Using Failure As Fuel
Written By Lindsey Laudermilk:
I’ve spent my life striving to bring true worship to the feet of Jesus; however, there was a time when my failures silenced my worship and, instead of falling at His feet, I ran in shame. In seeking God about what He would have me share in this season, I felt prompted to encourage those who are striving to live for God but unintentionally falling into failure from time to time. Specifically, those who fall into failure and feel that they are no longer worthy to worship because they’ve messed up. Those who feel like they’ve let God down once again and feel more like hiding in shame than worshiping. If this is how you’ve felt, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know: You could strive to live the most upright life that you possibly could muster and you would still have faults and failures. You aren’t worthy. He alone is worthy and that’s the reason we worship. In my failure, He remains faithful; and that is the fuel to my worship.
Concerning failure, we must be mindful that the enemy longs for nothing more than to render us useless for the Kingdom of God. One of the enemy’s oldest tricks is to shower us with shame when we slip-up. The kind of shame that makes us feel unworthy to worship Jesus. The kind of shame that keeps us from boldly approaching the throne. He wants to take our weaknesses and turn them to shame; but God stands ready to restore our weaknesses and turn them to strength. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 states,
“‘But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my
weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of
Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (ESV).
We must be willing to worship through our weakness. In times of failure, we must be willing to give Christ full access to the weak, dark, deep corners of our hearts that we try our best to conceal. The truth is, we’re not really concealing anything. He sees our failures and shame and is longing to show us His faithful, redemptive strength. The beauty of the gospel is that He came to save us from these moments of failure. Titus 2:14 explains it this way,
“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to
make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds”
Our imperfections and the fact that He loves and forgives us in spite of them all should fuel our worship. We shouldn’t run in shame, we should run in desperation to the feet of Jesus.
David, a man after God’s own heart, exemplified the transformative power of turning failure to fuel. Although he constantly grappled with failure, David is somehow still known as a worshipper. How can this be? His failure often led him into great despair and shame; however, in his darkest times, he learned to overcome failure and shame by changing his posture to one of faith and worship. He used his failures as fuel. You see this time and time again in scripture but the following passages highlight David’s heart change well. In Psalms 143:7 David laments,
“Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or
I will be like those who go down the pit” (NIV).
David’s cry here was one of desperation. He knew that if God did not meet him in that moment, he would be hopeless. Only two chapters later, David exclaims the Lord’s faithfulness by saying, “The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” This means that when we fall, we should bow. When we fail, we should repent and worship in spite of our shortcomings. Our worship shouldn’t be diminished because we fail Him daily, we should actually increase our worship out of thankfulness and humility. Our shortcomings should fuel our desire to worship Him. His great grace and mercy is more than we deserve; we can never thank Him enough.
If He alone is the reason we worship, should our failures stop our worship? No, they should instead fuel our worship. When we’re tempted to fall into failure, may we push away the enemy’s ploy of shame and instead run to our Father in desperation. If we fail, may it fuel us to repentance, worship, and humility. Like David, may we lift our eyes up to the Lord and cry out, “Answer me quickly, Lord, my spirit fails. Please, do not hide your face from me…” (Psalms 143:7, NIV). Let’s remind ourselves of the reason He came, “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, NIV). With this in mind, we are reminded that the heart of true worship is not about us, it’s about who He is. He remains faithful in spite of our failures.
This article was written by Adoration Writing Team Member, Lindsey Laudermilk. Born in Kentucky, Lindsey has been involved in music and ministry alongside her family since the age of nine. In 2017, Lindsey graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio with an education degree. Now living in Cleveland, Tennessee, Lindsey is working as a second grade teacher and is serving in ministry at her church.