But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
We often make a commitment because it looks easy or we like the outcome, only to find obstacles in our path and the task of achieving it becomes difficult. Put your hand to the plow, Jesus says, and stick with it. Make a commitment and don’t look back, look forwards. Become a product of your future and not your past, by conforming to the vision and not past events.
Joseph rose because he walked like a king and talked like a king while he was a slave and a prisoner. He became a product of his vision, not his past. This takes faith.
Faithfulness is different from faith: it is the quality of good character, persistence and consistency. Miracles are not predictable in the life of a Christian because God wants us to grow: we develop muscles when we have to fight through things instead of having the answer handed to us all the time.
When the insect battles its way out of the chrysalis, it is developing the wings it needs to fly.
There are 9 bones in the wing of a dove. Imagine that the 9 gifts of the Spirit are one wing and the 9 fruits of the Spirit are the other. Gifts are given but fruit is grown over time: if you only have one wing, flight is impossible.
Growth is imperceptible, it looks like nothing is happening most of the time. You plod along doing the same thing but if you compare yourself to several years ago you can see that growth has occurred.
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
Jesus “set His face” to do the task at hand, despite how He felt about it. When you have committed to something you need to get over your feelings. Most of us know the internal argument we have when our alarms go off in the morning, you don’t feel like getting up, but you've committed. It is astonishing what can be achieved by simply continuing to do something every day of your life.
Plod along! Committing to God is like compound interest –it does so much more in your life than a lump sum payment can. Your persistence will affect every area of your life, developing character, endurance and faithfulness to give your Christianity a context and the muscles to pursue a breakthrough.
Joseph is one example from the Bible of persistence and many modern day heroes have had to overcome rejection and keep plodding along until they had a breakthrough from Thomas Edison to Michael Jordan:
- JK Rowling had 12 rejections from publishers and was told to “get a day job”.
- Colonel Sanders aged 67 was rejected by 1,009 banks before getting financing for KFC franchises.
They never could have achieved greatness if they had given up or refused to work on their visions because they didn't feel like it. They were committed.
Commitment is not a word used in the Bible but it means “vow” or “pledge” which appears many times. Nothing is achieved without commitment, so make one today to pursue God and build His house and see what He will do in your life if you stick with it.
See you in church!