Not for Ladies - Just for Men
Dan Martin is a local church evangelist out of Lawrence, Kansas.
Many of you can relate to me and say, “Brother Martin, I’ve failed at some things this past week.” Haven’t we all? I was thinking about this recently. When I was little, baseball was my life. Everything about me was baseball. I can remember being in tee ball. They put that old ball on the tee. You just hit that ball off that tee and run the bases. You have a lot of fun in tee ball. Then the next year, your coach starts pitching to you. That gets a little scary, but the scariest part was the second half of the year when the kids from the other team started pitching to you.
I remember that very first year when we began to pitch in 10 year-old ball. The first time I faced a pitcher on my level, I’m standing there with my bat getting ready. There is some fear and trepidation the first time you are up. I’m standing there ready to hit that ball. Sure enough my worst fear came true. He pitched that ball and “Bing,” right off my helmet. It sounded like an explosion in the Grand Canyon. As a nine or ten year-old boy, that scared the fire out of me. I got shook up. My next time up to the plate, my mind kept going back to what happened the last time. Sure enough the ball comes right down the middle, but I couldn’t see it because I was over there. I had run out of the way, scared to death. But I loved the game and wanted to play. It was so bad in ten and eleven year-old ball, the coach finally said, “Why do you even come out?” I failed over and over and over, but refused to quit.
We lived out in the country and had an old grain silo behind the house. I still wanted to become good at baseball. I took an old ball out there and I’d throw that ball against the round grain silo. There was no telling which direction it would ricochet. It taught me how to be able to field the ball a little bit. Then I got me an old wooden bat and started picking up little pebbles. I’d throw them up in the air and try to hit those little pebbles, trying to make myself learn how to hit that ball and not be so shook up when I got in there. By the time I was in 14, 15 year-old ball, I was the best hitter on our team. My last year that I played, I was a junior. A pro scout watched me and another player during our district championship game. You say, “How in the world did you go from running from the ball to that?” Very simple. I didn’t quit. No matter how bad it was and no matter how bad the coach made it on top of that, I didn’t quit because I loved the game.
You may think that it is nothing to say that you’ve failed. We must come to the place in our life to be willing to admit that we’ve failed, but if we’re not careful, we’ll get to the point where we begin to make this statement to ourselves and to others, “I’m nothing but a failure.” That’s a very dangerous statement to make.
You may say, “What’s the difference?” There is a great difference between the two. Everybody fails, but nobody has to become a failure. Everybody goes through times in their life when they fail and struggle and find themselves starting over again and again. But if you are not careful, you start believing that you are a failure, listening to a lie of the devil. God never intended for you to entertain that thought in your mind as you go through this life. There is a huge difference between failing and being a failure.
The Bible says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalms 37:23-24) What a promise! Somebody that falls, God will uphold them with His hand. You just need to trust Him. “Brother Martin, we are talking about failing here.” Yes, but in our English Bible God did not use the word fail. The only time He used the word fail is way back in the Levitical books and Deuteronomy when He said that He would never fail us. He never used the word fail talking about us. The word ‘fall’ rendered here in the Hebrew is to fail. God says when you fall down, all you have to do is pick yourself back up again and trust Him and keep going.
Let me give you Webster’s definition for the word fail and the word failure, two very different things. This is the word fail. We can all relate to this. It says to FAIL is to ‘become deficient, to be insufficient, to cease to be abundant for supply.’ We’ve all been there. Or ‘to be entirely wanting or exhausted.’ We’ve been there. It says, ‘To decay or to decline.’ It even says this, ‘To miss or to miscarry, to fall short or to fail at success.’ We can all relate to that. We have all had situations where we have failed.
Let me give you the definition from the same dictionary for the word failure. It says FAILURE is this, ‘Deficiency of supply, total defect, omission or non-performance.’ When you quit, when there is no more supply, that’s when you become a failure. It goes on to say, ‘A breaking or becoming insolvent.’ There is a great difference between failing and becoming a failure. If you are not careful, you’ll fail at something in your life, just like everyone does at times, and then you let the devil get a hold of that thing, and you don’t submit yourself and humble yourself before the Lord the way that you should, and you go on down that road. You are going to mess your life up for who knows how long. God’s plan is not for you to concede to being a failure.
God doesn’t want you to live that way, friend. He is on your side. He’s for you. He wants you to make it. He doesn’t want you to ever get to that place that you believe you are a failure. To fail is one thing. To become a failure is something deeper. All men fail, but no one has to become a failure. The only way you become a failure is if you just flat out quit, or you won’t heed what God is trying to tell you. I don’t want to see you become a failure, friend. I see too much of that going on all around the country. Not only myself, but your preacher does not want you to become a failure. Above and beyond all that, God doesn’t want you to become a failure.
The devil is the administrator of failure. If you believethat you have become a failure, then you’ve been duped into listening to the lie of the devil. I don’t care what you’ve been through in your past. You are not a failure. If you don’t get anything else out of this message, you must get that. You don’t have to be a failure. You can be a success.
God isn’t as interested in your past as He is in the direction you are headed right now. Friend, whatever has happened in your past is past. Leave it there. No matter if you’ve failed at something, it doesn’t matter today if you’ll humble yourself before the Lord, He’ll pick you up and you can keep on going. You can make it in this life. The sad reality is that some of you have had someone make this comment to you in your life, “You ain’t never going to make it. You’re a failure. You will never accomplish anything or amount to anything in your life.” That’s tough stuff to have to hear. Even sadder is that, many times, it is those that should love us the most and encourage us in life. Moms and dads, don’t you ever look at your child and say that to them. Don’t ever look at your child and say, “Boy, you are a failure. You will never amount to anything.” You have no clue how devastating it is to your child to hear those words. It will haunt them every day of their lives.
When I was a little boy, four and five years of age, I still remember my daddy living an alcoholic’s life, coming in and beating my mom, and beating on us children. I remember holding a pillow over my head and just begging God to help us. I watched my daddy try to burn the house down on us one night. I watched him hold a gun to my mom’s head and threaten to blow her brains out, and take a knife and press it against her throat, threatening to cut her head off. When I was little, my daddy often looked at me with disdain and nothing I ever did was good enough. He was all the time making comments about basically the same thing. “You ain’t never going to amount nothing.” He had made that comment to me. “You ain’t never going to make anything out of your life. You are never going to do anything.” I spent all of my childhood trying my best to get my daddy to say, “I’m so proud of you, son.” By the time Dad came down to the end of his life, he was proud of me, but as a child I struggled and battled through that.
Thank God that He doesn’t look at us that way. Our Heavenly Father looks down on us with pride and expectation. He is on our side. He wants to keep telling us over and over again, “You can make it. You can do it. You may have failed, but that’s all right. You can make it.” He isn’t going to give up on you and me. He isn’t going to quit on us. He will keep on and keep on and keep on because He’s on our side.
Look with me at Philippians four. If there is ever somebody in the Bible that in his early life was a failure, it was this man, the Apostle Paul. He persecuted and killed Christians and persecuted the church and tried to destroy the church and tried the keep the church from moving forward, but God saved him. God said, “I’m going to make an example out of you.” That’s what He told him when he got saved. He went through many battles in his life, and we know the struggles and problems that he had to go through.
But here in Philippians 4, notice what He says beginning in verse 10, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” He said, “No matter where I go, no matter what I’m doing, I’m learning to be content with God.” He goes on to say in verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” He wrote this letter to the church at Philippi and said, “Listen, I’ve learned to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
He went on in verse 19 and said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I can’t imagine what the church at Philippi thought when they got that letter. Why? Because when they read that letter, they all remembered where he was. Do you know where he was when he wrote that letter? He was locked up in prison. “Sure, Paul, how can you tell us you can do all things when you are locked up in prison? How can you tell us that your God will supply all our needs?” It’s more than just what we can see physically. It’s a spiritual thing. The way Paul looked at it was, “Whatever I’ve got to go through in this life, you can call me what you want. Tell me I’m failing, I’m trusting the Lord. No matter where I’m at, no matter what is happening, I’m going to make it. You can make it, too. Because there is an Almighty God that is on your side.” That’s what he was trying to tell them.
As long as you are living in Christ, you can never become a failure. It can’t happen. In Mark 10:27, Jesus said, “...With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” No matter where you may be in your life, no matter what has happened in your past, your past may hinder you in some areas, but it does not render you a failure. You can be a success and you can make it for God’s glory.
“Brother Martin, you don’t understand. I feel like such a failure as a parent.” No, you are not. You may have been duped into listening to the lie of the devil. “But I’ve failed over and over.” You may have children that are backslidden and away from God, but listen, friend, your life isn’t over with yet. What does that mean? That means that you can be a success, even as a parent. You can still go forward and do what God wants you to do and be successful in His eyes.
You may sit beside that one that God gave you to be your spouse and think in your heart, “Boy, I’m such a failure as a husband,” or “a failure as a wife.” No, you are not. Don’t believe that lie of the devil. “But, Brother Martin, I’m struggling. I’m doing this.” That’s all right. You are still alive. Just get it right and keep moving forward. You can make it. You can be a success as a husband or wife. You can be a success as a parent.
You may say, “Brother Martin, but I’m such a failure in my soulwinning.” No, you are not. So you failed before. Confess it before God and get back up and let Him pick you up and go forward and become successful in soulwinning. You don’t have to stay there. You don’t have to live there. If you stay in your failing and live in failing, you will become a failure. You’ve got to get back up and get out of it.
If I say, “Have you ever failed at something?” From that point on, people are thinking about certain things. I know they are. It may be in your Bible reading. You may be sitting here thinking, “Good night, I’m at revival, and I haven’t even read my Bible in the last five days. Man, I’m such a failure.” Yes, you failed, but you’re not a failure. Guess what? You can go home and pick that precious Book up and get in it. You can feel the Holy Ghost moving through your life as you read those precious words of life. You can get up in the morning and start reading it again. No matter how you’ve failed in the past, you can be a success in your Bible reading.
It may be your prayer life. Perhaps you look back and say, “Man, there was a day in my life when I was such a prayer warrior. I spent so much time in prayer. Now I just don’t do what I’m supposed to do. I’m such a failure.” No, you’re not. So you failed. Get back on track. Come on now. Just humble yourself before the Lord and move forward and do what you are supposed to do. You can be a success.
Friend, you are not a failure. God wants you to be a success today. Look at Proverbs 24:16. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:...” So you fall seven times in one day. Get back up again. So you failed seven times in one day. Get back up again. What does He go on to say? He says, “...but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” You are going to become a failure if you stay there. If you get into that mischief and stay there, you live there, that’s the way you are going to end up. Your life is going to end up a mess, but you don’t have to stay down. Get back up and get moving forward.
You ought to underline this verse in your Bible, Psalm 145:14. This is a key to making it. “The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.” The second half is the key. “What do you mean, Brother Martin?” Don’t you get the picture? God will uphold you and raise you up as you humble yourself before Him. When you fail, friend, you’d better be willing to admit it. You’d better be willing to admit it to whoever you need to admit it to. There are times you need to go to your spouse and admit it. There are times you need to go to your family and admit it.
I was in New York preaching a revival, out there trying to do the Lord’s work. I got twisted sideways with my family. I’m just confessing. I spouted off at my family. I just kind of went away and afterwards everybody got real quiet. That’s usually the way it goes. The Holy Spirit said, “You are an idiot. What in the world are you doing? The people that love you most and you are treating them like this?” It doesn’t take long anymore, about 20 minutes of the Lord beating me real good. I went back to the family and said, “Listen, I failed you. I’m sorry. Daddy should have never done what I did.” I told my wife, “Honey, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
We’d better be willing to admit when we fail. When you get to that place where you won’t admit when you fail, you are headed down a road of destruction. If you are willing to admit it, if you are willing to humble yourself, that takes humbling to go to your family and say, “I’m sorry.” It takes that to get right. God says, “All those that be bowed down, He’ll raise back up again.” He says that He’ll uphold you and keep you going forward, if you’ll simply bow down and trust Him.
Jesus never gave up on the disciples. He never quit on them. There were a whole lot of things that those disciples did. If there was ever a bunch of guys that became knuckleheads at some times, they sure were, but He didn’t quit on them. He kept on going.
He isn’t going to quit on you either. You might as well just get it settled in your heart right now. As long as you are saved, born again, a child of God, He ain’t quitting on you. He’s going to keep coming after you.
Think about this. I just want to mention a few people in Scripture and we’ll be done. Moses. You say, “Moses, what a man of God! He led the children of Israel out.” But you know what? He went through a lot of struggles. That day back in Exodus chapter two when he killed that Egyptian. The next day he goes to those Hebrew brothers and says, “You have to quit this fighting.”
They said, “What are you going to do, kill us like you did that Egyptian?” He got out of Dodge. He fled. They chased him. He went to the backside of the desert, lived over there in Midian for forty plus years. He was probably at the point to think, “I’m just contented to stay right here.” All of a sudden one day there in the desert, there was a little old bush that started burning. God spoke to Moses out of that bush. “Moses, this is what I want you to do.”
Moses said, “But, but, wait a minute, God. I, I, I can’t even speak right.”
He said, “Moses, who made your mouth?” What was He trying to do? God was trying to say, “Listen, don’t look at yourself. It depends on Me.” This is the problem that we have when we fail. Don’t look at yourself. Just look to God and trust Him.
Moses said, “But, but, God, who who am I supposed to tell them that, that sent me?”
He said, “You just tell them ‘I Am that I Am’ sent you.”
What was He trying to do? He was trying to get him to quit looking at himself. “Quit looking at what you do and what you fail at and just look at Me and believe you can make it if you just trust Me.” I’m going to tell you what. There were two or three million Jews who sure were glad he didn’t quit at that point. He led them out of bondage in Egypt.
You say, “But, look at what Moses did.” Think about it. There came a day along that journey leading them out, he got real frustrated with them. God said, “I want you to sanctify Me before the children. This is what I want you to do.” He didn’t obey God. He took his rod and smote the rock when God said speak to it, and the Bible says that rock was Christ. The water came forth, but God looked down on him and said, “Okay, Moses, that’s it. You are not going into the Promised Land.” He could have done like most of us would do and said, “Okay, forget it. If I can’t go in, I’ll just quit I guess,” and walk away. He humbled himself like the Bible says. He humbled himself before God and said, “I’m sorry, God. I’ll do whatever I’m supposed to do.” Again there are two or three million Jews who are thanking God that he didn’t quit. Moses only became a success. Why? Because he didn’t quit when he failed.
Just think as I mention names today. Rahab. She was a harlot. Come on, what a failure. No, wait a minute, not a failure. She failed. She sure did. She spent many years doing something she shouldn’t do with her life, but there came a day when some men came into the city and needed protection. Rahab said, “You can come and stay at my house.” She kept them. She said, “Would you just do me a favor? I know what God is going to do. I know He is going to destroy the city, but would you spare my family? Would you ask God to spare my family?”
They said, “You just put a scarlet cord in the window and everything will be all right. Just bring your whole family in.” She did. That city of Jericho came down. Rahab was spared and guess what? God in eternity past, when He was looking at what He was going to do in the lineage of Jesus Christ, He said, “You know what? I think I’ll use Rahab,” a harlot in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Why? Because God wants you and I to know that, when we fail, it ain’t over with. Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean you have to be a failure. We can still make it if we’ll just trust Him and humble ourselves before Him, He’ll pick us back up, and we can make it.
I think about the sweet Psalmist, David. When you say David to children, the first thing they say is “Goliath.” The first thing an adult says is Bathsheba. Why? Children look more at the successes. We tend, as adults, to look more at the failures. Think about that. He plotted and planned that thing out, had her come over to his palace and slept with somebody else’s wife and committed adultery and had her husband killed. But there came a day when he was confronted by the man of God. He came and put his old, boney finger in his face and gave him that little story about the lamb. David said, “That man is going to die.”
He said, “David, thou art the man.” David could have backed away. He could have said, “You’d better shut up or I’ll kill you.” What did he do? He fell on his face and humbled himself. He said, “I failed.” Guess what? He faced a lot of consequences because of that. Sure, he went through some struggles and battles in his life, but he didn’t quit. He kept on going forward. When he lost the baby, he didn’t quit. He kept on going forward. When his son raped his daughter, he didn’t quit. He kept on going. What happened when Absalom killed Amnon? He didn’t quit. He kept on going forward. What happened when Absalom rebelled against him and tried to take the kingdom away? He didn’t quit. He kept on going. That’s why David became a success. That’s why David could pen those sweet words of Psalm 119. That is why he could say, “This Word is so precious to me.” Because he didn’t quit.
I think about old impetuous Peter. If there was ever a man that opened mouth to insert foot, that was Peter. Peter always had something brilliant to say. Like the day when the Lord asked him, “Peter, who do men say that I am?”
Peter said, “Well, some say, Elias. Some say, John the Baptist.”
Jesus said, “Who do you say I am?”
Peter said, “Thou art the Christ.”
Jesus said, “Blessed art thou.”
Three verses later Jesus is telling all the disciples what is going to happen. He said, “I’m going to be crucified. I’m going to be killed.”
Peter said, “Wait a minute, not so, Lord. I’ll take care of that.”
Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” First He blesses him and three verses later He cursed him. He wasn’t cursing Peter. No, he was cursing that he was allowing the devil to take control in his life. He was speaking to Satan. He wasn’t speaking to Peter. “Get thee behind me. Get out of his life.” He was commanding him to get away from him. Why? He knew Peter could make it if he just trusted Him. The stories go on.
What happens in Luke 22? “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” (Luke 22:31-34) He said, “Though all men deny You, I’ll not deny You.”
“Oh sure, Peter.” In the next 15 or 20 verses in that passage of Scripture if you’ll look at it, first of all he tries to stand up and do what he said he would do. They come to get the Lord and old Peter pulls a sword out and cuts Malchus’ ear off. I envision it like this. The Lord picks his ear back up and just kind of puts it back on. “Peter, you don’t understand. You just don’t understand.”
Peter is probably thinking in his mind, “Why? What’s wrong? I’m just trying to take care of You.” No, he wouldn’t submit to the Lord’s will. What happens? Just a few verses later it says he began to follow afar off. Then it says he began to warm himself by the fire of compromise. One thing, they never left the Saviour’s sight. Think about that. Those disciples saw everything that happened to the Saviour. Then somebody looks up when he is over there warming himself by the fire they said, “Hey, weren’t you with Jesus?”
He said, “No, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
A little later somebody else looked up and said, “Wait a minute, you were with Christ.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Then a short while later somebody else said, “You were with Christ. We know you were with him.”
He began to curse and swear and said, “I know not the man.” The Bible says that Jesus looked straight at him. Peter went out and wept bitterly. Do you know what he thought in his mind? “I failed. I’m a failure. I might as well just give up. I might as well just quit.” Just a couple days later, he told his disciple buddies there, “I’m going back to fishing. Forget this.” By the way, when you quit, you always bring others with you. He quit and said, “I’m going back to fishing.”
They said, “We’ll go with you, too.” He was a leader. They went off with him, too. But then that sweet day in John 21 when the Saviour came by. They had been out fishing all night long and hadn’t caught a thing. Do you like to fish? You know what it is like to go out and fish all night and you don’t catch anything. You aren’t very happy coming into the shore. You are disgruntled. They’ve been out all night. They are coming in and all of a sudden someone standing on shore says, “Hey, did you guys catch anything? Got any meat?”
They said, “We ain’t got nothing.”
He said, “Just throw the net on the other side.”
They probably thought, “Who is this lunatic? We’ve been out here all night fishing. We ain’t caught a thing,” but it says they went ahead and cast the net over anyway. When they did they caught a large amount of fish.
Right away John says, “It’s the Lord.” Peter jumps out of the boat. He doesn’t want to see Him because the last time he saw Him he went out and wept bitterly. He struggled with what was going on. Jesus didn’t quit on him. He came back to him and said, “Listen, you are not going to quit that easy.”
That’s what He is saying to you. “You are not quitting that easy. I’m going to stick by you. I’m going to stay after you. Don’t think you are going to quit. You are not quitting. You’re going to make it.” He went after Peter. What happened? They had that great fish fry by the sea side. After they got done eating, Jesus speaks to Peter. He looks him in the eye and says, “...Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?...” This is the first thing He said to him. You can only imagine what went through his heart. Of course, you know that he asked him if he loved Him the way he should, and Peter responded that he loved Him with a brotherly love. He asked him a second time. The last time He asked him, He used the word Peter used. “Do you really even love Me with a brotherly love?”
It says that Peter was grieved when the Lord asked him that third time. Peter said, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love thee. You know all things.”
He said, “Go feed my lambs.” The next thing that He tells him is, “Go into the upper room and wait on the enduement of power.” Now Peter is listening. Thank God he didn’t quit. Thank God he didn’t give up. They went up in the room and prayed and waited on the enduement of power. That day of Pentecost comes. They get down there and there are people everywhere. Guess what? The Lord looks down and says, “I need Me a preacher tonight.” Guess what? That man that always wanted to speak and got his foot in his mouth so often. “Hey, Peter, stand up and preach.” Do you know what God was saying? “Hey, you may have failed, but you didn’t become a failure. You can still make it.”
Friend, there are people all through the Scriptures that failed, but they didn’t become a failure because they didn’t quit, but there are others that did. Did what? Become a failure.
I think about King Saul. When he was chosen as king, he was head and shoulders above everybody. He was very humble then, but do you know what his destruction was? Pride. Because the way to success is humility. When Saul lifted himself up in pride, God said, “When you were little in your own eyes, I could use you. I can’t use you anymore.” He got to the point where God wouldn’t even speak to him because he wouldn’t listen to God, and he wouldn’t listen to the man of God.
You’d better take heed, people. He wouldn’t listen to God and wouldn’t listen to the man of God. He went to the witch and had Samuel brought back up. Samuel said, “Tomorrow you are going to be dead with me.” He still wouldn’t repent. I believe with all my heart, if he would have repented right then he would have lived. I still believe that. Why? Because that is our God. If we’ll repent, if we’ll humble ourselves, He’ll lift us back up again. He didn’t and that next day he died and his son died also because of it. If you don’t want to humble yourself and admit your failures, you will never get to that place where you can become successful in the Lord.
I think about Hophni and Phinehas, two boys raised in the temple. Young men, think about this. Here are two men that were raised in the Temple, raised where God’s presence was, but it says they were sons of Belial. They didn’t listen to what the preacher had to say. They didn’t listen to their daddy. Their daddy was the preacher. They wouldn’t listen to him. Even when he tried to correct them, he said, “Hey, what you are doing is wrong.” They snuffed at it and laughed at him and went ahead and continued doing the wicked things they were doing. Guess what? They died and went to Hell. They became failures because they wouldn’t humble themselves. Young men, you’d better learn now to humble yourselves. Teenagers, you’d better humble yourselves. Adults, we’ve got to get back to humbling ourselves. That’s the key to making it.
I think about that one who had the privilege of walking three years side by side with our Saviour and watched Him do all those miracles. He had a part in taking care of the financial end of the ministry of the Saviour. It says in Luke 22:3, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.” Why? Why did it have to end up that way? Because he would not humble himself before the Lord. He would not humble and admit his failing and what was going on inside. He would not humble himself to accept the Saviour. He died a suicidal death and went to Hell.
The difference, friend, between someone that is a failure and someone that is a success is the one that is a success got up one more time than the one that failed. That’s it. He just got up one more time and tried again. You say, “It’s not that easy.” Oh, yes, it is that easy. It sure is. You just get back up. You humble yourself before the Lord and get back up and realize you are going to fail again. It’s going to happen, but when you fail, don’t live there. Don’t stay there. Humble yourself. Get back up and trust God. Friend, you can make it.
A failure is a quitter. Don’t you quit on God, friend. Don’t you quit on your family today. Mother, father, don’t you quit on your children today. Husband, wife, don’t you quit on your spouse today. Don’t you give up on your marriage. You are not a failure. You may have failed, but you can make it if you keep trusting the Lord. One that quits sets a pattern for life that is not easily broken and overcome. It will affect every area of your life. So you failed. Welcome to the fraternity or the sorority, ladies. Because guess what? We all do. God is not as interested in your past as He is in the direction you are headed right now.
I love that story about Coach Bear Bryant from Alabama Crimson Tide. They had a stand-out star linebacker. He was all state, blue chip, all American. They were recruiting him heavy. They had an opportunity to go watch this boy play. The scouts for the defense and Coach Bryant wanted to go that day. He went with that scout and they watched that boy play. They were playing a team that wasn’t quite as good. The other team was handing the ball off to their tailback and he came running through that line and man, he got creamed by that linebacker. That old boy jumped back up and ran back to his huddle over there. It continued like that the whole game. From what I understand from the story, they may have ended up with negative yardage. That old tailback was just running the best he could and doing everything he could do. That old linebacker was just smearing him. In the fourth quarter, that scout looked over at Coach Bryant and said, “Coach, he is everything we expected, isn’t he?”
He said, “Yes, he is.”
He said, “Man, I’m telling you what. That is exactly what we want, isn’t it?”
He said, “No, that’s not what I want.”
He said, “What do you mean that’s not what you want?”
He said, “No, that’s not the one I want.”
He said, “Coach, this is the one we came to recruit. Look at him, coach.”
He said, “Yes, I know it, but that’s not the one I want. The one I want is that tailback that keeps getting back up every time and going back to the huddle and going back again.”
Do you know what he realized? Coach Bryant is looking at him and he didn’t have the best line. He wasn’t able to get the holes, but he didn’t quit. Every time he got hit, he got up and ran back to the huddle. They recruited that young man at tailback and he ended up being a star tailback for their team. Why? Because he didn’t quit.
You may be struggling in your life right now, just like that boy was on a losing team. Every time he got handed the ball and every time he got knocked down, he got back up and ran back to the huddle again. “What do you want me to do next?” That’s the way we ought to be with God. “What do You want me to do next, Lord? Okay, I failed. God, I’m sorry. I humble myself before You, Lord. What do You want me to do?” That’s the way we need to live.
There is a major difference, people, between being a failure and just failing, between failing and becoming a success. It’s just getting back up and trusting the Lord. I have no doubt there are people all over the room that have some struggles in your life. The Bible tells us that we all have a besetting sin. You may be struggling with something in your life right now. I would not doubt that there are some people right now that have probably come to the end and said, “What is the use? I might as well just forget it. I’m going to live my life like this.”
Don’t you do that. Don’t you let the devil have his way in your life. Why? That’s what he wants you to believe, but you’ve got the God of gods on your side.
There is a great difference between failing and being a failure. Just don’t quit.