Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, (NKJV)
(Note: for this lesson, we are not talking about the theological idea of eternal security which some call “perseverance of the saints”. We are talking about perseverance with the idea of “not giving up” and “determined effort” -BR)
I get a lot of questions on my business blog about what it takes to be “successful”. The answer is the same whether you are talking about business, finances, spiritual growth or relationships.
You can have everything else “right” but if you fail to relentlessly DO those “right” things, then you’ll get no results.
A dogged determination, almost fanatical dedication to “doing what you have to do” has been replaced today with an attitude of “always learning or searching for the latest ‘secret’, but never actually doing”. To be fair, most people “sort of do, for a short time” whatever they learned in their latest marriage seminar, read in that last business success book, or were taught by an employer’s time management workshop.
Like New Years Resolutions though, it’s usually only a matter of days or weeks before everything slides back to the way it used to be. Why? Because people lack focus, lack determination, lack commitment… they lack perseverance. It’s not the ooey-gooey, experiential, ethereal “magic” that is so sought after today. It’s just good old fashioned, roll up your sleeves, blood-sweat-tears, hard work and dedication.
People lack the GOOD aspect of being stubborn, pig-headed and fanatical, even though we are plenty pig-headed about our selfish desires. That “good” part of being stubborn is when those characteristics are applied to doing what you need to do every day to meet your spiritual, personal and professional goals.
People “wish” they were more spiritual. People “wish” they knew their Bible’s better. People “wish” they were growing in their Christian walk. People “wish” they were getting out of debt. People “wish” they had a good marriage. People “wish” they were good parents. They “wish it”, but they don’t want to do what it takes to get it.
Here are a few things from Scripture about perseverance. Notice that the bold words have to do with determination, effort, commitment and persistence:
- 1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! (NKJV)
- Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; (NKJV)
- Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (NKJV)
- 2 Thessalonians 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. (NKJV)
- Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (NKJV)
- Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, (NKJV)
- James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJV)
Instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing THE SIMPLE THINGS WE ALL KNOW TO DO in order to get what we wish for (ie, spiritual maturity, financial freedom, great relationships, etc), we start searching for the latest book, seminar, program or support group. We FEEL BETTER because it allows us to think we are really doing something about it, when all we are really doing it accepting another excuse for NOT doing the hard work.
People mistake “activity” or “interest”
for discipline and real effort.
Here’s a list of descriptions that will help you define what I mean by perseverance:
- Never, never, never give up.
- Do what you have to do no matter how you feel.
- Pig-headed determination.
- Dogged pursuit.
- Relentless commitment.
- Unwavering dedication.
- Unending persistence.
- Unshakable discipline.
- Tireless effort.
- Fanatical focus.
With regards to our Christian walk, this includes the basics like Bible study, prayer, serving others and worshipping God.
We are living in a Christian environment today where everyone longs to be more spiritual and “wants to be a better Christian”. However, we do that by chasing the latest Christian fad, running after the newest dynamic and motivating Preacher, getting the current number one best selling Christian book, and trying every new gimmick that is thrown out there as “the key to spiritual success”.
Friends, quit all that nonsense. Take the basics (Bible study, prayer, serving others and worshipping God) and now add PERSEVERANCE. Wake up every single day and have the pig-headed determination to do them no matter how you feel. Pursue them with relentless, fanatical determination and let nothing else take priority. Take care of those things with tireless and unshakable discipline.
Think of all the money you’ll save on seminars and books.
Lord God, help us to learn to do the simple basics with relentless determination, for You, and by You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?