Hey everyone, welcome to Serenity in The Spirit, an online ministry that aims to encourage you in your walk with God. If you follow us on social media, you will know that this month's word is 'Persevere' and in the next couple of blog posts we'll be tackling something that I'm sure most of us struggle with at some point - persevering in the things of God.
Firstly, I guess I should explain what I mean by 'things of God'. In this post, I am referring to activities that grow your relationship with God and anything that He may have placed on your heart to do. This could be anything from praying and reading your bible, to forgiving a family member for the 7th time or even uploading regularly to the YouTube channel He told you to create! Throughout the post, I will be reflecting on my own personal struggle with persevering in these things - in particular, writing this blog and running the overall SiTS ministry. So, let's get into it!
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him - James 1:12
The reason for a struggle to persevere will differ from person to person. It can be anything from laziness to a spiritual attack but either way the Bible tells us to remain steadfast. No matter what is going on around us, no matter what the trial is, we must persevere. So how?
1. Prayer - okay so this was pretty predictable but prayer truly changes things and it gives as an opportunity to really get specific with what we would like. It is our route out of any bad day and our thanksgiving song in any good day but here are some specific things to pray for when struggling with perseverance:
- Declaring victory over the enemy's attacks: the battle is already won (1 Corinthians 15:57)! I really recommend teaming up with friends, family and even your pastor on this one. Don't forget our DMs are always open on social media for prayer requests, we'd be honoured to join with you in prayer.
- A vision of what God wants to do with your life: when you realise the amazing plans God has for you, I'm sure you won't want to turn them down (Jeremiah 29:11). God can and will reveal different things to you to enable you to walk on the path He has prepared for you and, no doubt, it's a better path than what you would have carved out for yourself.
- A burden for the souls your life will reach: Christians are called to make disciples of all Nations (Matthew 28:19) and open ourselves up to be available for God to use to reach those around us. It is not just the growth of your relationship with God that is waiting for your obedience but the people that God plans to touch through you. This is about more than ourselves.
- Fresh desires for the things of Him: I've mentioned on this blog before that God wants us to be real in prayer. If you don't feel like reading your Bible, tell Him but also ask for Him to change your desires to be in line with His. There is nothing too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17)
2. Stop waiting to 'feel' like it - anyone else been there? 'Ah I'm really not in the mood tonight, I'll pray tomorrow' knowing full well that it's more to do with laziness than anything else. This point is related to the last prayer suggestion, even when we don't feel like it, it's so important to keep in communication with God. The devil wants nothing more than to stop us speaking with Him and to give in to our temporary, selfish feelings but we have to stand our ground. We must act consistently based on what doesn't change rather than something that changes day-to-day even hour-to-hour. We know that Jesus didn't 'feel' like dying on the cross, but He did it anyway so are you willing to make a sacrifice for the things of God? It's definitely easier said than done and it's something that I have struggled with particularly when writing the blog but when I remember what Jesus did for me, I find it hard to justify my lack of effort. It's not about what makes us feel good, it is about doing the right thing and being obedient to God. Repent and get back to it!!
And let us not grow weary of doing good - Galatians 6:9[a]
I really pray this first part has at least given you a practical starting place to kick start your relationship with God again if it has grown stagnant and you've found it hard to persevere. To those of you, like me, that have a God-given vision placed inside of you, chase it. The devil wants to steal it from you, He doesn't want the souls that will be saved through you to be reached so he'll plant any excuse in your mind to try and stop it. Don't give in, keep going, pray continuously to God and ask for His help - He wouldn't place this vision inside of you to just leave you hanging when things get tough.
Lord, bless every person reading this right now. Align their desires with Yours and let Your will be done in their lives. I rebuke the attacks of the enemy on their minds, visions and dreams, and ask for Your Holy Spirit to guide and protect them. Thank You that when we are weak, You are strong - your love is unlike any other. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Song of the Post: For Your Glory - Tasha Cobbs