And the Oscar for 'Most Obvious Statement of the Year' goes to...
"It is easier, I find, to not persevere, rather than to persevere."
We get tired pretty quickly don't we? It is so difficult to die on every hill in the fallen world in which we find ourselves. We can't micromanage our kids, our spouses, our own lives even. It is just....exhausting.
Think about what is on your to-do list today:
Go to the store.
Do the laundry.
Return that phone call.
Plan that party.
Get the car washed.
Get my skis fixed.
Oh by the way in all this, be a good friend, parent, spouse, employee, volunteer, etc.
Oh by the way be constantly connected on your phone so anyone you have ever met can ask you for a favor at any time.
Good luck with all that.
When we get overwhelmed we generally take one of two approaches:
1) Die on every hill. That will absolutely wear you out and set you up for failure because you are playing losing game. There will almost be more hills to conquer.
2) Don't die on any hills (or just die on the easiest ones). This is an Unchristian way to live to say the least! To arbitrarily choose which things you think are important, instead of seeking the will of God is a slippery slope. Our tendency can be to just avoid the things that will take the most effort, but the reality is that often those are precisely the ones that God calls us to tackle.
I have to confess that tomorrow I will hit the hardest time of year in my annual reading through the Bible chronologically: The Book of Leviticus.
(Perseverance will be needed.)
Ok, ok. I get the irony. I know that perseverance is what Exodus (the book before it), Leviticus (the current book) and Numbers (the book after it) are all about! They tell the story of the Israelites wandering after being freed from captivity in Egypt and awaiting the Promised Land. They have to learn how to be a people again. How do we worship God? How do we defend ourselves against our enemies? How do we trust God more? Where are we going? When will we get there?
Look at the introduction to the Book of Leviticus from the ESV Study Bible:
"Leviticus begins with the people of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai. The glory of the Lord had just filled the tabernacle and God now tells Moses to instruct the Levitical priests and the people of Israel concerning sacrifices, worship, the priesthood, ceremonial cleanness, the Day of Atonement, feasts and holy days, and the Year of Jubilee. The central message is that God is holy and he requires his people to be holy. The book also shows that God graciously provides atonement for sin through the shedding of blood."
Maybe I could learn about how to persevere over getting too many text messages from the people who had to learn perseverance with regards to food, water, shelter, land, and safety.
As I jump in to Leviticus in my personal time with God, my plan is to learn from the experts in perseverance. I can learn lessons of how to do it and how not to. If they can persevere having to rely on God completely for food, health, water, and safety, I can trust in Him to help me prioritize my life and know which hills to die on would be His desires.
Take a moment and confess to God where you are tired and where you have abandoned His will and replaced it with your own. Thanks Him for His mercy and forgiveness.
And press on.
See you Sunday.