January 22nd – “Persist”

“The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10)

It seems like whenever you are on the verge of a breakthrough, you are most tempted to give up. It’s always that last stretch which really pushes you to go beyond your limits as the struggle intensifies. Because of the mounting pressure, you may question why you embarked on the pursuit in the first place. You wonder if it’s really worth it even though you’ve been training, you’ve been fighting and you’ve been praying in hopes of crossing the finish line. But, unless you make the decision to persist, you will forfeit the opportunity to grasp that which is rightfully yours.

Samuel was a young boy who learned about persistence when he initially discovered God. At first, Samuel is mistaken and responds to Eli when the Lord calls his name repeatedly. At Eli’s instruction, Samuel retreats in order to respond to the Lord attentively the next time around. This defining encounter with God, marks the beginning of Samuel’s prophetic ministry.  From this story, we can learn three principles about the importance of persistence.

Persist long enough to hear what God is saying.

Samuel could have very well ignored God’s call while lying down especially after Eli confirmed he was not the one calling. Instead, he persists to secure the message the Lord had for him. If you really need to know what God is saying regarding your circumstance, He invites you call unto Him for the answer (Jeremiah 3:33). Imitate Samuel’s repositioning and attentiveness to God so that you may receive the word accurately as it comes forth.

Persist to complete the assignment.

Samuel’s assignment did not just end the night after he finally answered the Lord. His assignment continued wherever and whenever God sent Him (1 Samuel 4). Many of you can confirm you’ve heard the initial call of God however, you need to persist in order to fulfill the task assigned.  After that one night at the altar, continue to persist because there are many other encounters God has in storeWhile struggling with personal insecurities and while confronted with external opposition, persist. When life’s curveballs trip you up and make you want to retreat in isolation, PERSIST.  In the board meetings where people who have been doing this longer are wondering how someone as inexperienced as you could have a seat at the table, PERSIST. Persistence will allow you to penetrate through that stubborn glass ceiling. God’s plan and God’s assignment never changes We are the ones who are called to change. Persistence says NO to complacency and affirms that you can and you will because He who promised is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

Persist to receive a new discovery of God.

You may feel like you’re hanging by a thread and have come to a point in your life, much like Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and many others, where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Because they were sure of the assignment and they knew what God called them to do, regardless of the hostility and hardship, they had to keep going.  Giving up was NOT an option.  Because of his initial act of persistence, Samuel could intercede for the people as judge and prophet when they sought deliverance (1 Samuel 12:19). Because of his initial act of persistence, Samuel would be the one to transform the leadership structure in Israel and establish the first monarchy. And ultimately, it was Samuel’s persistence which set the stage for a wayward nation to be led back to the Lord (1 Samuel 12:23).  You don’t know it yet, but someone is depending on your persistence in obedience, in intercession, and in service. You’ve been called, you’ve been empowered, and you are victorious.

In the infamous words of our Pastor, “you will win if you do not quit“.

Persistence is key.

Reflect:  What do I need to revisit in order to persist?

Prayer:  Father God, I thank You for the call over my life. I thank You because Lord, You will always perfect that which concerns me. It’s so hard sometimes God and I just want to throw in the towel. But Lord, I know that You are faithful, even when I am faithless. Because of You Lord, I know I can persist. I can press on toward the mark for which I have been called heavenward in Christ Jesus. Grant me the grace as I look to Jesus to continue to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith. You are more than able and so I trust You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by Deborah Nimoh