LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY ® “No…Not Yet”

August 2019, religion

CHURCH EDITOR
Dr. ANDREA OATES

Dr. Andrea Oates


Perseverance is a Biblical concept that appears in the Bible only once. However, if we also include its relatives endure and patience, they occur one hundred twenty-eight times. The three terms refer to the ability of the believer to remain steadfast in the midst of adverse circumstances. God is very clear: It’s always too soon to give up.

One illustration of perseverance is when the disciples received a Word from Jesus to get on a boat to go to the other side. It was pretty simple. They would board a boat to continue spreading the gospel. However, in between the instruction and the manifestation, they encountered heavy opposition in the midst of their obedience. The wind caused the sea to rage. And to top it off, Jesus was asleep as the boat filled with water. It looked as if all hope was lost. But then they cried out to Jesus. Once He came on the scene, he rebuked the winds and waves. The result was a calm voyage. They made it to their destination.

Another example is the resurrection of Lazarus. Lazarus was dead and buried by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. In fact, his sister proclaimed that if Jesus had been there, her brother would not have died. But there was something that his sister didn’t know. Even though they had requested for Jesus to come when Lazarus was sick, He did not immediately respond and purposefully delayed His arrival. Although He had not been there physically, He had already spoken the Word that Lazarus’s sickness would not end in death. So even though the grave stone had sealed Lazarus’ “final” resting place, it was removed and Lazarus came forth alive. The grave clothes that had bound him had to loose him.

Last, perseverance can also be seen in the life of Joseph. God gave Joseph a vision that he would rule over his brothers. And he told them. Later, they betrayed him and sold him into slavery. He ended up in Egypt. However, for as many victories as he had, there were just as many obstacles. In one instance, he was imprisoned when his boss’ wife falsely accused him of a major crime. In another, one of Pharaoh’s employees that he had aided forgot all about his false imprisonment when he was freed from prison. But there came a day when Pharaoh himself sought for his help. He needed a man that could hear from God to solve a perplexing problem. Joseph asked God to give him the solution and God responded. Even though he had to shave first, he was still in preparation mode awaiting his day of blessing.

We can see that in every instance, the Word had been spoken by instruction or revelation. And after the Word, opposition followed. But this can be expected. Jesus told his disciples that satan comes to steal
the Word to prevent it from being manifest. And even though the devil used weapons that seemed to be effective, in the end, they did not prosper. In each instance, we also see that Jesus was aware of everything that was happening. And before it was all said and done, He stepped in right in the nick of time. The Word of God came to pass in spite of the trials they had to endure. And in every single case, they obtained the victory because they chose to believe the Word of God more than their circumstances. After all, is there anything too hard for God? The disciples were on the other side of the sea before they even set sail. Lazarus had already risen from the dead before Jesus showed up on the scene. And Joseph was already promoted over his brothers before he was sold into slavery. Why? Because the Word is the truth. And God
cannot lie. If He said it, then it has ALREADY come to pass.

But what I’d also like to highlight is why the enemy fought them so hard. You see, satan doesn’t bother people that are not advancing the kingdom of God. In the first instance, on the other side of the lake was
the infamous demoniac that had legions of demons. A man who was naked and living in a graveyard was delivered from thousands of demons by the awesome power of God. Before Jesus was betrayed, crucified and resurrected, guess who He decided to visit with? He spent time with Lazarus, the one whom He had raised from the dead. And last, Joseph was second in authority to Pharaoh in name only. His brothers did bow to him. He saved their lives and the lives of the entire nation of Israel during a famine. In fact, his family moved there to be taken care of by him. So you see, on the other side of perseverance is the manifestation of the glory of God. And the glory not only blesses you, but also causes you to be a blessing in the lives of others.

What God has for you is STILL for you, so rest in God. And be steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. Because in due season, you will reap as long as you don’t faint, give up, and quit. So when you’re tempted to throw in the towel, simply tell yourself, “No…not yet.”