Monday, October 21, 2013

The Half-Hearted Effort

Persistent Faith
by C. A. Brewer

A popular gospel song from the past states, "Prayer is the key to Heaven, but faith unlocks the door." While there is certainly truth in these words, something else could be added.  It is not feeble faith or wavering faith that opens the way into the presence of God.  It is bold, persistent faith that makes the difference.  It is often knocking at the door over and over until the answer arrives.
     Persistent faith is like the widow petitioning the unjust judge day after day until he became bone weary of her coming.  Unrelenting faith is like Elijah on top of Carmel praying "until"---until his servant saw the cloud the size of a man's hand, the portent of a mighty downpour on a desperately dry land.  Importunate faith is like the man who went to his friend's at midnight and pounded on the door until he received the three loaves he needed.
     Motivational speakers of our day often encourage their listeners to persistently believe in themselves, instructing them, "You can do anything you want to do." The truth, however, lies not in what we want to do on our own.  It lies in what we will believe God to do in and through us.  Jesus said, "If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17:20).
A half-hearted effort will never bring the complete victory God plans for His people.
Those who seek to know God for the value of the relationship itself, who obey His Word in good times and bad, usually develop a passion for God that casual observers can never understand.  That passion compels them to follow the voice of God even when He demands things that seem pointless or unnecessary.  It is as if they, like Jeremiah, have a fire burning inside that demands to be freed and they can shout with the prophet, "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not" (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV).  That passion forces entrance into a realm where service and obedience become passageways into holy places not accessible by humanly constructive means.
Our half-hearted ways not only effect us, but they effect others in the body who depend on each member to move in the same direction.. We must strive to have more then temporary gains and victories as a body due to those who may not be as whole hearted as you.  It is obvious in the result how much passion was used during the process.  How strong is your passion for the up building of God's kingdom? 

"And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice" (II Kings 13:19).

We can stay focused on the task at hand and refuse to give up.  Life offers little too those unwilling to struggle.  God's promises do not apply to those who will not fight to receive them.  Steadfastness and determination are essential for every Christian's success.

God hates bland disinterest.  "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16). A passionless believer simply going through the motions may be blessed because of God's covenant with his fathers, but he will have no spiritual heritage to pass on to his own children.  At best his victories, like Joash's, will be temporary pauses in the enemy's march to total authority.  Every believer should earnestly pursue a passionate relationship with God.

Authored by: Sis. Joy Jones

References: Davis, Richard. Lessons from History for Christian Living. Spring 2013 Hazelwood: Word Aflame Publications, 2013. 42-44. Print.