I was talking to a friend a few months ago and during the discussion he mentioned the following, “anything that you are not fully committed to becomes difficult”. His statement gave me great pause and I had to stop and ponder on the depth of what he was saying, “Anything that you are not fully committed to becomes difficult”.
Immediately I had to stop and apply this statement to some real-world scenarios to test its validity. I started to examine his statement in the context of learning a musical instrument, commencing a diet, embarking on a new course of study or even starting a business. I am sure most of us have tried or at least thought about commencing one of the four things I just listed and had varying degrees of success with these ventures. Have you ever thought about what might have accounted for the challenges/shortfalls you faced while trying to execute these initiatives or any other? Well, I submit to you that tenacity might have been lacking.
Yes tenacity, the ability to be very determined and extremely persistent. My friend was trying to tell me that a high level of persistence and doggedness is the key to unlocking the door that many other alternatives cannot open. Think about it, your alarm clock sirens (well, that’s how it sounds in my ear) at 5:00 am in the morning to alert you to get dressed for the gym. But your body isn’t having it because sleep beckons you to return swiftly to “La La Land”. In that moment, what can give you that much needed extra drive to propel you forward? – “Tenacity Can”!
Tenacity helps you to overcome all those obstacles that so easily deter us from following through – inclement weather deterring you from leaving your house and reaching your destination, your body feeling battered from the previous day’s work out, or the ever-present voice of discouragement whispering loudly. Persistence must say to those obstacles and every obstacle, “you don’t matter, and you will never matter!”. I will go through you, I will go around you, I will go over you, but I will not halt before you.
Staring directly at your obstacles and stepping forward seems hard in the moment, but in the sum of those days when you look back you realize that your persistence is what made it easier. It was your steadfast approach and unwavering desire to become accomplished at all cost that propelled you over the line.
But on the other hand, if your mental aptitude was opposite to this, what do you think might have happened? Well this needs no answer, since I am sure all of us can identify a list of things that we started but ended up falling by the wayside because we entered the endeavor halfhearted. In this life that is filled with detractors aplenty, it is not enough to just start something with desire. It can initially start there, but we must add to it a deep persuasion and commitment which surpasses our peers if you want to succeed. This trait is paramount, and it will make the difference in you Surrendering, Succeeding, or Surpassing.
Therefore, I directly ask you this question, are you fully persuaded in the things of God? Before you answer, please stop and consider what I am asking you. This is not a moment to rush to respond but to quietly ponder and internally reflect. Are you fully persuaded in All the things of God? For good measure let’s list some:
- Are you fully persuaded that Jesus will return for his people?
- Are you fully persuaded that there is a heaven and a hell?
- Are you fully persuaded that you are blessed?
- Are you fully persuaded that tithing brings prosperity?
- Are you fully persuaded that your enemies cannot harm you?
- Are you fully persuaded that God can heal?
- Are you fully persuaded that God is fighting for you?
- Are you fully persuaded that God loves you?
- Are you fully persuaded that you need to share the gospel to the lost?
- Are you fully persuaded that Jehovah is the true and living God?
- And the list can go on…
Faith started when Father Abraham was fully persuaded (Romans 4:21) and he hoped against hope and in believing God it lead to his success. In like manner, the way the Apostle Paul lived this life clearly showed that he was fully persuaded. God’s word tells us that the Apostle Paul went through great peril in 2 Corinthians 11:23-31, and if this doesn’t show a man who is fully persuaded in the things of God, I am not sure what else does.
2 Corinthians 11:23-31 (NIV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
I think about the things that Paul was faced with and yet still he didn’t give up. If anything, each challenge propelled him forward even more with greater vigor because he knew he was moving one step closer to eternity. Paul got 39 lashes and not just lashes but lashes from a Roman prison officer. I must admit, if I got even one lash to my back from such an infantryman, I would quickly go from being fully persuaded to fully dissuaded faster than the guard could have said, “…second slash”.
Everyone cannot be as Great as the Apostle Paul but all of us can and must be fully persuaded in the crosses that we must individually bear. So today as I examine my own life, I humbly ask everyone else to do the same. Don’t just settle to say, “I am a Christian”. But be desirous to push the envelope and be fully persuaded in all of God’s words, for anything less will not bring success.
Your Brother in the Lord