Tuesday 12 July
Overcoming Failure and Pride
Archbishop Greg Venables has been a missionary in South America along with his wife Sylvia and family for over 37 years and has been serving in Argentina since 2000. This week, he is leading the morning Bible Teaching sessions on the theme of “More than Conquerors” (taken from Romans 8:37) Here VOX editor Ruth Garvey-Williams brings you a summary of what he had to say on Tuesday:
God will always tell you the truth. When we read a verse that says, “We are more than conquerors.” But as we hear those words, we say, “No we are not!” If God is telling us one thing and we are saying the opposite then we have a problem. Our honesty with God is the way forward.
There is a world outside dying outside in hopelessness and helplessness and if this wonderful opportunity to be together to worship God, does not send us out to that world that is dying in sin with a message of salvation bursting from our lips, then something is seriously wrong.
The day of Pentecost was an explosion not an implosion. They didnot say, “That was wonderful, let’s do it again next Sunday.” They found themselves on the streets telling people on Jesus. The filling of the Holy Spirit is all about mission! If you are not filled with a spirit that sends you out onto the streets, then you must question the spirit which fills you!
Last night, Craig reminded us that we must not walk away from the secrets that we must keep secret. We must face reality.
Perhaps your circumstances today are God’s minister to you. This very thing that you don’t like may be God’s way of teaching you. One of the most important ministers that God sends to you is the minister of failure. Many blessings, don’t look like blessings! They help us to get where God wants us to be!
Reading from Deuteronomy 8:2 -3
God did not abandon the people of Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" so that you will never have to go through that!" But God leads us through the wilderness to deal with pride and pride is sin! Let God humble you today and deal with four areas of “self”…
When you point a figure at someone and say, “I couldn’t do that” - you are operating out of pride. When you point out something negative in someone else’s life, when you start lashing out at someone, you are probably trying to cover up something in your own life.
This means we are not hungry for the things of God. We are so “full” of the things of this world. We need to be empty of self-satisfaction, of self-sufficiency in order to be hungry for God.
We need to be emptied of self-pity. If you are full of self-pity, somebody needs to put you right! It smells!
What destroys most Christian leadership is self-righteousness - people who are totally blind to what others can see in them!
Let God show you what is in your heart so you can deal with it. Be honest about it. Let Him test and examine you. While you are in your comfort zone, you might think everything is okay so God may take you to a painful desert place so you will find out what everybody else already knows.
You don’t learn to trust God reading a book or listening to a sermon. You only learn to trust God when you have no other option.
The only way you can learn how to trust God is by trusting God.
There is an enormous difference between swimming on two chairs in your bedroom and swimming in the sea. There is a big difference between being a Christian in a prayer meeting or worship service and being a Christian out on the street!
The missionary hymn: “Go on, go on, go on…” with countless verses all the same.
- God called Moses to cross the Red Sea - it was impossible.
- God called Abraham to be the Father of Nations - it was impossible.
- God called Mary to give birth to a Son while she was still a virgin - it was impossible!
Don’t be afraid when God calls you to do the impossible. He will enable you to do it, when you are emptied of pride. Face up to what is inside. Do it now while there is time. Don’t put it off. Before you leave this place, deal with these issue of failure and sin!