Failure is often a backdoor to success. It’s out of the ashes of failure that God raises the princes of his people. I’ve never met someone who has pursued failure, yet I have met countless people who have failed. I dare say, no one has realized dreams or fulfilled destiny without having made some mistakes or failed in some way, perhaps repeatedly.
Case in point, Thomas Edison, when asked about how many times he failed when creating the light bulb, replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Persistence is needed to achieve breakthrough, both in the natural and spiritual realms. God knows the plans and purpose for your life, your true kingdom identity, and calling. Failure and setbacks in life occur, and if we can trust God, they will become backdoors to success. God uses both our success and our failures, he uses it all to mold us and move us into destiny fulfilled. He is the master potter and his plans for you and I are plans of good, not of evil.
Last week in Destiny Discovered Part 1, I began to examine the life of the Apostle Peter. He was an ordinary man, who at times exhibited great love, passion, and prophetic insight with Jesus. Yet, at other times, his weak human nature affected his relationship with Jesus. Peter’s humanity and failures are clear in scripture—giving us hope in Christ! Despite his highs and lows, Jesus loved him, restored him, and empowered him to fulfill his purpose and destiny.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial and Failure
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”Peter had boasted “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” (Luke 22:31-34 NKJV)
Peter, displaying his loyalty also declared, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” (Matt 26:33 NKJV)
BUT Jesus knew the outcome and prayed for Peter. In Satan’s mind he would be rendering Peter useless for the Kingdom of God, but in the omniscient mind of God, Satan would be used as a tool to make Peter into a true disciple.
After denying the Lord, Jesus restores Peter in the presence of the other disciples (John 21:15-19). Three times Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” It’s as if Jesus was saying, “Now, after you have denied me three times, as I said you would, can you still affirm that you love me more than these other disciples do?” Peter denied Jesus in public, now Jesus restores him in public.
And then Jesus simply tells Peter, “Follow Me!” In other words, “Peter, I know you love me, I want you to follow me and to care for God’s people.” No shame, no guilt, no condemnation; but words of love and life that brought healing and freedom from a guilty conscious. It’s called grace, a free gift of love that forgives and heals from the mistakes of the past.
Each of us, like Peter, has failed God at some point in our lives. Or, at the very least, some circumstance (perhaps beyond our control) has occurred in life that hinders our journey to fulfilled destiny and purpose.
Perhaps the greatest cause for spiritual defeat is a guilty conscience, which can create a nagging sense of spiritual failure. One of Satan’s strategies is to keep Christians preoccupied with failure.
For many, the doorway to abundant living is entered through a hallway of failure. Our past is a reminder of our need for God’s grace; our weaknesses make us appreciate God’s love for us and his strength. Leave the past behind and look with hope in Christ to the future. Don’t be defined by your past but allow your past to draw you closer to God in complete dependency.
Sometimes your failures provide backdoors to success. Every obstacle you overcome strengthens you and moves you toward destiny fulfilled. God can even use the enemy’s attack to move you toward purpose and destiny. We discover along the journey that through Jesus, our old man is crucified, rendered powerless and we are now empowered by Holy Spirit to be someone we weren’t prior to conversion. From broken sinner to beloved saint! There is hope!
Many, like Peter, are in a place of transition—between the past and future. Transition can be unsettling, but you must move forward to discover your destiny.
Transition, for Peter, included confronting the barrier erected in his mind between his past failure and his future with new hopes and dreams. A “suddenly” had come, a change was unfolding, and he had to embrace it.
Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, was changed. He went on to become a prominent leader in the early church, and his life was marked with purpose and destiny for the kingdom of God. God used every success and failure in Peter’s life to shape and prepare him for his true calling and purpose.
Four New factors that Helped Peter Discover His Destiny after His Failure
Looking at Peter after the resurrection, I want to look at four issues occurring in his life as he transitioned to his future and discovered his destiny: 1) New Identity 2) Increased Favor 3) New Relationships and 4) New Acts.
Peter is no longer ‘Simon’ (which means ‘the waverer’) but ‘Peter’ (which means ‘the steadfast rock’). He has a new nature … a new identity.
Peter’s destiny was to be a leading apostle in the early church—this was God’s plan for him before he was born. Life’s circumstances and his choices hid his true identity. In Christ, God no longer reminds us of our old nature, we are given a new nature and new identity.
Paul states, “So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:11 NLT)We have been raised with Christ into newness of life, living from his identity and his victory. This new identity, combined with the empowering of the Holy Spirit, is why Peter could stand on the day of Pentecost and boldly preach to thousands,
Acts 2:14 “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice …”
After Pentecost, Peter isn’t the same person any longer. The result? Many come to Christ! Peter was awakened to his true identity (steadfast rock) which empowered him to step into his destiny.
The Lord is restoring us, renewing our minds, and is removing the fears that have hidden our true identity. By his power, you can overcome the mountains of the past season that have hindered your progress toward destiny discovered.
Word to Zerubbabel, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” (Zech. 4:6-7 NKJV)
The infilling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost changed Peter. Seek your Pentecost with God! Believe that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is for you today!
Acts 2:41, 47 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…3000 souls added to them…having favor with all the people…”
Favor, or empowering grace, increases for those who pursue God’s purpose. Favor increases as you walk faithfully with God—over time. You begin to develop a testimony with God and your confidence builds as you recall God’s faithfulness.
Favor increases with intimacy, relationship and obedience to God.
Favor opens doors; it will enable you to stand before those you may not have been qualified for in the natural. God is increasing his favor on his faithful ones, allowing them to radiate his favor and giving them new opportunities because the harvest is ready:
John 4:35: “look at the fields, they are already white for harvest.” While a great wave of harvest is coming, the harvest is NOW!
Acts 2:42-47 vs44 “…all who believed were together…”
When God begins to do a new thing in us, relationships frequently change. Often, God has new, fresh, divine connections to bring into our paths. He will supernaturally align us with others who will cause us to come into a greater level of success. He will position people in our lives that will propel us toward success and to fulfill our destiny.
One of the most difficult changes in life to make is to let go of certain relationships that will hinder your future. Soul ties often need to be cut to advance. Ask yourself, “Are my current friendships and relationships bringing me closer to God or farther away?” If the answer is “farther away from God,” you need to consider aligning yourself with new life giving relationships that will help you move forward into purpose and destiny.
Acts 2:43 “…many wonders and signs were done…” In the early church, the power of God was openly displayed by the apostles and believers.
Anointed at Pentecost, Peter and those early disciples carried a fresh baptism from heaven of power. They began to understand experientially the resurrection power of Christ.
Throughout church history, every time that God is ready to do something new, new acts begin that demonstrate his power today. We should expect the Lord to intervene in our lives with signs, wonders, and miracles in each new season we enter.
Don’t allow the signs and wonders to offend you and reject what God is doing in this new season. God often offends the mind to reveal your heart.
Through prayer, we enter a realm which causes a sensitivity to the Spirit. Then, as we go, we make ourselves available for those supernatural moments, divine appointments, that God orchestrates to release his love and power to humanity.
You become his hands and feet, positioned in God for his love and power to be displayed. Times when you may least expect it, God will move through you!
Remember, each prophetic promise brings some level of transition.
The promise is to help you discover purpose, destiny, and empower you to move forward. Peter, feed my sheep! A charge, but a promise that empowered him.
You must be willing to embrace the new season, while preserving the good from the old. Allow new paradigms in your thinking to form and embrace them.
Great changes are occurring in our world. The Church is in a season where we are moving from Law-based religion to Grace-empowered practice. Love is the foundation, not judgment. We embrace prophecy that releases hope! Future!
This renewed perspective of grace is moving the Church into opportunities to declare hope and prophesy God’s purpose and timing so that his people will know what actions to take. A Sons of Issachar anointing is being released! God’s anointing empowers us to move through the narrow and challenging places in our path to fulfill destiny.
It’s a season of grace and favor, but it’s also a season of discipline. We are learning to discern his perfect timing. God is remolding and re-defining his bride, a warrior bride, spotless, pure and powerful! Grace for the race set before us!
We need to receive a fresh anointing. This anointing will give us victory over old mindsets and behavior that hinders, and it will give us victory over demonic forces that are hampering us. A new anointing will increase revelation and discernment. It will provide increase for harvest to fill his store house.