Each moment of this ministry has confirmed that I’m in the center of the will of God for my life.
God is moving in this church and we are preparing to take a big step of faith.
As we’ve been praying and discussing this move, I’ve been reminded of a story I heard Bob Russell tell (and one I’ve told many, many times).
Several scientists were studying a group of monkeys.
In a large room the scientists had hung a climbing rope with a bunch of bananas at the top. When the monkeys were brought in, it was only a short time before one of them figured out that a short climb up the rope produced a great reward: a banana.
However, when any of the other monkeys tried to follow his lead, they were sprayed with water. The first monkey up the rope was always allowed to climb to the reward, but others were always hosed down each time they tried to do the same.
Eventually, when the rope-climbing monkey would make a move to go for another banana, the others in the group would physically prevent him from climbing. Eventually he learned not to climb the rope.
The scientists then removed that special monkey and put a new one in the room. The moment the new recruit made a move for the rope, the other monkeys would beat him up. After several attempts, and several beatings, he too learned not to climb the rope.
New monkeys were periodically introduced into the group and each time the other monkeys made certain no one climbed the rope and got a banana.
Fear is the enemy of faith.
Too many times we hesitate–or fail–to step out in faith because we are afraid that we are going to fail and too many times this fear is based on past realities.
Maybe you took a chance and tried something bold for God but it was a disaster.
Maybe you stepped out of the boat to walk on water only to find yourself swimming for your life.
Maybe you went for the bananas but only got soaked.
I heard that Ben Merold had a list of rules that he communicated to leaders of the churches with whom he served. One of the rules was, “Failure is not the unforgivable sin.”
Failure is really an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and adjust the strategy.
Past failure can’t be allowed to hinder present faith.
Just because something has failed 100 times in the past doesn’t mean that it will fail the next time.
Yes, we must be wise.
Yes, we must be careful.
But, we ultimately must be faithful and if God is calling us to follow him. . . regardless of what has happened in the past, we must follow him in faith.
Remember: Faithful people get bananas; fearful people don’t.
We must go for the bananas.
The bananas are real. They are delicious and they are worth it!