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Failure and Recovery (Part 6)

The sixth step in recovering from failure is to review what went wrong. What was the devil’s strategy and how did he accomplish his goal? Consider two passages from Paul to the church in Corinth:

In 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 he writes, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong!”

 
Then in 10:5 he adds, &#148We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.&#148

In this case, the readers had a failure in their lives requiring repentance. Sorrow was good in that it led them to a point of genuine determination to turn away from their fleshly pursuit. As they review what went wrong there is indignation: “I can’t believe I bought that lie from the enemy. The coward attacked me while I wasn’t looking!” There is fear, not in the sense of terror, but in the sense of respect: “I’ve got to hand it to him, he is a cunning adversary.” There is longing: “Father, I do not want to live life this way. It is contrary to Your plan and a violation of my heart.” There is zeal: “Father, it is my determination to say, ‘No!’ to the devil’s temptation and trust You to fill me with the power of Your Spirit.”

Paul writes that he is destroying anything raised up against what he knows to be true about his Father, most of which is mere speculation by the devil, and he is taking every one of these thoughts captive in order to live life the way he wants to live it as a man who is obedient to Jesus Christ.

After things have calmed down and you have stopped your emotional slide toward the ditch, avenge the wrong. Turn the tables on the devil and use your failure to your benefit and your Father’s glory. Said another way, learn from your mistakes. What fleshly pattern(s) did the enemy tap into? How did he attack you? At what point did you buy his speculation, lie, or temptation, consider it true, and act on it? That point right there is the point at which you sinned! Remember, temptation becomes sin when you accept it as a viable plan. Until then, it is simply the devil doing his song and dance with your flesh.

After things have calmed down and you have stopped your emotional slide toward the ditch, avenge the wrong. Turn the tables on the devil and use your failure to your benefit and your Father’s glory. Said another way, learn from your mistakes. What fleshly pattern(s) did the enemy tap into? How did he attack you? At what point did you buy his speculation, lie, or temptation, consider it true, and act on it? That point right there is the point at which you sinned! Remember, temptation becomes sin when you accept it as a viable plan. Until then, it is simply the devil doing his song and dance with your flesh.

Once you determine the point at which you bought the lie, identify it as the critical juncture where failure was born. Verbalize to yourself the correct response you should have made. Learn from the failure. See yourself saying, “No! I’m not going along with that. I’m a new man with a new heart. I am free—and obliged—to say, ‘No! Get behind me Satan, you’re blocking my view.’&#148

In reviewing what went wrong you build a repository of skills for combating the enemy’s temptations, and you do it at his expense. There is nothing that garners more confidence than experience. Recovery from failure brings confidence, confident in who you are as a new creation in Christ, and confident in who your Father is.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.