Ever prayed in faith for something or took steps of faith to reach a goal, and STILL failed to accomplish it, see it through, or receive it? If so, I want you to know that you’re not alone! There’s so many of us who’ve experienced this. Yesterday night, God revealed something amazing to me in regards to this. He showed me that it isn’t the actual act of failing that counts, but rather what you do afterwards!
I was researching a children’s museum online yesterday. I noticed that one of the missions of the experience there was to teach children the importance of failing forward. FAIL FORWARD! It hit me like a rushing wind! FAIL FORWARD! God was speaking to me with regards to something that had happened earlier, and I got this sense of joy in knowing I had pleased HIM. He showed me that I had failed forward! As I read on in the mission, it said, “to fail forward is to develop GRIT.” That was it! I knew without a doubt God was speaking to me. GRIT is a word used often in the Padilla home. In short, it means strength of character and perseverance to push on. So when I read this, it was confirmation that God was speaking to me. After all, HE is an intentional God.
As I received this message from HIM, I thought about those believers that may say, “FAIL?! I don’t receive that and God isn’t in failure?!” I immediately heard in my spirit, “Show me ONE who has NEVER failed?!” My God!! For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)! That’s the WORD! It was then, in that very moment, that I knew I had to write about this.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word FAIL is defined as, to lose strength, to fall short, or to be unsuccessful. English Oxford Living Dictionary defined FAIL as, being unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal. The next part hit me! The word FORWARD in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is described as, toward what is ahead or in front. English Oxford Dictionary described FORWARD as, onward so as to make progress towards the future. Immediately I heard in my spirit, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward (upward) in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). So the revelation I received from God was, “Tell them to learn to FAIL FORWARD!” In life, we’ll all set goals, have desires, or try to pursue something! Sometimes we fall short, don’t reach our goal, doors are shut in our faces, or we plain old get a “NO!” I’m writing to you today to let you know that this is inevitable at some point in all of our lives, but we are NOT to give up! We aren’t to believe because it didn’t come to pass yet, it never will. We aren’t to stay down, be defeated, or remain pessimistic! We are to acknowledge the fact that it may have been unsuccessful THIS or THAT TIME, but we are to PRESS on towards the prize! God has the last word, and HE is a rewarder of those that diligently seek HIM (Hebrews 11:6). We are to continue to push forward, believe, take more steps of faith, and continue on with our heads high knowing that God is in control, and if what we are praying for, has not come to pass, then either it wasn’t HIS timing for us, or HE has something better. So press onward!
See, I did something yesterday in faith…again! I prayed before I did it, and moved forward in it trusting God. I got a response I wasn’t even expecting (a good one), and even though I have not received confirmation regarding this particular matter, I heard from GOD! He showed me that the testing of my faith HAS produced patience (James 1:3) and that all things (even the closed doors and the no’s) are working out for my good (Romans 8:28)! He showed me that the mere fact that I have continued to take steps of faith towards that which I have had in prayer for years, shows I have produced GRIT (strength of character), PERSEVERANCE (steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success), and have done so in a FORWARD movement (onward)!!! My God!!! Thank you Jesus!! I could have given up after all the no’s I’ve received. I could have allowed rejection to keep me down. I could have had a negative outlook on the fact that, I tried on numerous occasions, and was not successful…YET! God showed me in failing forward, I have produced much good, much strength, and for that, I am grateful. I cried my eyes out! Nothing is vain in Christ I heard I felt in my spirit!
Most of us know the journey and story of Joseph. He believed he received a prophetic dream by God regarding what was to become of his destiny. He shared this with those closest to him, his brothers. They were filled with jealousy, envy, and anger and set out to try and take him out. They didn’t kill him, but decided to sell him off to merchants. He was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, where he was a hard worker who was in charge of Potiphar’s household. His master’s wife had her eyes on him and because he would not cross any lines with her, she lied on him causing him to end up in prison. The bible doesn’t go into detail about Joseph’s “feelings,” but we do know he was human. I imagined him questioning the dream God gave him once upon a time. I imagined him feeling like he had FAILED. But did he? He didn’t do anything wrong, but was unsuccessful in living out the dream he believed GOD gave him. What we do know is, through it all, he FAILED FORWARD! No matter what he faced, he put his trust and loyalty in God and moved onward believing God had the last word. My GOD! In the end, GOD rewarded Joseph’s GRIT, PERSEVERANCE, and FAITH in HIM by giving him VICTORY! The dream God gave him came to pass. In Genesis 41:39-42, the Word says , “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck…VICTORY!!!
In conclusion, it isn’t about our failures, but how we move forward from them! Choose today that although you may have seen the closed doors, heard the no’s, or been unsuccessful at reaching your goal thus far, you won’t give up! Choose to keep pressing and believing God’s best for your life. Choose to believe God in the situation you’re in right now! God told me to tell someone, “Your moment of Victory in HIM shall come to pass!” Decide that no matter the failure, you can get up and press on! In that pressing, God’s producing something in you! Decide, my friends, to FAIL FORWARD!