Sunday, April 7, 2013

Never Give Up!

Last November we began a challenge for people who wanted to take the risk of changing their lives in 40 Days.  Amazingly, a good bunch of people showed up and took on that challenge!  We are now beginning the last week of our 21 Day Fast, and refreshing your memories (for those who had joined us) of all we had taught during that time.  It's amazing how much we can learn and enjoy for a moment, and then forget when the routine of life drags us back to our old mindsets. 

So now the question remains, are you still in the fight?

Session 15 of the 40 Day Project

Certain things in life are worth fighting for, whether they take a day, a week, a month, or a year.  We began the 40DP with the purpose of seeing change within 40 days. Some of you have seen big changes already, others feel you’re on a solid path to change, and others can see that your mindset/outlook on life is now one that can produce change.  But one thing we all need to agree on is this: The Project will not end until we see what we set out to accomplish, a concrete, significant change in our lives. This means that we need to keep practicing the ideas that we’ve spoken about and keep insisting on the change that we want.

Right after God had performed the biggest, most spectacular miracle of Elijah’s life, Jezebel, the queen, threatened to have him killed within 24-hours, (1 Kings 19).  At this news Elijah made a days journey into the wilderness, came to a broom tree and sat down under its shade and said: “It’s enough, Lord. Take my life. I am no better than my fathers.”

God’s response was, “Get up and eat.” In other words, “Hey Elijah, it’s not the time to give up! There’s still much more for you to do.”

How could Elijah have fallen so far so fast? He went from the elation of a great victory to depression and total defeat.  He allowed himself to be knocked off balance, not by the Queen’s threats, but by unfulfilled expectations. He had hoped that the entire nation would respond to what he had done and turn back to God.  And when they didn’t, he sulked and became depressed.  Jezebel’s threat was the last straw. Words that he would normally laugh off, he took to heart and almost lost everything.

As with Elijah, our biggest obstacle is ourselves.  We want what we want, when and where we want it, and for it to feel the way we had imagined it would feel once we get it.  We want the victory to be so sweet that we can kick back and bask in the glory for awhile, because we earned it.  When we decide that we’ve done enough, but the results aren’t what we expected, we can emotionally “go on strike”, thinking that we are punishing the powers-that-be by showing them that we are displeased.  But who is punished when we give up?  Who suffers? We do. We rob ourselves of the miracle we need because our emotions speak louder than reason.

This feeling of exasperation comes naturally to all of us, but persistence does not.  Two major questions need to be asked:

1.  Is what you are fighting for worth all the effort and faith that you can put into it?
2.  Would this victory create pride within you, or gratitude towards God?
If you know that what you desire lines up with God’s promises and would honor Him, then your goal should be full steam ahead, no doubts or turning back.

After asking those questions, three major points also need to be established:
1. It’s not up to you to decide when you’ve fought too much or too hard – God decides when you’ve had enough, and sees that your victory comes to fruition. (Remember, He is not a taskmaster, but gives us a light and gentle burden, even if your feelings are complaining that it’s all too hard. Don’t give in to your weakest link.) Matthew 11.30

2. The vast majority of blessings you gain in life, happen during the actual process fighting – LEARN TO LOVE THE PROCESS.  Your faith is refined, your bond with God is strengthened, your mind is enlightened, your discernment about good and evil is sharpened, joy and peace and strength begin to become commonplace.  You not only have your answer in the end, you are now a different person, and can handle much more than before.

3. Fighting will become a joy, a way of life that rejuvenates you, because you learn how to fight and win. This is when you are able to help not only yourself, but many others.

If you knew you were guaranteed to win every fight against evil and wrong, wouldn’t you keep going and never give up?  2 Corinthians 2.14 says that Christ ALWAYS leads us in triumphal procession.  That’s just one of many guarantees that God gives us over and over again in His word, that when we fight the good fight, we win.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:4

I have not failed – I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work.  Thomas Edison

HOMEWORK:  No matter what you have seen happen in these past 40 Days, don’t give up, keep that positive inertia going.  Don’t take any set-backs or bumps in the road personally.  God is not turning His back on you, He is rooting for your victory.  Believe and you will see!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was one of those people who participated in the 40 Day Project. It was a miracle from God! I had been desperately seeking God for change in my life. Circumstances in my life at the time were almost more than I could handle. But thank God for His love. He has changed my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. I can't praise Him and Honor Him enough. He is so good and His Mercy Endures forever. I thank God that He brought Pastor David and Evelyn into my life. They are true servants of God who aren't afraid to tell you the truth, so that you can get set free and serve God in a way that you never thought possible. I am in awe of God and of His great and mighty power. God Bless!!