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Do-Over, Please!

Take a quick look at these verses in Proverbs 30:

1 These are the sayings and the message

of Agur son of Jakeh.

Someone cries out to God,

"I am completely worn out!

How can I last?

2 I am far too stupid

to be considered human.

3 I never was wise,

and I don't understand

what God is like."

Proverbs 30:1-3 CEV

Yikes! Have you ever felt this way?

We can identify with feelings of inadequacy. We could even say we feel so stupid that we don't even feel human. Even a monkey seems smarter than us because of our mistakes.

Here's the truth, we all experience failure in life. We all have disappointments and setbacks, and we feel overwhelmed when we are defeated. We can even bring defeat to ourselves.

You don't have to look far to find people in the Bible who felt this way. Poor old Job felt overwhelmed. Look at Job 17

11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart's desires are broken.

Have you ever felt like that? All hope is lost. "I guess I go eat worms!"

I want to tell you that in life, Do Overs are allowed. If you are alive, God will give you a second chance to do your best for Him.

You might fail many times in life, but you are not a failure until you give up.

I want to tell you about two things we can find in scripture on the topic of Failure and Do-Overs.

What are some of the causes of failure in our lives? And what Does God's Word tell us about getting a fresh start?

Let me first talk about a few things that cause failure in our lives.

Today I had the opportunity to speak to the middle school kids at Genesis Christian school. The message to them was about goals and dreams. At the heart of setting goals is making a plan.

We fail too many times simply because we have yet to develop any plans.

Proverbs 27:12 NLT

12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

You've probably heard, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

It's essential to make plans.

Proverbs 16:9 NLT

9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

It's a great idea to make plans knowing God might change them. However, this doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing.

We often fail because we are impulsive and don't plan ahead the way we should.

Being reactive instead of proactive rarely accomplishes what we want because reacting is what happens when we don't act!

Jesus, in one of His parables, said,

Luke 14:28–29 CEV

28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won't you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? 29 Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you.

First and foremost, we fail because we don't think about the future. If we fail to plan, then we should plan to fail.

Here's another reason we fail: Pride. We fail when we think we've made it!

Proverbs 16:18 NLT

18 Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

We fail when we believe we are the reason for our successes. The truth is that we will never get anywhere if we think we've already made it!

Remember, the person who gets too big for his pants will eventually start to show off! Get it? Those pants can only hold so much before they expose more than you want to be exposed!

Let's remember something Paul instructed us in

1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT

12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.

We fail when we forget that God's grace has brought us to where we are. Therefore, we need to make sure we check ourselves continuously so we don't fall into pride.

No plan = failure

Pride = failure

The next thing that pushes us to fail is fear of what others might think of us.

Proverbs 29:25 NLT

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

This verse says that you are destined to fail when you care too much about what other people think.

You'll fall into a trap. The fear of failing can be the cause of failure. One of the greatest failures is the failure to try.

Sometimes, I see these "fail" videos on my social media feed. They show people doing things that I look at and say, "why in the world would they even try that!".

But one thing I will say, at least they try! Sometimes you've got to take risks.

Taking steps in faith even when others don't understand is ok. When we don't walk in faith because we are afraid of what others think is a trap and can lead us to failure.

No plan = failure

Pride = failure

Fear of what others think = failure

Here's the next reason we fail.

We give up too quickly. I always wonder when I've failed what would have happened if I just held out another second, minute, hour, or day.

Truly, a breakthrough in our situations is on God's timetable, not our own.

I read this saying while I was preparing for this message, and I wanted to share it with you:

"Failure is the path of least PERSISTENCE."

Here's my chance to talk about the KC Chiefs. Now, I'm not saying they are where we turn for spiritual advice, but we can find a truth in how they play the game that might remind us of our success.

How many football games have we seen won in the last couple of seconds with a field goal? Remember when there was only 13 second left, and they came back to win?

They didn't give up! They came back to win against unimaginable odds. Most teams would have given up.

You should keep on keeping on trucking! Don't ever give up. There's a great verse with the truth about how we should live. It's a great reminder that we should never give up.

Galatians 6:9 CEV

9 Don't get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don't give up.

There's one thing I refuse to do - quit. Don't ever give up. You can ask my wife. Once something gets in my head, I'm not doing anything else until I work to find a way to get it done. Much to her annoyance sometimes!

Proverbs 15:19 CEV

19 Being lazy is like walking in a thorn patch, but everyone who does right walks on a smooth road.

Lazy people have trouble all the time! But, people willing to work and Seek God will eventually succeed.

So, at first, if you fail, that's ok. Try again. Many times victory is just around the bend. If you keep on trying, you're not a failure. You only truly fail when you stop trying.

We need not give up. Trust in the Lord to renew your strength and resolve. Victory is promised. We need to wait for it to come.

Here are the reasons we fail:

No plan = failure

Pride = failure

Fear of what others think = failure

Giving up = failure

Here's the last reason I'm going to bring up why I think we fail - there are more, but this is the last and probably the most important one to me.

We fail because we fail to listen to God!

Proverbs 14:12

12 There's a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell.

Here's a simple truth, God's Word is filled with ways to help us live up to our full potential. It shows us God's way for us to live.

The problem is that it's so easy to rely on our feelings.

There's a problem with only listening to our feelings; the Bible sometimes goes the opposite of how we feel.

Here are a few examples:

To get more, you must give more.

To be honored, you need to remain humble.

If you want to be great, you must serve.

The Bible seems to go opposite our natural way of thinking. But that makes sense because most of the time, our way of thinking is wrong!

Isaiah 55:8–9 CEV

8 The Lord says: "My thoughts and my ways are not like yours. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.

We will fail when we don't listen to God. In fact, we get into deep trouble when we don't listen to God. When we fail to read His words and spend time with Him in prayer, we are destined to get tripped up and on the wrong path.

Here's my hit list again for guaranteed ways to fail:

No plan = failure

Pride = failure

Fear of what others think = failure

Giving up = failure

Don't listen to God = failure

I'm not going to list any more ways we can miss the mark. It's too depressing. I want to spend the rest of our time answering the following question:

What do we do when we fail?

Because the truth is, we are going to fail. We are going to forget to plan, we will walk in pride, we will care what others think, we will give up too soon, and we will forget to spend time with the Lord.

What should we do when we mess up?

First, you need to understand something about God. He is way more interested in your future than your Past.

A person's Past has never influenced whether or not God loves them or has a future for them. Let's get that over and done with. You matter to Him. You always have and always will.

Here's what I think: Do-overs are allowed.

What's a do-over?

As a kid, we would play all sorts of games. In my life, I was Charlie Brown in the flesh. I remember playing kickball on the playground. They'd roll the ball to me; I'd run up and kick as hard as I could but totally miss the ball!

I'd yell, "Do over!".

I wanted another chance. I knew what I did wrong, and I wanted a shot at making it count.

Because you're reading this post right now, I'm telling you - you can yell "Do over!" in your life.

You can get a fresh start.

There are a few things you need to consider when calling for a do-over.

The first is that you need to accept responsibility for your failures or mistakes.

Proverbs 28:13 CEV

13 If you don't confess your sins, you will be a failure. But God will be merciful if you confess your sins and give them up.

How amazing is this truth? It's the opposite of what we might think is true. We think if we admit our faults, then we will receive judgment, but the opposite is true. We receive grace and mercy.

Solomon is saying, If you have made a mistake, Be honest with yourself. Ask for forgiveness, and then move on.

Wisdom says if you want a do-over, just admit your mistakes and move on. People might not forgive, but God will, and that matters most.

This crazy idea that we have to be perfect in the eyes of other people is in fact, crazy!

Here's a secret, people know we aren't perfect. There's no reason to play the blame game. We should own our failures because when we do, we will receive mercy.

How do you get a do-over?

Admit your mistakes = do-over

The next way to get a do-over is to stop regretting and start repenting!

Repent seems like a heavy idea. It's really not. In the new testament, when you read the words of John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul, they used a word called "metanoia" with means a change of mind. It means to look at something in a new way and change the direction you are going.

Repentance means that you recognize the error and you go in a new direction.

Too many times people get caught up in their Past and let it define who they are now. They say, "I've done so much wrong, I'm a complete loser, I could never be used by God. I'm worthless."

They regret their actions. This is ok. But regret must move us to repent! It's how you get a do-over!

2 Corinthians 7:10 GNB

10 For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation—and there is no regret in that! But sadness that is merely human causes death.

There are two sadnesses mentioned here; there is godly sadness and worldly sadness.

What's the difference? Well, godly sadness makes us want to change. We don't want to stay the same anymore. Our focus changes.

Worldly sadness is just demoralizing and depressing, and it causes us to pity ourselves. We get depressed and wallow in our mistakes. We wonder why no one loves us. We say, "Poor me!"

Godly sadness leads to repentance.

I think that some things are learned only through failure. The greatest lessons I've learned have come from doing the wrong things.

I can remember the day I stuck a butter knife into a live electrical outlet. Lesson learned. I only have to do it once to know I never want to do it again! In fact, even to this day, I am very hesitant to plug anything into an outlet!

Remember the wisdom of Solomon - one of my favs that I've already shared in this series!

Proverbs 20:30 CEV

30 A severe beating can knock all of the evil out of you!

Now, isn't that true?

Can I encourage you with something you might need to hear?

Maybe you should stop regretting it. Why? Because regretting doesn't change our situation. It only keeps you looking back in the Past.

It's like watching the rearview mirror while driving down the highway. If you keep doing it, you're going to crash.

How do we get a do-over in life?

Admit your mistakes = do-over

Stop regretting and start repenting = do-over.

Here's the next thing we need to know if we are going to have a do-over:

Philippians 3:13–14 CEV

13 My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

What memory comes back to haunt you? Is there something that the enemy throws back in your face, and you say: "I really wish I never did that; it's the biggest mistake of my life".

You can't change anything by worrying, so it's better to let it go; focus on the future.

It's not where you have been in the Past but where you're headed in the future that counts.

The Past has no control over you when you accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers.

Peter and Judas are two people who had pretty massive failures when it came to serving and loving Jesus. How they reacted to their mistakes is very telling of how we should react. Their reactions teach us how to get a do-over in life.

You know what they did: they both denied Jesus.

Peter denied his Lord three times -

Matthew 26:75 NLT

75 Suddenly, Jesus' words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me." And he went away, weeping bitterly.

It's not hard to imagine how Peter felt. He had lived with Jesus for three years, but he didn't have the courage to admit he was a follower.

‌When Peter wept, it showed us that he had godly remorse. He was sorrowful and repentant.

Here's what he did what we should do:

Admit your mistakes = do-over

Stop regretting and start repenting = do-over.

Not so with Judas. He didn't have the same type of sorrow.

Matthew 27:3–5 NLT

3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 4 "I have sinned," he declared, "for I have betrayed an innocent man." "What do we care?" they retorted. "That's your problem." 5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

Peter repented. Judas committed suicide.

Dealing with our mistakes is understanding God's grace. Judas took his own life because he didn't understand that God could have restored him.

Peter had to feel like a loser. His weeping was a significant sign that he regretted and repented. On Easter morning, remember that Jesus told them to go tell the disciples AND Peter that He was alive.

Why did He single out Peter? I think it was because Peter probably felt as though his work with Christ was over. He had gone too far.

But God allows Do-overs in life.

Admit your mistakes = do-over

Stop regretting & Start repenting = do-over.

Forget the Past = do-over.

Peter repented and changed.

This man denied the Lord three times is the same man Jesus used days later to preach on the Day of Pentecost. Three thousand people committed their lives to Christ when he preached. Amazing!

‌It doesn't matter what your Past is if you are willing to accept the grace of God. His grace will cover your mistakes.

There's one last thing we need to understand for a do-over in life.

We need to Trust God to work out the details.

I'm going to use the verse you've heard thousands of times because it's imperative that you understand how God works.

Romans 8:28 NKJV

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Our lives can sure look ugly sometimes, like a big old mess of Christmas lights that seem like they will never get untangled.

Have you ever said to yourself, "I don't know how anything good could ever come from this"

Here's the deal, we don't have to know HOW. We need to know WHO.

Another famous verse coming your way:

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Do you need a do-over?

2 Corinthians 5:17 CEV

17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The Past is forgotten, and everything is new.

There it is plain and simple. Christ is what you need. Being born again truly means that you have another shot at this thing called life.

Admit your mistakes = do-over

Stop regretting & Start repenting = do-over.

Forget the Past = do-over.

Trust God = do-over

God is the expert when it comes to do-overs. Trust Him. Take Him at His word, and you'll be able to walk in a freedom that you've never felt before.

Jesus said if you want to be free, truly free, then you need to trust in Him.

John 8:36 NLT

36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.


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