Perhaps the “yes” was within your first prayer of repentance, or perhaps it was concerning a specific endeavor. Regardless of the agreement, I extend these words to you . . . keep going! If the time for this needed encouragement has yet to transpire, then may it echo into your future need. KEEP GOING!
An understanding follower of Christ will possess the foreknowledge that with every call will come at some point a test of patient endurance. On the other hand, what is evasive to our understanding is this test’s longevity. A test of this kind necessitates such evasion of understanding, for no test of patience can be effective if it ends sooner than we expect, nor even within our expectancy. No, by nature it must extend beyond our own limits in order to pull us into the limitless grace of God, whose works within us are counted just as much treasures as the works He will do through us – even more so. For our destiny is not comprised merely of our earthly accomplishments, it is to radiate the image in which we were made in the beginning, that being the image of God. More specifically, our destiny is to be conformed to the image of the Christ who did nothing of Himself, but only what His Father showed Him (Romans 8:29 and John 8:28).
Here are two truths for us to cling to during any test of endurance. First, that your “yes” was to God and God alone . . . not to a career, not to a ministry, not to any person or pursuit, and no matter how worthy the cause. Second, that your destiny will automatically follow if you can hold tight to the first.
Should we be surprised when doubt’s voice shouts louder than that of our original hope, when discouragement becomes an all-too-frequent solicitor? Do not be ignorant. The moment we set our course towards our destiny, there is also destined to be an opposition, a plan masterfully wrought to play upon our weaknesses and pervert our strengths.
Above all, its strategy is to confuse our goal. The moment we say “yes” to God, it works tirelessly to redirect our measurement of success. If our goal can become earthly, then not only can success be stolen from us, the labels of success and failure are apt to be misapplied as well. But if ours is a goal beyond this world, it is also beyond the reach of even our craftiest opposition.
Had the prophets of old measured their success by the world’s reaction, discouragement would likely have risen victorious. Like Ezekiel, whose call was regardless of “whether they listen or fail to listen” (Ezekiel 2:5), the fulfilling of our destiny also is dependent not upon anything in or of this world but rather in our fulfillment of each and every “yes, God”.
It is of no surprise that Ezekiel was first shown the peculiar heavenly creatures, whose striking behavior was that “each one went straight ahead, and wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went” (Ezekiel 1:12). Likewise, we are to set our compass toward God Himself and wherever the Spirit goes, so too shall we. We mustn’t turn.
“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Therefore, keep going! We cannot risk any turn, not a turning to look back as Lot’s wife did – who, seduced by the past, stands to this day as a warning concerning such a seduction’s entrapment. Pay heed to the mistake of Israel, who “did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome” (Lamentations 1:9). Remember, also, God’s words to the Israelites before the Red Sea: “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15).
Do not be confused if even within your “yes” to God, your worldly fulfillment of it seems far-off. Our God is never complacent, so be assured that even while our earthly positioning or situation seems to be at a standstill, He is continually at work to position us in higher spiritual standing – from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). The design of patience is not to generate inactivity but rather to actively and continually confirm a “yes” to the will of God over your own. Patience is not lost ground nor is it lost time. Thus, in whatever form the Lord designs – keep going! Continue enduring! Your destiny awaits, if you do not turn from the One who first predestined it. Press on . . .
” . . . press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [you] heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
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