IN THE CRUCIBLE OF FAILURE
Many people who love the Lord nevertheless fail to accomplish their life’s goal for the Lord. They may even fail to accomplish what the Lord has assigned unto them. How will you react in the day of failure?
How will you react when God sets you aside and calls another to take your place?
My recommendation to you is that you should acknowledge that you have failed. Do not justify yourself whatsoever. Acknowledge that the judgments of God are correct. Submit to the verdict of God. Do not blame anyone or anything. Do not even bother to blame yourself. It is useless.”
Moses failed. He was to lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land, but when he failed, God said to him: “Go up into this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the people of Israel. And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was gathered, because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin during the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the waters before their eyes” (Numbers 27:12-14). Moses pleaded: “O Lord God, thou hast only begun to show thy servant thy greatness and thy mighty hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as thine? Let me go over, I pray, and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that goodly hill country, and Lebanon” (Deuteronomy 3:24-25). But the Lord said to him: “Let it suffice you; speak no more to me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and behold it with your eyes; for[…]”
It was painful. He was to see that which he was not to enter into. He was disqualified. His request was rejected. God talked about his successor. He was to encourage him and to ensure that he succeeded. He was to take over as leader. He was not to enter into the land where he longed to enter and had worked for, for nearly 40 years. Another was to have the honour.
If Moses had not been a crucified man, he would have been bitter. He would have been jealous. But he was crucified. He had died to his own interest. He set out to prepare Joshua to take over and lead the people of God into the Promised Land. He had really made progress with God. He had indeed died to all his interests. His work had suffered, but God’s work had not suffered.”
To what are you committed? To the will of God and the Word of God or to your work for God? If your work fails and His work continues, is your joy fulfilled? This is what will happen if all your service is solely for the glory or God and there is nothing of yourself in it. But such people are few.
Wesley’s work came to an end, but God’s work continues.
Martin Luther’s work came to an end, but God’s work continues.
Watchman Nee’s work came to an end, but God’s work continues.
Although I am nothing compared to these giant men of God, I want also to say that Zach Fomum’s work will come to an end, but God’s work will continue.”
So, regardless of what you encounter as you serve the Lord, even if your great plans and dreams for the glory of the Lord seem to have been foiled, look up to the Lord. Watchman Nee wanted to reach all of China with the Gospel. He was faithful. He was imprisoned. The Assemblies were closed. The leaders were imprisoned. It was like a tragic end of a life that was totally sold out to God and sold out for the salvation and building up of his people in Christ. But was that the end? No. Thanks be to the Lord. Out of his labours for the Lord and partly as a result of his faithfulness to the Lord, there is the Church in China, underground, faithful to the Lord. Yes, there is the Church in China that will not die. It is there right to this day. That church numbers not only the hundreds of thousands that Watchman Nee left behind, but millions. Yes, millions. Glory be to the Lord!”