“I started, but then a lot of things happened, so I'm going to have to put that on hold for now.”
“I was going to launch my dream / business / ministry, but I've had some new things encroaching on my schedule, so it must not be the right time.”
“It was hard, so I decided it must not be God.”
Have you ever heard someone say any of these things, and you thought it was reasonable?
Or, have you ever said them yourself? If so, today's key to divine advancement is for you.
A lot of people in the Body of Christ tend to think that, if God is in it, things will be easy.
And therefore, when warfare comes against them and the thing they're doing is NOT easy …
… or if it doesn't happen right away …
… then they often think that it must not have been God. They either give up or shelve the project “for now.” And often never pick it back up again.
However, problems, hindrances, challenges, and warfare don't mean something wasn't from God at all. These things don't even mean that it was the wrong time. Very often, delays, challenges, etc simply mean the thing really was God's will, but the enemy came against it. So, if you're going to win, you've got to have one thing:
Perseverance is a huge key to divine advancement.
Without it, we will get derailed by the smallest little things. If we're not in the habit of persevering, then we'll start out to do a thing; experience warfare; and quit. All the while, the enemy laughs and laughs because he just stole God's blessing that we could have experienced.
But if we develop the habit of persevering, we'll see obstacles and hindrances and even delays as just what they are: opportunities for us to exercise our faith and push through.
The enemy only comes against things that are worth stealing.
If God has something good for you–whether it's a job, a friendship, a marriage, a church home, financial blessing, a gift or talent, or anything else–the enemy will do his best to steal, kill, and destroy it. (See John 10:10.)
But if what you're doing is of no benefit and has no eternal significance, the enemy won't bother. He's actually happy that you're wasting your time with things of only temporal significance, because then you aren't in his way and aren't building God's Kingdom.
See, walking in God's highest blessings will always take effort on your part.
You may receive a few smaller blessings with no effort. Congratulations if you do; that's great. I'm all about receiving; receiving is fun.
But receiving the best things–the things God has for you that have eternal significance both for you and for Him, for Jesus, and for His Kingdom–takes work.
Receiving the best things takes, in no particular order:
- time spent speaking God's Word over yourself and your situation;
- time in prayer;
- time spent hiding God's Word in your heart;
- the labor of your hands;
- time in worship and praise; and
This is not even an all-inclusive list! However, you get the point. If you're going to receive God's best, you've got to seek Him with all your heart … and He requires you to have some “skin in the game.” It's that “skin in the game” that develops enough character in you for you to be able to handle the blessings He wants to give you, without those blessings destroying you.
And getting that skin in the game requires perseverance!
- It takes sticking with it when things get hard.
- It takes praying through, even if it takes hours of prayer–and it will–when the enemy fights you.
- It takes creative problem solving when you experience delays.
- It takes creative solutions when people tell you no. It takes early mornings and late nights.
- It takes saying no to fun sometimes, so you can do what God has called you to do.
- It takes leaving toxic things and re-aligning the influences over your life.
- It takes finding an open window, or even cutting a hole in the ceiling, when all the doors are closed to you.
If you want to walk in God's call, you've got to persevere.
Perseverance wins the battle AND the war.
Persevering today through difficulty will get you through today's battle successfully. It will kick all the demons of hell to the curb for today's battle. And if you keep on persevering, you will keep on winning.
Eventually, you will have won so many battles that you'll look around you at the battlefield and find that all the forces of the enemy have been mowed down. You'll be the last man standing on earth, because through the power of Jesus in Heaven you stuck with the game.
Persevering today wins the battle. Persevering over the long haul wins the war.
So what do you do when you're tempted to put something on the shelf for awhile?
You have to discern if something really is from God or not. If it is, you get rid of other things so that you can stick with what God told you to do, even if it's difficult. And if it's not from God, yes, put that thing on the shelf permanently.
So how can you tell the difference?
Many ways. If you haven't heard my How to Make Right Decisions 100% of the Time video teaching, RUN DON'T WALK to get it. It will give you 10 tests to pass every decision through that will tell you for certain if a thing is from God or not.
I'm not going to re-hash the 10 gates of decision-making here. But, I will tell you this:
If God is in a thing, you WILL see these byproducts:
- The activity God has called you to do will get in the way of lesser priorities. (Example: Hosting that home Bible study might prevent you from enrolling your kids in 3 different after-school activities. Building that business may get in the way of your night out with your friends.)
- The work will bring joy.
- There will be a divine flow that empowers you to do the work. Sometimes it will be easy, and sometimes not. Flow doesn't always make things easy. Sometimes it simply helps you get it done. Flow sometimes makes things plain old happen. But easy or not, there will be flow.
- The work will bear holy fruit for Jesus.
But if God is not in a thing, you will see THESE byproducts:
- The activity you're doing will be supplanting higher priorities. For example, your pet project that God didn't tell you to do might interfere with your time alone with God; your marriage; or your effectiveness at parenting your children.
- The work will be frustrating and stressful. You try, but can't find a way to make it happen.
- The work will glorify you, not God.
- It has an adverse effect on your Christian witness, even if only at home.
If you find yourself doing an activity that displays the last group of symptoms, by all means: stop doing it as soon as you can.
But if you are doing something that fits the first group of symptoms, even if it's really, really, really, really hard; the hardest thing you've ever done, and it requires so much sacrifice …
Please. Stick with it. The Kingdom needs you, and you aren't exempt from blood, sweat, and tears on your Kingdom journey.
God's projects aren't always easy. They are very often the most challenging things you will ever do in your life.
Planting a church isn't easy. Writing a blog isn't easy. Adopting a child isn't easy. Teaching a small group isn't easy. Cooking dinner for your family is not easy, and hey, cleaning your house isn't easy either.
But perseverance is a key to your destiny. Perseverance is a key to divine advancement. Perseverance is what it takes to receive your blessing, even when you feel like quitting.
Even if you feel like quitting ten times a day.
Even if you already quit ten times today.
Get back up. Get back in the game. If God has called you to do something, you've got to persevere. Only then will you be able to move forward and receive all that our Papa has for you.
Does this message speak to your spirit today? If so, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what God is saying to you!