23 May Your Power is in Your Partners
I can’t think of a single time in history when someone accomplished something great by themselves. That’s because no one operates in a vacuum.
Our support systems and those we partner with contribute to our success. They help us build the foundation we need to succeed!
DOWN TIME is PREP TIME
We all hit rough patches. Have you ever experienced one of these situations?
- The company downsized and your job was one of those they cut.
- The loss of a loved one sent you in an emotional tailspin.
- You made a mistake that led to the failure of whatever project you were working on.
- Your business venture failed, even though you made sure you had all of the details worked out.
Any of these situations, and many more, can leave us feeling out of control, like failure and loss are taking over our lives. So what do you do? Let me tell you what I think. Those DOWN TIMES are actually our PREP TIMES.
All of the disciples suffered setbacks in their lives and ministries. When they met with failure or hardship, the first thing every single one of them did was pray.
This was a lesson Jesus taught by example over and over again. Prayer is vital to our success and to our relationships.
We never face difficulties alone. Not only do we have people surrounding us who can help lift us up when we are down, but our heavenly father is with us every day. He WANTS to help us succeed. All we have to do is listen for His voice.
You see, the men that Jesus chose to pass on His message to the world knew success wouldn’t come from moving forward blindly. They needed to PREP, to prepare for what they were going to do next. And that preparation always started with prayer.
YOUR GREATEST FAILURE WILL PRECEDE YOUR SUCCESS
Our PREP TIME often follows a failure of some kind. Peter’s failure on the night of Jesus’ trial was one of the most horrible experiences of his life. In his Lord’s darkest hour, Peter, who Jesus loved dearly, denied even knowing Him. That sin, that failure, rocked the foundation of Peter’s faith.
This wasn’t an unexpected failure. Jesus told him he would fail. Peter, however, did not believe he would ever stumble in his faith in Jesus. He had seen Jesus’ miracles firsthand, and he KNEW Jesus was the Messiah. His shame over that failure could have meant the end of his ministry.
Our shame over past failures can haunt us, but Jesus wants to redeem us completely. He knows our future failures as sure as He knew Peter’s. When we fail, and we will, we must remember that Jesus is stronger than our sin. He can restore us after our failures, just as He restored Peter. When we repent, our failure is left behind.
Our faith in Jesus transforms our failures into successes for His Church! The challenge is in walking in faith instead of being held captive by the past. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)
LEVERAGE what YOU HAVE to GET what YOU NEED
When you plan for your success, what’s the first thing you do? We’ve already talked about some of the steps I take. First I PRAY. Then I PLAN.
The disciples had a plan. Their goal was success. They were tasked with spreading Jesus’ message to all the world, and KNEW they could succeed. They knew because Jesus not only told them, He showed them. He told them to cast a net after they failed during a fruitless night of fishing, and they obeyed (Luke 5:1-11). Because of their obedience, they were blessed with opportunities beyond their wildest imaginings.
If you want to succeed, you need to plan. Part of that plan is figuring out what you already have and leveraging it.
Do you have a strong social media platform you can use to spread the word about your project? Use it. If you are starting a business, focus your efforts on where you are strong and hire someone to fill in where you are weak. If you are starting an outreach for your church, look at the community and see what needs you can fill with resources you already have access too.
PROSPERITY can break your NET without partners to pull in the catch!
The disciples were also very intentional about sharing with their ministry partners and seeking their input and guidance. They shared their successes and their problems. They knew they could count on their ministry partners—their brothers and sisters in Christ.
When Jesus told Simon (Peter) to cast his nets over the side, they caught so many fish their nets were breaking! They knew they couldn’t haul in the catch alone, so they “signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” (Luke 5:7)
This passage in Luke may be one of the most valuable parts of this story. Here was a man who was experiencing unexpected, unprecedented success. Had he refused to share that prosperity, he would have lost it all when his nets broke. But Peter never hesitated.
He signaled for assistance and freely shared that prosperity with his partners. And it was more than they all needed! Because they worked selflessly to support one another, Jesus gave them the opportunity to follow Him and become fishers of men.
They found prosperity because of Jesus, but they wouldn’t have been able to keep it if they hadn’t worked together.
They knew that a NET BREAKING BLESSING requires partners!