Probably the most painful and least desired ways that God gets our attention is through failure. After all, nobody likes to fail. However, this is often the best way for God to get through to us.
Pride is something that can absolutely block your communication with God. It is one of the few things that Scripture clearly says the Lord hates (Prov. 6:16-17; 8:13; 16:5). So, if there is pride in your life, God knows exactly what you need: a good dose of failure.
And that is what happened to Israel in Joshua 7. The new nation had just won a mighty victory in Jericho and, as a result, had become rather prideful. Considering themselves invulnerable after taking such a powerful city, they allowed faithlessness and disobedience to creep into their attitudes.
In arrogance, Israel ignored God’s battle plan for the little city of Ai—the soldiers were certain that they could take the small town on their own. But they were wrong. God denied them this victory, and the few men of Ai drove them back in a humiliating defeat.
God had blessed Israel with a shocking victory over Jericho, but He now needed to get their attention in another way. And you can be sure that God still speaks to us through failure when it becomes necessary.
If failure today can lead to great success tomorrow, isn’t the setback worth it? When unexpected failure occurs, be sure to check your response. Don’t just say, “Well, I blew it.” Instead, agree with God that “I messed up pretty badly.” But then ask, “Lord, what are You trying to tell me in this?”
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