New Wine for New Wineskins February 2019

By , February 2, 2019 3:03 pm

Don’t Quit

In today’s culture it has become increasingly common for people of all ages both male and female and from every background to have at least one tattoo. There are many believers who now sport Christian messages and symbols in a tattoo.  I like to tell people that I have one tattoo but I can’t show it to them.  I then explain that the reason that they can’t see it is because the tattoo is on my spirit and simply consists of two words – “Don’t Quit.”

According to Galatians 5: 22 one aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is makrothumia which is variously translated as long-suffering, patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, or perseverance.

Hebrews 6: 11 – 12

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,  12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience (makrothumia) inherit the promises.

Amplified

11 But we do [strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity [all the way through] in realising and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end, 12 In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.

It is through faith and patience [forbearance, perseverance, persistence, tenacity,
determination, staying power, steadfastness, purposefulness, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, tirelessness, stamina, intransigence, obstinacy] that we inherit the promises – that we take possession of what God has promised.

I don’t know about you but I am very grateful that this is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.


The following are some quotes regarding perseverance:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Remember what Paul said – “Leaving what is behind behind I press on….”

When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you until it seems as if you couldn’t hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that’s just the place and time that the tide will turn.

A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.

Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.

Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

The reality is that if you don’t quit then you can’t fail.

Apparently the concept of the marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who was sent from the Battle of Marathon to Athens – a distance of 26 miles –  to inform the Greeks that the Persians had been defeated. Legend has it that Pheidippides ran the entire 26 miles without stopping, and after delivering his message, he collapsed and died. Whether that is fact or legend the marathon is now very much with us in our modern world.

In the USA there is actually an Annual Marathon Report and  according to the 2016 report, there were a total of 507,600 finishers over the marathon distance in a total of 1,100 marathons held in the United States that year.  507,600 people were classified as “finishers.” In other words, 507,600 people who started a marathon actually completed it.

And so, a really simple principle that applies to completing a marathon is that anyone wishing to start and finish a marathon must have what it takes to stay the course.

Only one person can win the race but unlike races run over most other distances everyone who completes the race gets a prize as an acknowledgement of their endurance, persistence and perseverance.

It is through faith and makrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, and perseverance – that we inherit the promises of God.

1 Corinthians 9: 24 – 25

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  

Jesus was first over the line in the race we have entered into but we can all be partakers of the prize.

Philippians 3: 12 – 14

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The prize is awarded to finishers. At the end of his life Paul could testify:

2 Timothy 4: 7

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12: 1

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

It is my belief that we have often given up on some things too quickly and so we have missed the opportunity to receive the fulfilment of God’s promises. We have hit what marathon runners call “the wall” and instead of pressing on and breaking through we have given up.

What is referred to as “the wall” is usually encountered after around twenty miles and many say that it is at this point that the race is half over. Hitting the wall is a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. It’s like the body runs out of fuel, forcing the runner to slow down dramatically so that all of a sudden you feel like you’re not going anywhere, and so it’s a big psychological let-down, because you feel powerless as you can’t will yourself to run any faster.  Of the hundreds of thousands of people who run a marathon every year, more than 40 per cent hit the figurative wall, and one to two per cent drop out before finishing.

Think about it – you’ve already covered over 20 miles and there’s only six to go, and yet you’re in a mental fog as your physical strength feels sapped. There is a powerful spiritual analogy here for people who are believing God for the fulfilment of visions and dreams, or for the full manifestation of the healing or the provision that God’s word promises.

I believe we have sometimes given up on commitments, on prayers, on faith stands, on dreams, and on visions because we hit “the wall”.

And yet if we won’t quit then we can’t fail.

Let’s have a look at one woman who through faith and patient perseverance received the reward of those who diligently and persistently and obstinately and steadfastly seek the LORD and the promise of his provision.

Mark 5: 24 – 34

24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. 25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,  26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.  27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.  30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.  33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.  34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

For many years as I have thought about this account I have had a mental image of this woman on her hands and knees, or even eventually on her face, reaching out to touch Jesus – knowing and believing that if she could just touch the hem of his garment she would be healed.

Her journey in pursuit of healing had covered many years and endured many disappointments. This lady had run a marathon in pursuit of her healing. But she had persistently persevered and broken through every wall, refusing to accept her condition as final, and when she heard about Jesus something ignited within her and she knew that she knew that if she could reach him she would finally be healed of her affliction.

How much you really want something will ultimately determine your response to every apparent setback.

Here are some more quotes on perseverance:

The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.

Success is the child of drudgery and perseverance. It cannot be coaxed or bribed; pay the price and it is yours.

Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering I will try again tomorrow.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

I believe that if you hold onto your God-given vision and if you say what you see you will eventually see what you say because that is how faith works.

Amplified

27 She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, 28 For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.

This lady who had patiently persevered through so much disappointment saw herself healed and so she said and kept on saying, “If I can just touch his garments I know I will be healed….”

She had heard that Jesus healed the sick and what she heard activated her faith and connected her with the Holy Spirit who comes to confirm the word with the accompanying signs.

This lady was operating in the fruit of the Holy Spirit that is patient perseverance, and that connected her with the power gift of the Holy Spirit that is healing.

If you say what you see you will see what you say – you will keep on saying what you see until you see it in glorious manifestation.

I would like to give you 3 simple steps to receiving from the fullness of God’s provision by flowing with the fruit of the Holy Spirit that connects you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Memorise them, develop them, and utilise them, and you will experience the power of the Holy Spirit that comes to confirm the message of God’s love for you.

1.    Press On

You would think that after 12 years and countless disappointments this woman would have learned to live with her condition, and yet she kept pressing on even though
she appeared to be getting worse.

This lady’s affliction didn’t just affect her physically – it also made her religiously unclean and so she was considered a social outcast. As a result of her condition she was excluded from the temple and she wasn’t even allowed to touch another person. The doctors had taken her money but had been able to do nothing for her. But the good news is that she heard that Jesus had come to town and that he had compassion for sick and broken people like her and that he healed them.

And so her refusal to quit and to lie down and die takes her somewhere that culturally and religiously she has no right to be – among a crowd of people. She has to press on past people’s prejudices, their opinions, their judgements, and she has to press on through her own weakness as all the time she is losing blood and the strength is flowing out of her body.

Many years ago the Holy Spirit said to me that we would have to break out of the cultural mores (the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community) if we were going to break into the more of God.

This lady had a tattoo on her spirit that said “Don’t Quit!”  She knew that if she didn’t quit then she couldn’t fail.

2.    Persistently Proclaim

She said and kept on saying, “If I can just touch his garments I know I will be healed.

One of the tips recommended for marathon runners to break through the wall is to employ self-talk or to have something that they repeat over and over, especially in the last part of the race.  This is actually a kingdom principle because the word of God exhorts us, “Let the weak say I am strong.

And so this lady who was hemorrhaging blood had personalised this principle and she kept saying, “If I can just touch his garments I know I will be healed.

Romans 10: 10

10 It is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved [healed, delivered, made whole]

If you don’t quit then you can’t fail.

3.    Pull

She pressed on through all of the obstacles as she persistently proclaimed the goal of her faith, and so she pulled on the anointing that was upon Jesus to do good and to heal all who were oppressed by the devil.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

Jesus knew that someone had pulled on the anointing – the power of the Holy Spirit that was upon him to heal. Isn’t it amazing that even though he was surrounded by a crowd of people who were pushing up against him only one faith-filled woman pulled on the anointing to heal.

Jesus said that whenever we come together in his name that he presences himself among us and so you can be in a meeting surrounded by those who are unaware or uninterested in what is available to them and you can pull on the anointing and receive what you need. I have experienced this many times as a preacher. You can be speaking to a group of people and yet you know that there is nobody pulling on the anointing. But then you sense something changing as just one person can make all the difference as they pull on the anointing that is upon you and you feel power going out.

One of the saddest accounts in the Gospels is in Luke 5 where it says that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law listening to Jesus teach. It says that the power of the Lord was present to heal them and yet there is no record of any of them pulling on the anointing that was upon him.

The good news is that later on some men brought their paralysed friend on a stretcher to the house where Jesus was teaching and they couldn’t get past the wall because of the crowd. Instead of quitting and giving up they went up on the roof and broke through and lowered their friend down to where Jesus was. When Jesus saw their faith he turned to the paralysed man and said your sins are forgiven you, and told him to get up and walk. This created an outrage among the religious leaders who could have been healed themselves, but instead they accused Jesus of blaspheming.

These friends of the paralysed man had followed the same three simple steps as the haemorrhaging woman – they pressed on, they proclaimed, and they pulled.

Listen to how Jesus addresses the woman who is healed.

34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

Sometimes it can feel like a marathon to reach the place of receiving the reward of our faith. Religious tradition and the cultural mores might build a wall around Jesus and all that he has abundantly provided for us, but we can press on, we can persistently proclaim, and we can pull on the anointing.

When you are believing God for the fulfilment of a vision or a dream or to receive the manifestation of your healing or your provision take every opportunity to pull on the anointing. And remember that it is through faith and patience [long-suffering,forbearance, perseverance, persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, steadfastness, purposefulness, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, tirelessness, stamina, intransigence, obstinacy] that we inherit the promises and take possession of what God has promised.

If you don’t quit then you can’t fail.

Here is a final quote on perseverance from Paul:

2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 9

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Press On – Persistently Proclaim – Pull

Because if you say what you see then you will see what you say, and if you don’t quit then you can’t fail.

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy