“Lord, what can I say now that Israel has fled from its enemies?” — Joshua 7:8
The men of Israel took their self-sufficiency into battle with Ai. After their defeat, Joshua’s only prayer was, “Lord, what am I to say?”
Failure is never easy; however, if we humble ourselves and make strategic changes (repent), our failures can be some of our most valuable experiences. Israel had done things their way and in their own power. She had fallen on her face. Israel is such an accurate portrait of much of Christendom today.There is a great need for an adjustment in the church today.
Here is an illustration of this truth: For much of the nineteenth century, fish merchants’ attempts to ship fresh North Atlantic cod from Boston to San Francisco failed miserably. At that time, the only way to ship the fish to the West Coast was to dress them out, pack them in ice, load them on a ship, and sail around the South American continent–a trip that took months. As you can imagine, by the time the cod reached California, they weren’t fit for human consumption.
In an attempt to overcome that problem, the merchants tried placing live cod in holding tanks full of water and shipping them to California. Most of the fish survived the trip, but because they didn’t get much exercise in the tanks, their flesh was pasty and relatively tasteless. Another failure.
Finally, someone suggested that they place live catfish in the tanks with the cod, then ship them. Why? Because catfish are a cod’s natural enemy, and having a few catfish in their tanks with them would keep them alert and swimming around. The idea worked. By the time the cod reached San Francisco, they were in perfect condition.
Look at your failures this last year. Do you see them as ultimate defeat, or do you see them as God’s way of forcing you to make adjustments, thus making you a vessel more suitable for serving him? Repentance is not a blight to the true child of God, it is a blessing…it is a gift!
Let’s determine in our hearts that we are going to live in repentance in this new year. Let’s make the adjustments necessary in order to see God’s glory demonstrated through our lives. Let’s live in such a way that we do not leave others “speechless” because of our foolishness!