Thursday, May 2, 2013

Who Lives That Way? (Persistence)

"Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what You have done; He will judge your actions. The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away. The LORD gives both death and life; He brings some down to the grave but raises others up. The LORD makes some poor and others rich; He brings some down and lifts others up. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD's, and He has set the world in order. (1 Samuel 2:3-8 NLT)

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details of life.  We can start to think that we are the ones who create our destiny...our success.  But God reminds us over and over again that nothing we have really is ours.  Everything we have is from Him.  The best thing we can do for ourselves and our families in this life is to humble ourselves before the LORD and obey His commands.

"He will protect His faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone. Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth...  (1 Samuel 2:9-10 NLT)

It takes more than obedience, though.  Every moment, every day, every week, every month, every year provides a new opportunity to obey or to rebel.  Blessings do not come to those who obey once or even once in awhile.  God rewards persistence.  He calls persistence by a different name, though.  In His Word, persistence at doing God's will is called faithfulness.

Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. "Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water," Daniel said. "At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king's food. Then make your decision in light of what you see." (Daniel 1:11-13 NLT)

Daniel and his friends were following the LORD even in captivity.  Because they would not eat the foods God prohibited at the time, Daniel and his friends were rewarded by God.   They received blessings from Him who holds everything.  Are you persistent in doing His Will?  Are you faithful?