Failure and Focus
Hi friend. Last time we talked I was embarking on my very first fast ever where I actually depended on the Holy Spirit to help me and guide me through it.
I’m sure all of you have been on the edge of your seat wondering how it went… Okay probably not. But during it, the Holy Spirit revealed so much power and truth to me that I could not help but revisit it and share it with you all.
I figured if it set me free, maybe it will you, too.
When I began my fast, I did so with the intention to pray and seek insight for a new project my team and I had started. I didn’t feel like we were making the progress I wanted us to and I wanted to know why and how we could do it better. So I gave up food, I depended on the Holy Spirit (and by the way, it was the easiest fast ever because of that), and I began asking for insight. And let me tell you, He did not disappoint.
The Holy Spirit began showing me that though I had been praying about the project a lot and had been asking people to pray for it, over it, and for me throughout it, I had not once prayed for the team of people who were helping me with it… Ouch. I am embarrassed to even tell people that, but it’s true. I had not once even thought to do that. How did I turn this project into something that was all about me? How did I get it so wrong so quickly?
But you want to know what’s so incredible about the grace of God?
As quickly as I can make things go wrong, He can just as quickly make them right again.
As soon as I was punched in the gut with this revelation, I started praying for the members on my team. Want to know what started happening like the very next day? PROGRESS. The project started moving forward as soon as I switched my focus off of me and onto Him. And therein, is the beauty of grace.
But, He wasn’t done yet. There was one more thing He wanted to show me (yet another punch in the gut). See, this project of ours is pretty heavily dependent upon a website, and I wanted this website to look the very best that it could. Nothing wrong with that, right?! I mean, come on! But the problem is that I had begun working tirelessly on this site, because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be embarrassed by it. I wanted to make sure that it reflected me well, because my name was on the line with this thing!
The day after my fast ended, I got a call from someone saying that they had seen our website (before it was done, and yes I was mortified), and that they were interested in partnering with us… what?!? It was incredible! As soon as I got off the phone, the Holy Spirit said to me “You know that website you’re so obsessed with on making it absolutely perfect? I don’t even need it to accomplish what I want to accomplish. It’s not that I need you to be a part. I want you to be a part.”
I was floored. Though it definitely felt like a slap in the face, it was also so completely FREEING —to know that if I do my part and do my best, I am not responsible for the outcome, He is. What a relief!
And I want to make sure you know that, as well, even if it feels like a slap in the face the way it did for me. Friend, whatever you have going on, whatever you’re trying to do or juggle, the outcome is not dependent solely on you. No matter what you have your hand in, it is not about you. It is about Jesus, and it is for others.
The moment we switch from excellence to perfectionism, we have switched from being Jesus and people-focused to self-focused. But here’s the beauty, as soon as we set our gaze back on Him, the Creator of it all, the pressure is off, progress begins, and freedom ensues.
Anytime I start feeling pressure and stress now, I check myself. I remind myself of where to put my focus and the freedom that is waiting for me there when I do.
And guess what? It’s waiting for you there, too.
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