In the coming months I have a number of important decisions to make; deciding on modules to study next year, should I continue my education or start looking for work, should I stay in the UK or move abroad etc. Each of these decisions bring me fear because I’m scared of choosing the wrong, I’m scared it will end in failure but it’s essential that we push on through our fear because if we don’t, nothing will ever change, nothing will ever get better.
– Walt Disney was told he ‘lacked imagination’ and ‘had no good ideas’ and was fired as a result. He started his own company that went bankrupt. After moving to Hollywood, he was pioneer and changed the face of film.
– Jackie Pullinger went to ‘the wlled city’ in Hong Kong, with no money, no contacts and no bkacking from a missionary society. She gave up her comfortable British life to go and work with drug addicts, prostitutes and gang members. In 1981 she set up St. Stephens society which has become one of the most successful drug rehabilitation programmes in the world, rescuing hundreds of young people from life on the streets.
How can you dare to fail?
This will look different for each one of us. You may desire to be an entrepreneur, start a social justice campaign it may something smaller like going to your bos with an idea or having a difficult conversation with someone. But as Robert Kennedy said “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
In the Bible, there was a king called King Nebuchadnezzar who set up an image of gold and when the music was played all the people must bow down and worship it. Nebuchadnezzar found out that 3 people; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship and he summoned them saying if you do not bow down you will be placed in a blazing furnace.
They responded by saying “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
(You can read the full story in Daniel chapter 3)
I love their humility; it’s one thing to have faith in God’s power to deliver them (and they did) but they didn’t take presume he would. They recognized that God’s plan might be different than their desires. They submitted to God’s authority regardless of the possibility of suffering a horrific death. When we understand that as we step out in faith, that it may result in failures and hardships, it actually takes the pressure off and should make us bolder because we know that success isn’t based on our abilities or desires but God.
Robby Dawkins, an American pastor who is known for his and street evangelism and healing, tells a story of someone who wanted to join his team and they said they had a 95% success record with prophecy (success being defined as the person receiving it confirms it applies to them) and Robby Dawkins said it isn’t good enough. They looked shocked so he explained. You clearly don’t take enough risks, a person’s ‘success’ rate should only be about 70%”. Anyone can get it right, when you you state generic facts which are true over most people but are you willing to step out and say that mega specific prophecy which you don’t have total confidence in?
As John Wimbur, the founder of the vineyard famously said “Faith is spelt R I S K.
When we don’t speak out then nothing changes. So may I encourage you to ‘dare to fail’, to dream big, to take risks and to step out in faith.