by Olu Talabi (based on RLCF Bible Study on February 3, 2016)
‘He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.’ Psalm147:10-11
God’s greatest will in every circumstance of our lives is that He alone might be glorified and that we, in every outcome, may render due praises to His name. God will not share His glory and has no delight in man assuming a position of self-confidence and strength in himself. God is our strength and our victory.
Why does God allow failure in the lives of His children?
Consider three events where men rested in their abilities to overcome: Joshua and Israel’s self-confidence against Ai (Joshua chapter 7, esp. vs 3) / David’s self confidence in prosperity (Psalm 30:6-7) / Peter’s self confidence in declaring he would not betray the Lord (Mark 14:27-31). In all three examples (and others in Scripture), God allowed defeat, repentance and ultimate salvation to show the weakness of man and the victory that lies only in reliance upon Him.
God Allows Failure:
That He may preserve His glory (Isaiah 42:8): this is the greatest end desired by God in all things- His glory. Living in complete dependence on Him and constantly giving glory to God in all things must be our greatest goal as well. Consider the words of Jesus in John 17:4 and John 15:8. In John 17:4, Christ declares that He glorified the Father by accomplishing His work on earth. In John 15:8, Jesus declares that we glorify the Father by bearing much fruit in our lives. Yet earlier still, He declares that we are unable to bear any fruit outside of Him (John 15:5). Outside of God we are nothing; in Him we have everything. Where God sees man relying on self, He allows failure to bring a refocus back to Him in the heart that will
That He may bring about humility and repentance in His children (2nd Cor 7:10): failure in many cases is a necessary ingredient for humility and contrition (David in Psalm 30:10; Peter in Luke 22:62). A wise man after failure will humble himself before God and seek his grace and help for salvation. Consider that God’s grace is only given to the humble ((James 4:6; 1Peter 5:5). God desires to give abundant grace to His children, but where He finds pride and self-confidence, failure may be a tool to bring about necessary humility and repentance so grace may be given. Let us walk in humility always. Consider Jesus Christ who was the greatest yet became the least of all men and thus received the grace of the Father without measure for His earthly life (Luke 2:40).
God’s desire for us is to be strong in Him (Ephesians 6:10). Failure is a reminder that of our own, we can do nothing (John15:5); yet in Christ Jesus, we can do all things as He strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). May we walk always with full reliance on the power of Christ; herein lies our rest and victory.