Perseverance (Part 1 of 5)

I just finished reading a book by Wes Daughenbaugh, called “Principles of Perseverance.”  I highly recommend it.  The interesting thing is that I have read if before and I remember thinking that it was a good book.  However, this time I thought it was a great book.  Why?  It is exactly what I need right now.  

When I began this blog, I thought that I would write one blog on this subject but as I began to review it, I realized that I need to write several in a series.  This is needed more now than ever, in these perilous times that we live in.  Many are already feeling overwhelmed and are tempted to quit.  We cannot.  

Have you ever grown weary of persevering?  I have.  Sometimes, you feel like you are just trying to put one foot in front of the other to only survive.  Your vision, joy, strength, and passion have been depleted in the storms of life.  Sometimes we are trying to go on within our own power.  It’s pretty difficult to try to be tough, brilliant, creative, or persistent without His grace and help.   That power only comes from God.  We must stay totally dependent upon Him.  

I love Wes’s definition of perseverance — “love that keeps on obeying.”  This brings intimacy with Christ and causes us to be successful, secure, and satisfied.  It causes Him to reveal Himself to us, if we persist in obedience.  

I am a passionate person and a visionary, by nature.  It is easy for me to have a big vision.  The hard part is carrying through with the details day after day.  When I have taken personality tests, I find it interesting that I have been compared to an otter than likes to have fun, but when it gets hard, I want to quit.  I have also found that the older I get and the more battles I have had to face, the more I can get tired and say, “I’m tired of fighting and standing.  I just want to have a period of not facing anything tough.”  I needed this book and I believe that many of you need to hear these truths, as well.   

When we are totally dependent on God, we will obtain true wisdom, faith, love, and power.  We are not worldly achievers who depend on self to be real winners in this life.  Our dependency on God will stand the test of His judgment.  

We must seek God and get His direction and revelation of His will.  I know that God has asked me to ask Him for supernatural wisdom, like Solomon did.  I will keep seeking Him until I hear Him.  That creates real faith.  Then we must obey Him.  However, obeying Him requires perseverance.  It’s when we keep obeying Him that we have victory.  Continued obedience builds Christlike character.  The victory brings Him glory.  

The Bible says in James 1:2-4 — “ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Perseverance is about not giving up, but it isn’t letting the devil beat you with blow after blow and just enduring it.  It takes you somewhere — to victory, achievement, and intimacy with God.  It doesn’t matter how tough the opposition is.  It’s not being the 99 lb. weakling, letting the devil kick sand in your face.  Real perseverance is love that keeps on obeying, and is incredibly strong.  It develops mature, Christlike character.  It’s vital for leadership.  

Persistence is not for the lazy or faint hearted.  You’re not in a comfort zone when you are persisting in obedience.  That kind of persistence took Jesus to the cross.  It finishes its work.  Obedience isn’t optional with God.  Jesus said, “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.”   (Rev. 2:26)  He defines overcoming as doing the will of the Father until the end.  Only those who persevere in obedience will inherit the kingdom of God.  

We are supposed to imitate Christ and the apostle’s examples.  We have to leave our excuses behind.  If you quit obeying God because the situation is impossibly difficult and think that God will accept that excuse — think again.  He will never accept any excuse for not obeying Him.  He is willing to give us His strength.  With Him, all things are possible.  The miraculous is waiting for us.  We have to do His will and finish His work.  We have to be totally committed.  

We don’t have to remain overwhelmed unless we choose to lose.  True over comers cast away every excuse for remaining overwhelmed.  They make choices that result in renewed power.  It’s all right to get overwhelmed but when we do, we are not supposed to quit.  We have to become dependent on His supernatural power.  We can’t wait for the situation to change. We must act to change.  We must improve by God’s grace.

Many are just trying to get to heaven, but our hope is not the hope of heaven but the hope of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(Col. 1:27) Many hope to go to heaven, but have thrown away their hope of being Christlike in this earth.  They do not want to be like Jesus, but have moved out from under the holy blood covering.  You can do that through rebellion and idolatry.  Rebellion refuses to obey or submit to God’s authority and idolatry puts something else ahead of God  The grace of God does not cover either one unless repentance is sought.  If we die in these, the good things we did and the faith we had are forgotten by God. He will say, “ I never knew you.”  When a person repents, it means they want to live differently.  But Christians who think the holy blood of Jesus is a covering for willful sin- and who die unrepentant-will be shocked to find that God forgot their former righteousness.  So, the subject of persevering love is extremely important for believers.  We will escape the judgment given to wicked, lazy servants in Matt. 25:26, who quit obeying and only give God excuses instead of obedience.  Col 1:21-23 says, “ And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Salvation isn’t a free ticket to heave but a right to become a full-grown son of God.  John 1:12 says, “ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name":  Can you imagine someone coming to the gate of heaven waving a ticket.  “Hey, God, let me in.  I have my free ticket to heaven because I prayed the Sinners Prayer,”  God will say, I did not give away any free tickets to heaven.  That’s a counterfeit. I gave out tickets that gave people the right to grow up in Christ in all things.  What did you do with that ticket?  The man says, “I did not want to be like Christ.  I just wanted to get into heaven.  So I threw away the original ticket you gave me and picked up this other one that says, “Free ticket to heaven.”  To that man God will say, “You are not getting in here.”

Many today act like obedience to God is completely optional.  They substitute a ticket that turns the grace of God into a license for immorality.  Just last week a so-called minister of the Gospel called me, asking me for money.  In the course of the conversation he swore, while telling me that he has embraced this new grace doctrine.  I don’t think God’s grace is meant to turn preachers into cursers and call it grace.  

We can become over comers.  You can keep your faith in Christ, and you can persevere in obedience.  God’s grace will give us power to obey and even cover imperfect, but sincere, obedience making it appear perfect in God’s sight.  God’s grace will teach us how to respond in all of life’s situations the way Jesus would.  But God won’t ever be mocked.  We are saved by faith, and real faith bears the fruit of obedience.  When it comes to obeying God, over comers never quit.  

There are individual techniques for walking in perseverance in the middle of fiery trials.  We will follow up in the next several blogs with some of these.  Stay tuned.