There is absolutely no place in religion for failure. It is never in the equation. The bar is so high that those who do fail simply can no longer jump high enough to go over it. I know. I use to be responsible for raising that bar. That is until I had failure within my own life. And when it happened religion opened their door and kicked me to the curb. For religion’s position my life as I once knew it was over. From religion’s position I could no longer be anointed. From religion’s position my best days were behind me. from religion’s position I had sinned beyond grace and there was no way to restore me to the life I had once know before. I can say as I set at my computer and type out these words, THANK GOD RELIGION KICKED ME TO THE CURB. For it was at the curb I left religion and found a relationship of life with the Lord Jesus Christ!
He had said to his friends, “…I go a fishing…”(John 21:3 KJV). That was not a statement of simply needing something to do because he was bored. It was a change in his life course. He had been familiar with that occupation prior to being called to follow the Nazarene. Now that he had blow it there was really nothing left for him to do but return back to that lifestyle with which he was so comfortable with. He had so beat himself up over his failure that honestly he could barely pick his head up high enough to be able to see what he use to do. Guilt and condemnation like a noose hung around his neck was squeezing the very life and potential ministry out of Simon Peter. Since in his mind he was certain he was finished as a potential follower of Jesus Christ he might as well go back to what he once did and be what he was before Jesus found him.
Many of you who read this blog at the beginning of a new week are perhaps there as well. Once you felt used by God. Once you were a leader. Once you were anointed. Once you felt the hand of God on your life. But, like many of us you have found yourself in the ranks of those who have failed in one way or another. Your failure may not be what others have done, but to the religious world it is failure nonetheless. So, like Peter you might as well go back to your old occupation or else find another because you have been kicked to the curb and there is no place for failures in the ranks of the “perfect”.
You owe it to yourself to read the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John. The setting is after the resurrection. The disciples are back doing what they were doing before Jesus walked by and called each one of them. On this particular occasion they had worked all night and caught absolutely nothing. Talk about adding insult to injury. These were experienced men at their occupation. To toil all night and get nothing was an embarrassment. And to pile on the misery a figure stood on the shore line and calling out to them asked if they had been successful. I find it humorous. It was His way of getting their attention. That He did. For immediately John announced “…It is the Lord…”(John 21:7) And when John made that statement, notice carefully these words, “…Simon Peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, put (girded) on his upper garment (his fisherman's coat, his outer tunic)--for he was stripped [for work]--and sprang into the sea”(John 21:7 Amplified Version). Look at that last statement which states, “and sprang into the sea”. I often had thought Peter was anxious to get to shore because he could hardly wait to see the resurrected Christ. I am not certain that was the case. I think Peter is still reeling from his failure. He is still uncomfortably with looking Jesus in the eye. And I honestly believe that when he “sprang into the sea” he wanted to swim out as far away as he possibly could get because he was so familiar with the religious people of his day he knew there was no hope for him ever again being in the inner circle. But, he did not know Jesus!
Have you once been used by God? Has the hand of the Lord been laid on your life? Have you blown it? Take a ticket. Join the ranks of the failures that have been restored. Stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have stopped trying to jump the bar of religion and are walking in relationship with the Lord and all he simply wants you and me to do is once again “feed His sheep”. Your life is not over. Ask Peter. He never would have dreamed that the Spirit of God would have chosen him to bring forth an organism called the church. But he was. And you can be used again as well. Your best days are not behind you, they are before you. So, stand up, Stop springing into the sea of failure and rejection. God is calling. You are ready. He is restoring you. Prepare yourself to once again become a broken vessel which the Spirit of God can faithfully use, not in the ranks of religion, but within the Kingdom of God!!! Hallelujah!!!!!