“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill
Do you have a heart to do the impossible? Can you find the strength to begin again in spite of discouraging setbacks and rejection? Will you believe you can when your background and experience says you can’t? Moses did. If we had lived in Moses’ day, his name would have made a splash on the front pages of every newspaper. The headlines would have read something like this…
Moses Negotiates Largest Union Deal in History:
Over 600,000 Egyptian Slaves Freed with Back Pay!
Read the entire story (See Exodus Chapters 2-14)
Moses succeeded at the task God gave him–to free an entire nation of slaves–but not before many failed attempts. In fact, in Exodus 3:19-20, God tells Moses that he knows Pharaoh will not free the Hebrews until he is forced to do so. It seems like God is setting Moses up for failure. How could a farm hand with a criminal record force the Great Pharaoh, the wealthiest most powerful man of that day, to do anything?
God didn’t expect Moses to achieve this vision in his own strength. God expected Moses to believe that He would back up His promise with signs and wonders. Moses did his part–he acted in faith on the promise. God did his part–He used His power to change the situation. Ten plagues or supernatural disasters later, Moses seized the victory. But, don’t allow this simple summary of events to diminish the challenges Moses went through to see his dream come true. His success wasn’t quick or easy.
Consider this: Moses did not know how many signs it would take or how much time it would take to change Pharaoh’s mind.Moses didn’t have a Bible to read to build his faith in God (Moses is given credit for writing the first books of the Old Testament). Moses didn’t even have fellowship with other believers to encourage him. Moses probably thought that turning the refreshing waters of the Nile to blood would cause Pharaoh to release the Hebrews. Or surely, the plague of painful, itching boils on every Egyptian, not to mention complete darkness over Egypt should have been enough. Even his fellow Hebrew brothers and sisters began to doubt it would ever happen.
Through it all, Moses obeyed God and continued to ask Pharaoh for their freedom, even though Pharaoh had already said no or lied about releasing the Hebrews nine times before. He didn’t succeed until the tenth try. What number are you on? Did you fail the first time or have you been trying for years without any type of breakthrough? Success could be yours on the very next attempt, but you will never know if you quit. God’s deliverance and payback came for the Hebrews in just one day! Don’t be discouraged. Be determined like Moses.
If past failures have fizzled out your fire, rev up your determination to succeed God’s way with these five principles from the life of Moses:
Five Determination Factors for Success:
- If you’ve lost faith in your vision, go back to God. Every time Moses was discouraged, he went back to God. God reassured Moses and gave him new instructions,
- Focus on obedience, not timeframes. Moses did whatever God asked him to do (even when the instructions seemed ridiculous) and did not quit when the goal wasn’t immediately achieved.
- Use what you have. God empowered the only physical tool Moses had–a simple shepherd’s stick–to perform mighty miracles. God even told Moses who to ask for help. (Moses had his brother Aaron to speak for him because he had a speech impediment.)
- Lean on God’s ability, and not your own, to accomplish the task. If you only focus on what you can do, your faith will fail. If you only focus on what God can do through you, your faith will soar.
- Take God and yourself seriously. Don’t expect others to have confidence in you or in the word God spoke to you. Instead have enough confidence in yourself and the vision God put in your heart to actively work towards your goals. For example, if your employer gave you a difficult task to do, you would develop a plan and begin working on those goals immediately. You take your employer’s requests seriously knowing that there will be adverse consequences if you don’t succeed. Remember, when it comes to accomplishing your vision, God is your boss–respect Him enough to do the work.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain