Learning How to Fail Forward

We gather more baggage in our lives by turning from God.

Josh Barrett
Jun 10, 2018    36m
In this sermon Josh Barrett talks about how turning from God can lead to more baggage in our lives. He illustrates this by exploring the story of Samson. How his addiction to women caused him step away from God. The further away he got the heavier his baggage. It wasn't until he was broken man that he felt remorse and repented for his sin. His baggage was lifted, but by the time it was, he had paid a huge price. We can learn from this by recognizing when we are stepping away and gathering baggage. This will allow us to repent and have our baggage lifted by God, so that we may fulfill our God given purposes. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Josh Barrett: 00:29 Cornerstone, Chandler, San Tan, Scottsdale, so good to be with you today. The Bible says, This is the day the Lord hath made, I might rejoice and be glad in it. Does it say that? It says I will rejoice and be glad in it. So let's do it today. Shall We? Let's rejoice and be glad in it.

Josh Barrett: 00:51 First of all, if you thought Michael Junior was here today and you got me, I'm sorry in advance. All right? I apologize. I've been told I'm funny, but I don't know if I will be that funny. So here's who I am, in case you don't know, and you're like who is the dude here today? My name is Josh Barrett. I have the privilege of pastoring your sister Church of yours in the Copa. The Church of Celebration. I'm sorry, that's just how we talk down in Maricopa, Arizona Church of Celebration. And hey listen, I don't know if you know this, or if you are new to Cornerstone. But you have played a vital and huge part in who we are. We just celebrated 12 years last month. How about that? And Pastor Linn and Lisa are incredible friends and mentors to my wife Ginger and myself. And just so you know through a group of churches I'm now a part of as well, called Vision Arizona, we plant churches around the valley. And that's what you did with us. And in right now, down in the Copa, meeting without me there is a church of over twelve hundred people celebrating Jesus this morning. How about that? And here's the coolest thing, is since we've started, this is the best number. Over thirteen hundred people have said yes to Jesus and given their lives. Let's celebrate today. Awesome. So thank you.

Josh Barrett: 02:23 So it's good to be with you today. You are in the middle of a series, Cornerstone. called baggage that you started a couple of weeks ago. And in essence this kind of idea is about, you know, coming to terms that a lot of us carry an extra unneeded amount of weight in our lives. And the reality is, is the step back for you to take towards freedom in your life is hard when you are surrounded and overwhelmed with baggage. But here's the good news. It's right there, I'm mean the step back to God's provision, to God's freedom. It's right in front of you, but you have to come to terms in the reality of reaching out and taking a hold of it. And then stepping into the life that God has fully intended for you to live and experience with him. But, this is the hardest part, right? It's your choice on whether or not you will unpack your bags. It's up to you.

Josh Barrett: 03:29 So we're moving into week three today, and I want to talk to you a little bit more about how we can unpack our bags. And I want to share with you, this morning, about the life of another Bible character who had to put it lightly, a moving truck sized load of bags and baggage in his life. And that guy's name is Samson. Anybody here ever heard of that dude? Okay. So you know who I'm talking about. I'm going to talk to you about the life of Samson today, and what I'm hoping to do is kind of show you a few ways that we knowingly continue packing our bags full and full and cramming more and more stuff in them. And then we attempt to try to carry them ourselves, only to find ourselves one day crashing and collapsing under the weight of that. And I want to give you a few more self-identification ways. And then I want to end today with giving you kind of...you have two responses when it comes to unpacking your bags. One is basically the natural response, and one is the right response. But the right response is the hardest one. So I'm here to just share with you today a little bit about the best way that you can learn how to fail forward. And that's what I want to share with you today.

Josh Barrett: 05:02 So if you're new to Samson's story, to give you a little bit of a recap of who this guy was, Sampson was a guy that from birth, he was set apart. Another word for set apart, a Bible word is holy, okay. And I don't know if you know this today, but if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you are called to be holy. You are called to be set apart, and he was called and he was chosen by God to basically bring deliverance for God's people, the Israelites from the oppressive hand at that point in time of the Philistines. And sometimes you may read your Old Testament and wonder why is there so much in the OT about the Israelites wandering, wandering, you know, disobeying. What does that have to do with me? And I know this is not you Cornerstone, I know you know somebody, you can point to them right now if you like, you know what I'm saying? But for some reason God thought it was really important for us to learn about people that continually disobeyed. I know that's not you, right? But he thought it was important.

Josh Barrett: 06:07 So this is what's going on. And time and time again God would bring, you know, this person or himself. And they would deliver them once again, like they've learned their lessons, let's restore them. So God gives this particular man, named Samson, this supernatural strength. And inside of Samson is more potential than you could ever, ever imagine. And I find this interesting because, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I have the power, I have the resurrecting power of God in my life. Can I get an amen? So there is a lot of power that I possess as a follower of God. Just like Samson did, but for some reason, time and time again, I tend to pick up baggage along the way and I don't live up to my full potential. So if we were to summarize, synopsisize, that's a good word can I use that one today, synopsisize Samson's life. It might sound like this. Samson was an incredibly strong man with a dangerously week will. And I think that, that identifies with a lot of people today who are followers of Jesus. We have incredible strength from God, but we have dangerously week wills. That for some reason we continue to go through life and pick up excess baggage that God never intended for us to pick up. All due, not to the strength that God gave us, but do as a result of our week wills.

Josh Barrett: 07:47 Samson dealt with lots of baggage along the way. He picked up things like lust, and entitlement, and pride, and he was often known for being a very emotion driven person instead of a spirit led person. To probably the biggest piece of luggage that he carried the most, if you were to read his story, was pride or was anger. I mean he had an intense, unimaginable amount of anger and he lost his temper so many times. And if you're new to the story today, I'm going to talk about Judges chapter 16. But I would strongly encourage you to go home and read Judges chapter 13 through 15. Which is kind of where he really picked up a lot of baggage along his way. So do that.

Josh Barrett: 08:29 But here's what I want to do before we really jump in today. I want to say this with all sensitivity. I realized today that a lot of us are carrying extra baggage in our life that we never sought out to even pick up along the way. Meaning something has maybe been done to you in unimaginable and tragic ways, and forced upon you to carry a weight that you never intended to carry, And I want to be sensitive today. I don't want to minimize that. Because that pain is real and it hurts, but here's what I do want to say. If we're being honest today, isn't that a funny thing for a preacher to say? Let's be honest today, wouldn't you expect me to always be honest? Right? But if we were really being honest today. I think we would all have to step up to the plate and say this. You know what reality is this, yeah there's some stuff. But a lot, a lot of the excess baggage. Okay, let's just be real, right? Most of it, most of the excess baggage at we tend to pick up is a result of our own doing.

Josh Barrett: 09:47 Don't look at anybody today, but it's a result of our own doing. And what I'm trying to point out is this, a lot of us knowingly, we knowingly keep collecting more and more baggage. So the main idea to kind of go along with baggage today, if you're a note taker you want to write this down, but I just want to give you this out of the gate to chew on before we really jump in. Here's what I have discovered in 23 plus years of ministry. God uses the most, those who hold on to the least. Now I'm going to say that again, because of my church, we would get an amen for that one. Okay, so feel free to talk a little bit to me, because if you don't talk, I don't have any idea how long I'm going to preach and we might go an hour and a half. I've already been tasked with 30 minutes. I'm only six minutes in and I'm doing really good, but I could go longer if I don't hear from you. Can I hear from you Cornerstoners?

Congregation: 09:47 Amen

Josh Barrett: 10:52 Is that your name? Cornerstoners. We call our people celebrators. So I'm going to call you Cornerstoners. You already got a lot of baggage with that name right there. You know what I'm saying? God uses the most, those who hold on to the least.

Congregation: 10:52 Amen

Josh Barrett: 11:15 There we go, there we go. This side you need to work a little bit and right over here too. So, alright? So I think it's important that we learn how to unpack our bags. And I believe what's most important for us to be able to do that, is for us to identify, we need to identify the areas that we are continually picking up extra bags. And then, here's the hardest part, we need to own it. We need to own that we're hoarders of luggage. We keep picking it up. Now here's one thing that you need to learn about Samson's life that I think is very applicable to you and my life. Here's what I know. And again you can read this on your own. Judges 13 through 15. We're in 16 today . But here's what you learn about Samson, Ready? Samson didn't ruin his life all at once, he ruined it one step at a time. And I think that many of us are in the same situation or scenario as Sampson. Most people we don't just like, "Oh, I blew it all." No, no, most people don't do it all at once, we do it one step at a time.

Josh Barrett: 12:24 And in Judges 13 through 15, you can see all of these steps that he takes. The fiasco after fiasco and, continual luggage packing that he does along the way. Until one day comes, one day happens, and this is usually when the weight of the bags are just like too much and it comes to collapsing and crashing down on us. Like I can still grab one more, I can get one more. No. And then it just collapses one day.

Josh Barrett: 12:52 And in Judges chapter 16, we're going to pick it up. But here's what I want you to know about Samson. He didn't ruin it all at one time, he did it one step at a time. After all that stuff. Judges 13 through 15, here's what happened. Samson finally comes to the point of like, Hey, listen, it's probably better than I cooperate with God than be opposing God. Which by the way, that I'll preach today too. So here's what happened. Samson enters into 20 years of faithfulness to God. He unpacks some bags and, he ends up with 20 good years of faithfulness, until one day happened. Judges Chapter 16:1 it says this, "One day," see it's even in the Bible, "One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and he spent the night with her." So a little more information about one day, a little more context for this passage. So to bring you up to speed, Garza was basically the headquarters of the Philistines. So we see in our story picking it up, that our idiot, Samson, once again finally after 20 years of faithfulness. One year decides, hey, you know what? I'm going to go for a walk, and I'm going to go back into enemy territory. And once again, to continue our thought, right? Samson didn't ruin his life all at once he, did it one step at a time. So did a little research, and I looked it up, and it said this. That for you or I to travel 25 miles by foot, it would take us 56,250 steps. To travel 25 miles, it would take 56,250 steps. My point is most people, most people, don't plan how to mess up their lives. I've yet to meet anybody in my life that wakes up and decides, you know what, I think this is the perfect day to screw my life. This is a perfect day for me to act like a Jack Wagon. Now some of you wives or disagreeing with that, and you're poking your husband, you're like well, you do that every day.

Josh Barrett: 15:10 I'm serious. I've never met anybody that's come up with a 10 year plan to become a deceitful businessman. I've never met anybody that's come up with devise this plan to become a person who's so in debt that it's up to their eyeballs. I've never met anybody who's decided, you know what, I'm going to plan my way to being an ungodly and a absent parent. I got an idea. I'm going to start scheming and devising a plan for me to become a closet porn addict. We don't do that. Why? Because we take one step at a time towards it. And what's amazing to me is Samson happened to have 56,250 steps, 56,250 opportunities to at least think about what he was doing to walk away from 20 years of faithfulness with God.

Josh Barrett: 16:08 So here's a few steps that we often take towards self-destruction. Just to make you aware of where you might be picking up more and more pieces of baggage in your life. Here's the first one, if you're a note taker. You taunt your enemy. You continually go up and taunt and tease your enemy over and over. You go up and you taunt your enemy. Samson did it. Check this out, Judges 16:3, one of his small steps towards big destruction, "But Samson lay there until the middle of the night" while he was shacking up with the prostitute, "Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate together with a two posts and tore them loose bar and all." Then watch what he does. He lifts them. Dude, I'm telling you, supernatural strength, this is just amazing, ridiculous, God given potential. Lifts it onto his shoulders, carries them not just for a carry. He goes on a hike up to the top of the hill that faces Hebron, and he just taunts his enemies. Twenty years, no issues. But finely he's like look at me, I'm the king of the world. You talk about begging for trouble. You talk about blatantly picking up more baggage. And I thought about it for a second, but don't we tend to do the same thing sometimes with our sins, with our extra baggage. That we just...I want this, I'm going to put it in, but we just intuitively know, don't we? We intuitively know that if I keep doing this, it's taking me one step closer towards destruction.

Josh Barrett: 18:05 Can I just remind you today friends, you may think your addiction, your issue, you're sin, that your baggage is your enemy. It's disguised as the enemy. Your enemy is known as Satan. And just so you know the Bible says that your enemy, the adversary, is like a roaring lion going to and fro seeking whom he may devour. The thief, that's Satan. He comes to steal, kill and destroy you. It's not good enough just to take things away. He wants to annihilate you, and yet we keep taunting him. We keep going up and up. You know what I'm saying? And we just taunt him and tease him over and over and over again. Do you not think it's going to get angry?

Josh Barrett: 19:10 So Samson takes one more step, of his 56,250 steps, but that's the only one step. Here's another destructive step. Step number two, he rationalizes the same old sin. Oh gosh. You go read the story of Samson. It is no secret that he's a sucker for women, but even more importantly, like he's got this addiction. But the addictions even specific, it's like alcohol, it's like, you know, prescription drugs, it's like pornography or whatever, it's specific. Because three times it's a Philistine woman, which by the way, God told him don't mess around with people that are not my people. The Israelites. Three times until he finally meets his match with a chick named Delilah. Hey there, Delilah. You know what I'm talking about, right? Delilah. This is the third time. First was a potential Philistine wife. The next day was a Philistine prostitute. Now it's like his match. My gosh, I started thinking, don't we tend to do the same things over and over and over again with the same old weaknesses, the same old sins, the same old reasons that we come up with that we need more stuff to carry? More baggage?

Josh Barrett: 20:49 And it's a positive story and I'm just like, I don't get it, I really don't. Because here's what I don't understand. You got a guy that is strong enough, wrap your brains around this, he's strong enough to kill a thousand men, single handedly with the jaw of a donkey bone. He's single handedly strong enough to rip a lion in half. He single handedly enough to capture 300 foxes, he's single handily strong enough to lift an entire city gate over his head and go up to the top of a hill and taunt his enemies. He's strong enough to do all of that, but yet he's not even close to being strong enough to handle his greatest weakness, his greatest sin, his heaviest piece of luggage, which is women. Every time he comes up against this, he folds like a lawn chair. And here comes Delilah, and she plays on his you know these idiosyncrasies of his, and she's on a task. She needs to find out what it is. And he is teasing her and joking with her. She's like, just tell me the source of your strength. Just tell me the source of your power. And he teases her all the way until finally, Samson caves. Because he's taunted his enemy too many times, and he's rationalizing his same old sin, and he's picking up more and more baggage. And you know the story, he gets a haircut from hell. And you know, once his hair was shaved, he loses every ounce of his strength. And along with that he loses every ounce of his God given potential. And he takes one more step, one more step, one more step along his 56,250 steps towards self-destruction.

Josh Barrett: 22:57 But that's not it. Here's another one, check this out he assumes this is big. You assume your disobedience won't cost you. Hey, I can get away with this again. I've done this so many times. Why not one more time. What's the problem with picking up one more piece of luggage? He assumes his disobedience wouldn't cost them. Check this out. Judges 16:20. Then she, that's Delilah. called Samson, Samson. You got to read it like that, okay? Samson the Philistines are upon you. And he awoke from his sleep, and here's what he thought. I'll just go out, as I've done, before and shake myself free. In other words, I'll just do what I've always done. I'll just pick up one more piece of baggage. What's one more piece of baggage going to hurt? I'll just get myself out of the potential trouble, because that's what I always do. But the Bible says, and it's a big book in the Bible. He did not know the Lord had left him. See what he didn't know, is in the last part of verse 19, it says, "When he got his hair cut, his strength had left him." And my point is, he assumed his disobedience wouldn't cost you. And I just would throw this in there real quick, you don't have a clue friends, you don't have a clue of when you're going to get caught. You don't, because if you did you'd probably stop. You don't have a clue when the next piece of baggage that you pick up, it's just going to come collapsing down on you. It's going to be the final piece that you can carry.

Josh Barrett: 24:55 And if you keep doing the same thing over and over and over and over again, pick it up more and more baggage along the way. Here's what's going to happen. Your fate is going be the same as Sampson's. Judges 16:21. Then the Philistines, that's his enemy, that's his issue, that's his sin, that's his big primary baggage. They seized him, gouged out his eyes, took him down to Gaza, binding him with bronze shackles. They set him to grinding grain in the prison. You catch that? He became a prisoner enslaved to his baggage. How in the world, how in the world could one man with so much God given potential, end up in such a tragedy? He didn't do it all at once. He did it one step at a time. Just listen, where are you stepping away from God? Starts first with identification. Identify today are you on step number 73? Are you on step number 246? Are you on step number 26,266? Are you on step number 36,432. What step? Where are you? What step are you stepping away from God at? Identify that first and foremost. Seriously, seriously friends, how much more baggage do you really think you can keep carrying?

Josh Barrett: 26:20 Alright, let me transition. I got nine minutes. We're screwed, because I've got like this much more. Okay, so I want to wrap this up with a little hope today. For anybody here today, like you're feeling defeat and the discouragement from all the weight, something the Holy Spirit saying to you. I'm going to say something with unbelievable promise, and if you don't say amen today, I'm taking my stuff and I'm walking off stage. Okay? Just so you know. If that's you today, you may be down, but you are not out. Come on Jesus. I'm telling you, you may be down, but you are not out. And here is why, because recovery, restoration, victory, and freedom are right within your grasp. You just need to learn how to unpack your bags. You need to learn how to fail forward. And God gives us a gracious, gracious verse that is full of His mercy, His love and His grace. That's perfect for you to hear today. If you are collapsed under the baggage of your life. Ready? Here it is.
Judges 16:22. Ready? Powerful verse, you've never probably thought this before, but the hair on his head ready began to grow again. Can I get an amen for growing long hair? Especially for bald guys? Can I get an amen?

Josh Barrett: 27:41 Now you guys, you don't see this right away, but this has so much promise. This has so much power because here's a guy, one day happened, he collapsed. Everything's out of control, way too much baggage, but the hair on his head began to grow. And sure we read Samson's story and we see all these things and there are things in our life that we can equate, and we really need to embrace, we really need to internalize, and we really need to live with. But don't miss this. I think you heard it last week in some way, shape or fashion, but I need to say it again because somebody needs to hear it today. Just because you failed at something, it doesn't mean you're a failure. Alright? Somebody liked it, one person. That's because, as Scott said last week, I'm saying it again, a failure is an event, it is never a person. And in Samson's story, we see something amazing. We see a guy that's failed over and over and over, so much extra baggage it's ridiculous. That leads us to read or think something like this. Man, he's failed. We do the same thing. He's failed too much. He's failed so much, and too much that God could never love him again or never use him again. But I'm going to tell you something else, completely full of grace, ready? God can still accomplish his purposes through anybody who repeatedly can't get it right. Thank you. I got one lady out there that's really liking this message.

Josh Barrett: 29:11 Judges 16:23-25. You can read later. Worst of the worst is happening, he's entertaining his enemies. And we see in the next part, really quick, and we'll close here. Two responses that he has, to finally unpack his bags. One is a natural response, one is the right response. Here's the first one, ready? For the natural response is remorse, and this is why it's natural. If you're a child of God today, and you are in some type of sin, and you are carrying serious baggage in your life...If you're a child of God, you're feeling bad about it. The remorse usually doesn't come until you get caught, like full-fledged remorse, but you're feeling bad about it. That's the Holy Spirit in your life. That's called remorse. But unfortunately here's where most people fail, you stop at remorse. I feel bad about this. I shouldn't have done this. I'm a bad person. And then remorse can turn inward, right? And you say, I'm horrible, I'm no good, I'm the worst person that's ever lived, I have no future, I hate myself, I hate my life. Sometimes it turns inward. Sometimes it turns outward too, and we start blaming other people, right? We start, if you wouldn't of done that, then I wouldn't have done this. What? Gosh, remorse is usually the first response. But we stay there. It's like packing for a vacation. Ladies you never do this, I know that, but guys are always doing this on vacation. We'll pack our bags and we realize I got too much stuff in here, so we leave it out, like I am not taking that much stuff. And then we go on vacation, right? And we buy more stuff than we would have originally packed to begin with. I know ladies, you would never do that, but guys we do that. So remorse is you pause for a little bit, you feel bad about it, but eventually I'm just going to keep taking more baggage. You stop, you stop and you stay.

Josh Barrett: 31:07 There is a better response, it is the hard response. Because you've identified, now you've got to own. The right response is called repentance. I knew that would be quiet. See repentance says this, I did it, I was wrong, I own it, and I'm going to do something about it. And how do you do that? Simple. You turn around, right? Simple. Logic says it's really hard for guys, but if you're going the wrong direction, what do you do? What is your wife telling you to do, over and over and over and over again, stop the car. Turn around, idiot. I had that in there just for you ladies today. Turn around. That's what common logic tells us to do, and that's why I pointed out the very beginning. If you can identify where you are stepping away from God, what steps, 763, 3,222, what step? If you can identify that, then you can stop. You can stop walking towards death, not you really I'm just sorry you're not death over here, and you can turn around and start walking back towards life.

Josh Barrett: 32:28 So while remorse focuses on the bad, it keeps it looking back at all of this extra baggage. What am I going to do with all the baggage, all this baggage, all this stuff? You know what repentance does? Repentance looks it turns from the lower, and it turns to the higher. I don't know if you know this or not, but re actually means turn, and pent means to the highest. Which means we turn from our sinful ways and we turn back to God's higher ways. We don't say I feel bad about this. We say I'm turning completely to God, so I'm going to let him redeem me for his divine purposes. This is hard, because the reality is I'm just being honest today, you might not be able to change your past. But you sure can change your future, and it all starts with repentance. Because even in your past failures, I know God can still accomplish his purposes. Why can I say that? Because Jesus focuses not on your failures, he focuses on your future.

Josh Barrett: 33:41 I really like this lady down here. You may not end up with the fairy tale ending that you desire or want. Let's face it, you might not get your marriage back, you might have to work really hard to gain the trust and become a better parent of your children, you might have years of tough and tight living financially to get yourself out of the red and finally into the black. But here's what I know and I'm almost done. Ready? I know this. This is an amen. Just again, I'm going to throw this out there. This is free to you. You can celebrate after I say this, just so you know, I just want a little response. Okay? Your consequences don't have to define you. Listen, but they need to remind you. Your consequences don't have to define you, but they need to remind you. Remind you of what guys? Remind you that it's totally not worth for you to continually start picking up extra baggage along the way, remind you that your freedom in life only comes when you unpack your bags, remind you that the purposes that God has for you right now are to live abide and reach your full God given potential, and remind you what's most important, that God is not finished with you yet.

Josh Barrett: 35:06 Bow your heads and close your eyes. You cannot keep saying friends, I want something to be different and not do anything different. If you want a different result, you got to do something different. Stop making excuses for it. Unpack your bags and start with repentance. And if you're a follower of Jesus Christ today, listen, you got no excuses to not unpack your bags. Because you have the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in your life. And if God can raise his boy from the dead, then there's nothing you can't do, like unpack your bags. Jesus, thanks. Thanks for today. We praise you. We honor you. Your name is glorified today. Can somebody say, Amen. We want to serve you free. Help somebody unpack their bags today. We love you, Jesus and you're precious in your holy, holy, holy son's name. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286