The Biggest Failure Is To Do Nothing…

A Bible verse spurred me on to continue painting today. I had spent two wonderful hours, painting outside along the Grand River near our home – but the result was disappointing. It’s certainly not as easy painting on location outside, as painting indoors from a photo at my desk, lol.

It was my first time painting a landscape in “plein air.” On Wednesday I brought my paints, a lawn chair, brushes, water, paper (cheaper paper, though – that’s usually a mistake), etc. The weather was perfect, sunny, but not too hot, and not windy. The location was only a five-minute walk from home. I felt like the Lord was giving me a gift of time and opportunity.

Have you ever believed you were doing what you were meant to do, what God wanted you to do, but you were afraid to fail?

I think Joshua in the Bible must have felt that way, when God told him, “You will lead the people of Israel into the promised land, now that Moses is dead.”

Joshua was no youngster. He was a least 60 years old at this point, possibly 70. Moses was a leader who had encountered God many times, and many miracles occurred under Moses’ leadership as God guided him. Joshua had led the Israelites in battle, and they were victorious. Now he must have wondered if God would bless him in all of the duties of leader, as he did Moses.

Here is the promise that God repeated to Joshua several times, and which I held onto today, to keep me going with this painting …

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

I love how kind and gracious God is. Even when we feel overwhelmed, or not up to a task – even if we believe He wants us to do it, we can still look at the situation from our own perspective and feel we’re not up to the task. We’re looking at it as if God was not with us, not helping us.

Maybe that’s how you feel about something challenging. You even believe it is the right thing to do. Maybe it’s a lot more impacting for your life than me painting a picture. Take this promise God made to Joshua, and as God’s child apply it to yourself. Step out in faith, doing what you believe God is asking you to do. Trust that He will be with you during and after this challenge.

Maybe you’re about to begin university in the fall. Maybe it’s a new job or even a whole new career, or a new area of ministry which God has opened the door for you to walk through. There are many opportunities and challenges which God presents to us, and when He does, He wants us to trust Him.

God loves when we have “Faith” in Him. If we belong to Him, and are walking with Him, even if we run into problems, He will never leave us or forsake us.

I hope this is a word of encouragement for someone. Maybe you need to continue to do what God has put into your heart to do. Don’t quit, don’t give up, if you believe it is what God wants for you. Maybe God is asking you to step out into a new adventure that He has arranged for you.

Trust God. He loves you. These words have encouraged me a lot. I have them hand-written on a little piece of paper in my Bible, next to Hilda’s beautiful picture…

“The Biggest Failure is to do Nothing!

If you go out and do what the Lord has put on your heart, and “fail,” that’s not a failure unless you quit right there. If you get up and go again, you’ve failed forward.

We all fail, we all make mistakes. We all have things that we’re learning. Nobody does everything perfectly.

If you’re afraid of a risk, of taking a chance, are you going to sit there until you die? Are you going to quench the fire of what God has put on your heart? Are you going to lose the vision that God has given you?

You need to take a risk! You’re never going to accomplish anything if you’re afraid of risk.”

The Story of 4 Starving Lepers

Think of the 4 starving lepers in this incredible Bible story from 2 Kings 7:1-20. They were in the city of Samaria, surrounded by an invading army, who were starving the people to death. These lepers decided to take the risk of surrendering to the invading army, rather than dying of starvation…

“1 Elisha replied, “The Lord says that by this time tomorrow two gallons of flour or four gallons of barley grain will be sold in the markets of Samaria for a dollar!”

2 The officer assisting the king said, “That couldn’t happen if the Lord made windows in the sky!”

But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to buy any of it!”

3 Now there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates. “Why sit here until we die?” they asked each other.

4 “We will starve if we stay here and we will starve if we go back into the city; so we might as well go out and surrender to the Syrian army. If they let us live, so much the better; but if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

5 So that evening they went out to the camp of the Syrians, but there was no one there!

6 (For the Lord had made the whole Syrian army hear the clatter of speeding chariots and a loud galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us,” they cried out.

7 So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else.)

8 When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it.

9 Finally they said to each other, “This isn’t right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! Even if we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us; come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”

10 So they went back to the city and told the watchmen what had happened—they had gone out to the Syrian camp and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there was not a soul around.

11 Then the watchmen shouted the news to those in the palace.

12 The king got out of bed and told his officers, “I know what has happened. The Syrians know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields, thinking that we will be lured out of the city. Then they will attack us and make slaves of us and get in.”

13 One of his officers replied, “We’d better send out scouts to see. Let them take five of the remaining horses—if something happens to the animals it won’t be any greater loss than if they stay here and die with the rest of us!”

14 Four chariot horses were found and the king sent out two charioteers to see where the Syrians had gone.

15 They followed a trail of clothing and equipment all the way to the Jordan River—thrown away by the Syrians in their haste. The scouts returned and told the king,

16 and the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So it was true that two gallons of flour and four gallons of barley were sold that day for one dollar, just as the Lord had said!

17 The king appointed his special assistant to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled and killed as the people rushed out. This is what Elisha had predicted on the previous day when the king had come to arrest him,

18 and the prophet had told the king that flour and barley would sell for so little on the following day.

19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”

And the prophet had said, “You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to buy any of it!”

20 And he couldn’t, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!” is something I believed God wanted me to do. He is helping me greatly, as I step out and trust Him.

Ask God to guide you by His Holy Spirit, to know what to do in your situation. Then trust God and do it. Talk to Him. I like to pray in the Spirit, in “tongues.” Watch God do something so much greater than you could even ask or think. God loves you!

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