I’m excited to have my gifted friend and wonderful writing mentor, Dianne Barker, as a guest for Thursday’s blog this week. I know you will enjoy her words and heart.
By Dianne Barker
Have you ever been involved in a ministry project and grown weary, perhaps even wondering why you even started?
Weariness is a dream killer.
Exhaustion, fatigue, disillusionment can talk us out of doing what we believe God has called us to do.
I’ve struggled much with discouragement. Once when I questioned the value of a project, the Lord’s sweet voice spoke in my spirit saying, “It’s good. And God is in it.” Those words kept me focused.
I think that was Paul’s purpose when he wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]” (1 Corinthians 15:58 Amplified).
The apostle had just written about that glorious day when Christ returns and “death is swallowed up…in victory” (v. 54). He said, “thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 57).
We can be steadfast, immovable, abounding (plentiful, thriving, flourishing) in the work of the Lord, knowing He is champion over all—even death!
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me, [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]” (Matthew 16:24 Amp.).
There’s that word again—steadfast. Jesus used it to explain what following him involves.
Steadfastness means firmly fixed in place; immovable; not subject to change; unwavering, unfaltering, unswerving; persistent.
Paul commended the Thessalonians for “your steadfastness (your unflinching endurance and patience) and your firm faith in the midst of all the persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions under which you are holding up” (2 Thessalonians 1:4 Amp.).
That reminds me of Moses’ amazing legacy. “[Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).
Has God chosen you for a task? You started with enthusiasm but time and trials robbed your energy and your expectation. Don’t give up!
Remember Gideon (Judges 6-8). After the death of Joshua (who led the Israelites after Moses died), the Israelites again “did evil in the sight of the Lord,” and for seven years he let them be oppressed by the Midianites.
As Gideon threshed wheat, the angel of the Lord appeared and gave him an assignment. “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage…Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
Satisfied this was from the Lord (remember the story of Gideon’s fleece), he made a courageous decision—to obey the Lord.
Gideon started with 32,000 men. Too many, the Lord said. The Israelites would think their own strength delivered them. He instructed Gideon to eliminate some. He cut the troops to 10,000. Still too many. Finally he set out with 300 men.
My favorite commentary on this band of warriors: “When Gideon came to the Jordan, he and the three hundred men who were with him crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit” (Judges 8:4 NKJV).
Exhausted but still in pursuit!
When God gives an assignment, don’t give up! If He delays in delivering what He promised, know He has a purpose—perhaps to see if we have sufficient faith.
And to bring us from self-sufficiency to total dependency.
May it be said of us…though the path was crooked and rough—strewn with obstacles and detours—we held up under persecutions, crushing distresses, and afflictions. We never flinched but held staunchly to our purpose.
Steadfast! Unmoveable! Flourishing in the work of the Lord! Confident our labor was not futile and nothing was wasted! Exhausted but still in pursuit!
Dianne Barker is a conference speaker and author of eleven books including the # 1 national Christian best-seller Twice Pardoned and the award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Authors Network, she hosts “At the Library” Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. ET on WHCB Radio, 91.5 FM.
© 2015 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
July 9, 2015 at 9:28 am | Uncategorized