. We are also delighted to have with us another good friend of our Fellowship, Dr. James Grier, former Vice-President/Dean of Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (now Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) where he also served as Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Theology. Dr. Grier will be enlightening us in a Super Seminar on The Redemptive Movement, a theologically incorrect doctrine that has been permeating many churches. We have also asked Dr. Smith and Dr. Grier to enter into a debate on the marriage/divorce issue that affects nearly all of us in local church ministry.
There are also some other conference highlights of which you need to be aware. A very vital part of our MARBC conference is special sessions for our ladies. We thank God for their faithfulness in carrying out so many significant ministries in our churches, often behind the scenes. We thank God also for our pastor’s wives, who so steadfastly "stand by their men" assisting them in so many ways in their calling for God. With this in mind, there will be two great workshops just for ladies led by Mrs. Colleen McMaster and Mrs. Priscilla Wynalda, representing the Ladies’ Ministries of West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont. These dear gals have been with us before so all of you ladies know that you are in for a very special treat. I never know what Colleen and Priscilla may be up to, but I always know that it will be good!
This year Mrs. Anne Harduk, pastor’s wife from First Baptist Church in Alto, has volunteered to conduct children’s meetings during four of our general sessions for boys and girls ages 4-6th grade. We appreciate her vital interest in this area for those who may be bringing young children to the conference. In the packet of information sent to our churches there was a form for parents to fill out and return to Anne so that she will know how many to plan for. Also, she may need some help and if you might be interested please contact her at (616) 868-0577 or e-mail Mrs. Anne Harduk. We do have a nursery provided for the main sessions but this will be a "first" so we will see how it goes.
If your church has not yet received the conference mailing containing directions to the church, motel listings and pre-registration form, please contact us immediately. This year’s registration ($25/single; $35/couple) may be sent directly to our office. Pre-registration will facilitate matters at the check-in desk. Once again this year free books will be available to all of those registering.
Pastors, we are counting on you to encourage your people to join us for this great time of fellowship among our MARBC family. Ann and I are looking forward once again to seeing you at the conference as we begin our 15th year of ministry with the MARBC. We rejoice in the blessings of His goodness (Isa. 61:10) and the opportunity to be challenged to trust in the "hand of God" rather then the "arm of flesh!" Lord willing, see you in Rochester October 25-26! -MHB
The Lord calls men to shepherd His flock. But nowhere in Scripture does God call His people a herd. They are a flock, and the leaders are called shepherds. There is one distinctive thing about sheep: they cannot be driven. You can drive a herd of cattle….but you cannot drive sheep. They must be led!