“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving in the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12
This past week I watched an interesting home improvement project in my house. The week of a holiday, a holiday we were hosting out-of-state family for three days, mind you, my dear husband, John, wanted to begin construction in our basement.
It made sense on certain levels: he could take time off, and the project was a family Christmas present. So, amidst the sawdust, the multiple trips to the home improvement store, the freeing of the rented truck from the soggy earth in the lot next door, and a few minor injuries, our project got well underway.
Although he anticipated taking two days to complete the construction, as often happens, the process was a bit more complicated than previously thought and he hit many unanticipated snags.
Yet, as I watched this entire experience play out, John kept his great sense of humor and altered plans and reconfigured ideas. The project ran a bit over and was not completed before our company arrived. My dad offered to help, and his help was greatly appreciated. With another person on the job, morale ran high and progress accelerated. The construction was completed the night before our family left.
I was impressed and blessed by John’s perseverance.
How about those spiritual walls we ram, seemingly out of nowhere? When ministry does not follow my plans, can I alter my ideas as easily as John altered his designs? Am I open to novel ideas, ideas I did not author?
When I “get stuck” with my feet sinking, do I work to pull myself out, even resorting to solutions outside the box, determined to be freed?
When I run out of the needed materials or find I do not possess the necessary tools, do I stop and locate them, or push on, making the task even harder?
Do I stop and ask God, the ultimate designer of all projects, to reveal the blue prints I should follow, and to show me what I need? Or do I rely on myself?
Constructing a healthy spiritual life or a ministry is not unlike constructing a physical room in a home. We need the right materials, we need the correct tools, we need the right attitude, we need the right directions, and we need perseverance.
Monday: What am I trying to accomplish at present? Have I consulted with God, allowing Him to direct me?
Tuesday: As times and circumstances change, am I open to an altered plan? Remember Moses’ experience in trying to get the Israelites to the Promised Land. (Read Exodus 16, 32:19-33:3, and Numbers 20:1-13 )
Wednesday: Am I open to an unpredictable timeline, in the quest for completion of my goal? Noah knew he would be in the ark, there would be a great flood, and that he would one day get back on dry land. But God did not outline a timeline in His directions to Noah. Am I ready to fully rely on God, and not try to write that timeline myself? Read Genesis chapters 6-9.
Thursday: Do I possess the perseverance to push on when I do not see perceptible progress? Do I take steps to build my faith, so I can trust God in those moments, days, or years, when I do not see any progress with human eyes?
Friday: Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You are the great author and perfector of our faith. You know the plans you have for each one of us, plans which will not harm us, plans which will further Your kingdom, and our very own personal faith. Please help us to remember and cling to Your promise in James 4:8, that when we draw closer to You, You will draw closer to us. Help us to reject negative thoughts and words, and to develop an attitude of perseverance. Amen.
Thank you so much for reading! Please return by Monday, December 9 for the next post.