The image of success is often painted with a thin veneer of never failing. When we fail, shame sets in and the accusation is, “Successful people don’t fail, but success is not for you; you are a failure.”
I lost the family nest egg in a bad investment seven years ago. We nearly went bankrupt. I immediately absorbed that failure into my identity. I couldn’t even see my future. It felt like there were no options and we just started selling everything we had (cars, horses, dogs, land, a house, and furniture). It felt like I was getting rid of my life. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear. At some level, life had been so successful until that point that my identity was a bit intertwined with success. After months of feeling sorry for myself and having thoughts of suicide, the Lord spoke to me, “John, this wasn’t my fault and it wasn’t your fault. Things like this happen. Do you want to come home or do you want to finish your assignment?” I obviously answered, “finish” or I wouldn’t be here.
During the months of recovery, every couple of weeks I would generate enough strength to come up with an idea to try – a ray of hope (that didn’t work). One friend saved my life with this admonition. John, you’re like a seed in the ground, stop wiggling; you can’t resurrect yourself! God will resurrect you. It was all obviously beyond my power to survive. For the first time, I experienced the power of resurrection and ‘experienced’ failure/death as normal part of our walk with Jesus.
John 12:24 – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. NIV
1 Cor. 15:36 – How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. NIV
Phil. 3:10-11 – I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. NIV
Even God knows failure – We all carry a belief that if God is guiding us, we can trust Him, and nothing will go wrong if we’re following Him. We are overcomers and more than conquerors, but the road to those victories is paved with both success and failure. If you let Him, God will lead you through your wilderness. Don’t worry, He may lead you there anyway.
The Poverty Mindset – The belief that success doesn’t include some failures is part of the poverty mindset that prevents us from trying. The crux of being a son is our willingness to take on dreams that we can’t do in our own strength. All successful people fail. The difference is that some of us resurrect and try again to multiply in some other way. We learn to co-labor and we learn to manage the financial and emotional impacts of failure – we expect them. It’s called Risk Management.
The Fruit of Resurrection – There is a special fragrance (2 Cor. 2:15-16) on believers who have walked through death and resurrection. They carry a depth in the Spirit that doesn’t come any other way. Their passion for Jesus and compassion for people is just different. It’s not hard to spot. They have a different presence that goes with them, a depth of spirit on the inside, and a character fruit of patience and perseverance on the outside. They are familiar with failure and they are not afraid of it. It’s what happens before you multiply. Without failure, we would never know our true potential. Proverbs 24:16 is an old covenant verse. The new covenant is 7 times 70. We never give up!
Prov. 24:16 – for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. NIV
Putting it in practice – In a nutshell, people who understand the power of resurrection never lose their willingness to try things beyond their reach. It’s a mindset. It doesn’t mean reckless, self-sabotage, but it does mean wisely and prayerfully volunteering for the next step and expecting it to be beyond our own strength but within our responsibility. It’s all about what you do to reach your vision. The concept of initiative is relatively new and it’s the inherent nature of sons who bring heaven to earth. Servants always choose obedience over initiative – this is different.
Ray Edwards gave us this exercise which I’m sharing with you;
- Write down one impossible goal. Not multiple goals; the rest can all be subservient to your highest goal. This should begin to sound like the purpose statement from your heart plan.
- Then list 25 worthy failure attempts to reach that one impossible goal.
Ray got this idea from a couple of 20-minute podcasts by Brooke Castillo linked below. I think you will enjoy them.
Lastly, I’ve attached my example (Link is here) Notice that it includes the business model financial component of implementing my impossible goal, with my equally outlandish failure attempts. Yes, it’s just an intensely personal paper exercise to clear my mind from doubt and poverty. But the more I stare at it, the more real it becomes. What is too unrealistic, I fix – it’s easy; it’s just paper. (I can even share it with friends and ask for their wisdom like I’m doing right now!) Out of the 25, some real cream rises to the top to prioritize.
Do the same with your purpose statement! Dream bigger; try more! Failure is a friend, a badge of courage in the Kingdom.
Loved the concept of Success = total # of attempts (with failures)
Success = X successful attempts + Y Failed attempts, fixed, and tried again
You’re Invited (to the dance) – We’ve developed two online courses to bring prophetic and practical clarity to your purpose, vocation, or business and a success path to seeking the Father in the courts of heaven and the council. It’s an experience with the Father and a relational tribe that works.
Stories from this tribe are here.
The Heart Plan ($997) – (www.OnlineHeartPlan.com) will help you fish your purpose out of the deep waters of your heart and get it in writing. Watch the free videos. You can take this class anytime or wait for the next round, and we’ll go through it again as a group with weekly zoom calls. The Heart Plan is based on the ideas in Releasing Kings.
Prov. 20:5 – The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.
Seers and Doers ($997) – (www.Seers-and-Doers.com) will help you navigate the courts and council of Heaven with your Father and the Spirit of Wisdom in a practical way. Start with Seers and Doers via Amazon.com.
Ps. 84:7 – They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. NASU
Scaling up to a Wealth Mentality ($97) – is our newest self-help course. We think you’ll enjoy it. Great lead up to the Heart Plan.