As a Christmas gift in 2008, I was given a special devotional book by Dr. James and Shirley Dobson titled, “Night Light.”
Today’s devo started out with an article from the Denver Post titled, “I’m Third.” To summarize, it was about a pilot who chose not to eject, but die, to ensure his failing aircraft would not crash into a neighborhood. Days following the crash, his wife found a card in his wallet that said, “I’m Third” which reflected his life of God first, others second, and himself third.
This impacted me very deeply because of a calling God has given me. It is something I struggle with everyday, and getting a front row seat to wickedness this past week, it has spurned a lot of questions that I had for God about this calling.
1. Are you sure you want me to keep praying? This is making me very uncomfortable for several reasons.
2. Can they even be saved?
3. Will you protect me from the ploys of the enemy?
4. I’m trusting you to not lead me into a path of destruction.
5. Am I hearing you correctly?
He has answered me before and after this dialogue with the word perSERVERance.
If you notice in the title, I have spelled perseverance as perserverance. It is intentional. I have come to realize by finding old scripture cards and looking at my “war room” chart paper that I have always spelled it with SERVER instead of SEVER. These two words have such a harsh difference that I couldn’t help but sense God speaking.
When I think of perseverance/severing, I think of pushing or pulling away, cutting off, and breaking through and breaking away. Either way, it is overcoming what hurts, hinders, entangles, and/or burdens resulting in a personal achievement.
When I think of a SERVER, I think of submission with strength and dignity. I think of grace, mercy, hospitality. I think of putting the other’s needs and interest first and finding joy in the hospitality and comfort that the servant offers despite the appreciation or lack of appreciation given in return.
In this Phase 2, A Call to Persevere, God is asking that I continue to pray for redemptive hearts and souls in a way that requires me to persevere with a servants heart and not persevere with a heart of self interest. He asks that, so he can use me to be a concrete illustration that models what Jesus did for us. If someone is not reading the Bible or in a church setting, then when or where do they see and experience Jesus?
It is through us. Not because we are Jesus, but because with a strengthening personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are being molded into his image by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. That gives us the ability to PERSEVERE through SERVING in grace, mercy, and hospitality and overlooking whether or not someone deserves good service.
1. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
2. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
3. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19
4. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you. Isaiah 35:4
5. Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
To God be the Glory