But he that endures to the end, shall be saved. Matthew 24:13
After I wrote “Faith and Quitting” last week, I pondered some more what that really meant. If you quit a job, then you quit the job. No more paychecks, no more following their rules and policies, you are done. You don’t show up for work, because you have quit. So I began to ask myself, is my “quitting” worrying, being anxious, walking in discontent and trying to control my world as simple as that? Is it really quitting? Reality hit–was my declaration to quit emotional statements, or was I really convinced these things needed to get out of my life. Or did I simply take a leave of absence? If I am sincere about “quitting” these things, I must understand there is a process to each “quit”.
The problem with making such declarations, is they come back to haunt you! I was quite serious in declaring I quit, but the question is can we sustain such “quits”? Not without our God’s mercy and grace. Our sin nature likes to rise up strong and tall, it doesn’t like to change. But, I am so grateful we have a Savior who helps us in our time of trouble. Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble (NKJV). Starting and stopping unhealthy habits do seem to bring more trouble than it might seem to be worth! But, when the Holy Spirit nudges or convicts of a need to change, then we must release our faith and believe that it is for our best benefit. I need His help to change. It is helpful to meditate on Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
As I pray, seek Him and His ways, I find worry and anxiety falling away. During an especially trying moment last week, I called my sister Marie and asked her if she had any good encouragement. She said, “why, yes, I do!” She proceeded to share with me the blessing and insight that she had received the day before at her Bible study. Then she prayed for me, and as she did, the concerns and troubles that were bothering me, slipped away. I could physically feel peace return. It was so amazing, and I am grateful for her. I actually began to write “Faith and Quitting” after I talked with her. It’s humbling to admit we need others, but as Hebrews 10:24-25 declares: And let us consider how we may spur one other on toward love and good needs, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching. NIV We must admit we may be the one who needs spurring!
Hebrews 12: 1 urges us to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. and let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Every area that I listed that I need to quit, are these weights. They slow us down. Worry, anxiety, trying to control our circumstances slow us down from running the race He has called us to. Can you picture a marathon runner adding weights during their main race? Wouldn’t that be silly? God’s Word clearly instructs us on what kind of weights we need to get rid of,. Let’s examine our lives and be courageous to lay aside every sin and weight that would hinder our running. Do not fall for the lie that your race doesn’t matter. Each one of us are important to God’s Kingdom and others are following us. If it is important enough to run, it’s important enough to run well.
The “quits” I’ve listed are some of the weights that have slowed me down. I am working on “quitting” them because they aren’t healthy nor are they God’s best for me and the others around me. How about you? Do you have things you need to quit?
Father, please reveal these sin an weights that hinder our running the race you have set before us. I thank you for your grace and mercy as we make every change that is important to you. Please help us to make your priorities our priorities, In Jesus’ Name, amen.