The "How To" on Staying Power
"But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News." Colossians 1.23
Most people have some modicum of faith, but in that faith, I have noticed, that the majority are not very faithful! It is not easy to remain faithful. Living in this world just seems to leech godliness right out of us, does it not? Yet, Paul said, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."1
In short, when Paul tells us to 'be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,' he is saying, 'be faithful.' Be loyal. Constant. Be faithful-the 'be' part is a verb, which implies action on our part. It will take action to be faithful in this life. See,
here's the thing-we are easily distracted, easily pulled away,
though we would say we would surely die for God if we were asked!
How do weak human beings remain faithful?' These verses from the heart and mind of David provide clues:
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper".2
Do you want to stay the course? Choose your company wisely, the psalmist advises; otherwise, they will pull you down, and pull you away. Paul said, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character."3 How could it be any other way, really? It is short-sighted to think, 'we only go around once, so better live it up!' This life is fleeting and lacks significance compared to Heaven and eternity with God.
Second, meditate on the Word as though it were your only sustenance. It will make and keep you strong; take it in, and you will be like a tree whose roots go down very deep, drawing water into its very core; through it, you become what Paul said->immovable. Through it, you will prosper. Get the Word through reading, studying, and by hearing inspired teaching from the Word of the Lord on the Lord's Day, and throughout your week.
Great young teachers like
Chad Veach in Los Angeles [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEYKwj5KHW0],
Jeremy Foster in Texas [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMWOjq8eTjM],
Michael Todd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKV_uubVGQg] are phenomenal. Look them up!
Third, remember that God is with you ... always. Jesus' words in John: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.4
No matter what you are facing, you do not face it alone. And from the Old Bible, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."5
Finally, in order to stay the course, keep your eye on the finish line. "I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."6
Choosing company wisely ... meditating on God's Word ... knowing God is with you ... choosing strength in the Lord ... and keeping your eye on the finish line -- some of the "how to's" of faithfulness, some of the "how to's" on staying power.
Grace and Peace,
1 - 1 Corinthians 15.58
2 - Psalm 1.1-3
3 - 1 Corinthians 15.33
4 - John 16.33
5 - Joshua 1.9
6 - From Philippians 3