Monday, March 7, 2011

...with perseverance.

persevere |ˌpərsəˈvi(ə)r|verb [ intrans. ]continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty

Funny how we can read something so many times, then one day it jumps at us in a fresh light.
Maybe it's because our circumstances change from morning to morning.
So, what we need to hear changes from morning to morning.
And God knows that.

There are areas of my life where I'm looking for "fruit" ... expecting the change to come... and not seeing anything (yet).
I've been tempted to throw in the towel with some things.
My attitude? 
"But, Lord! I'm reading Your Word, I'm applying Your Truth, I'm walking it out. So, where the heck is the fruit?
Didn't you say if we did those things there would be fruit? Huh? HUH???"

"...who have heard the Word... and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." Luke 8:15 (nas)

"...who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest." Luke 8:15 (msg)


Sometimes we forget, don't we?
Okay, I forget. 
Or, I get lost. 
Or, I get frustrated. 
Or, my vision grows blurry.

The fruit does come... it will come... with perseverance.

In my mind I think, "We just need to shift this here and move this over there and take this out and put this in and, tada! That should produce the fruit we're after!"
But, it doesn't necessarily work like that.
Sometimes it does, but obviously not all the time because Jesus reminded us with His parable of the sower that it takes perseverance.

We hear it all throughout scripture. In Hebrews we run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
It's just that we forget.
We think results should come faster than they tend to.
We can chalk it up to our microwave, fast-food culture...
but, I think it goes beyond that... because Jesus spoke this to the crowds of listeners way back when.
Which means they needed to hear it as much as we need to hear it.
(And, I have some good intel that they didn't have microwaves or fast-food.)

...with perseverance.

It's not necessarily a cultural thing.
I think it's a human thing.
We want what we want and we want it now.

I want to see the change I'm hoping and praying for... now.
I want to see glory in the harvest... now.
I want to witness the fullness of the fruit I'm hoping to bear... NOW!

...with perseverance.

Perseverance is hard. It takes commitment. It takes energy. 
It takes time. It takes our resources.
Are we willing to give those things?
Maybe in some areas, but in every area?
Does a marathon runner have perseverance? Of course.
But, I know marathon runners who will stick it out 'til the end... cross that finish line... and then throw away a relationship because it would take too much to repair it.

I know successful businessmen who have worked hard... invested in company relationships... researched business strategies, sought wise business council... and then given up on their troubled teenager because they weren't sure how to move forward.

Jesus isn't talking about a specific area. He's talking about the whole.
All of it.
...with perseverance.

The things we are called to, we are called to.
Regardless of timeline.
In spite of not seeing what we want to see when we want to see it.
"Delayed" results don't give us an automatic doctor's note to sit on the bench, to get out of the game.
This isn't jr. high.
And God's timeline is not ours.

...with perseverance.

I'm reminded.
Let's do this thing.
Are you in? For the long haul?
Because I am.

...with perseverance.

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