Today we continue our series entitled, “Press through it! If you have been following me for any length of time you that I love the Apostle Paul. He went through so much, but he never quit. This is what he said at the end of his life’s journey on this side of heaven:
(2 Tim 4:7 KJV)
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
The Apostle Paul was assigned by God, from the foundations of the world, to minister the Gospel message to the Gentiles. He had to fulfill this assignment from God during a period of time when the political and religious climate was not friendly to Christianity. Men and women were put to death for openly believing in Christ Jesus as Lord. Paul knew this well, because prior to his conversion experience, he was one of the lead persecutors. So he knew, firsthand, what he was getting into when God called him to do it. But regardless of the opposition, Paul was fully committed to his assignment and he persevered through amazingly difficult situations in order to fulfill it. We have a lot to learn from the Apostle Paul.
Looking back on what he had been through, Paul said the following:
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 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.”
(2 Cor 11:23-27).
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Paul was resolved to never give up on God’s assignment, regardless of the opposition. This is how we are supposed to live.
2. When you look at the life of the Apostle Paul, you get a sobering look what ministry looks like. I am not glorying suffering so that you can go out and look for it, but I am making it clear that you will face opposition if you are going to accomplish anything of significance in the Kingdom of God. The devil is not going to sit by and watch you fulfill God’s plans and purposes for your life. He will come at you, but you must be determined to never cave in, never give up and never quit!
3. Without a vision you will quit. Paul had a vision. The Lord revealed to Paul what his assignment was and Paul was determined to fulfill his purpose before he died. With the vision before him, Paul held on to the end. In his last letter he said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2nd Tim 4:7). He knew what his assignment was and he also knew it had been completed. Paul did not live much longer after writing this letter. In this same letter he said the following to his spiritual son Timothy: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus… Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” What was Paul doing? He was helping Timothy get mentally and spiritually prepared for the challenges he would face on the road to fulfilling his own life’s assignment. What Paul said to Timothy is something we could, and should, internalize ourselves.
4. Purpose gives birth to vision. When you are Born-Again one of the first things the Holy Spirit begins to work with you on is your divine purpose. God established your purpose before the world began. Therefore, purpose cannot be decided. It must be discovered. Once you discover your purpose you are in position to become the man/woman God called you to be. You are not there yet, but at least you know what God planned. Your job is then to walk it out and complete it BEFORE YOU DIE! That’s the only way you will be considered a success in God’s eyes. Because God does not measure success in money, cars, houses or titles. God measures success in purpose.
5. Once purpose gives birth to vision, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish (by the grace of God) as you walk out God’s vision for your life. Paul was able to press-through things that would have killed the average person. He did it because he kept God’s vision before his eyes. He received the assignment from God and he did not give up until he completed. Once he arrived at God’s predetermined final destination for his life, he was ready to die. He did not die because he was sick. He did not die because he was old. He died because he was DONE! That’s the way we are supposed to live!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I know I have a part in what You desire to do in my life. I declare, by faith, that I fulfill my part. I refuse to allow opposition or challenges to cause me to quit. I am not a quitter. I am a fighter. I have a Warrior Spirit burning inside of me. I am determined to die empty – to get out of me (before I die) all the things You have placed in me. Come what may, by Your grace I will come out on top. I pursue Your vision for my life with bulldog tenacity and I know I am not in this fight alone. You are on me, in me, with me, and for me. I am on Your side and You are more than the entire world against me! I will persevere. I will press through. I will overcome. I will arrive at Your predetermined final destination for my life! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!