PSALM 25:10: “Every path of the LORD is ⌊one of⌋ mercy and truth for those who cling to his promise and written instructions.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Have you ever given up? I know I have. The pathway of my life is marked by many good intentions that were abandoned. However, I have learned from these failures the promise and power of perseverance. The Lord has redeemed these mistakes, and they now serve as a reminder and call to “stay the course”, “finish the race”, and as the Psalmist writes – “…cling to His promise and written instructions.”
Throughout my life I have been a bi-vocational pastor. I wear two hats, so to speak. The one hat is that of the pastor of a local church. The other hat is that of a salesman. I am careful not to confuse the hats, nor to try and fulfill the work of God with the methods of a salesman. However, there are some intersections between the two, and I have learned how to glean them and apply them to my life. One of these intersections is perseverance.
In the “sales game”, success does not come to one with the most skills, the best presentation, or the slickest delivery. Success comes to the one who perseveres. I have often told new hires that I have trained – “Sales is 10% presentation and 90% perspiration”. The only difference between a successful sales person and an unsuccessful sales person is – follow up! The person who sticks with it, follows up, and has the customer’s best interest at heart – gets the account.
Let’s apply this to our spiritual lives. The Psalmist is clear – “Every path of the Lord is one of mercy and truth!” The ways of the Lord, the promises of the Lord, are intended to bring forth mercy and truth in our lives. That is the prospect, and that is the promise. Yet, like a potential new account for a sales rep, it is not automatic. It requires perseverance. This is exactly what the parable of the sower is all about. There were four individuals who received the “good seed” (God’s Word). Only one persevered and produced fruit. The rest all gave up. Some gave up immediately. Some endured for a while. But only one bore the fruit of mercy and truth as they – “clung to His promise and written instructions”!
The startling statistic among those who are pastors is that a large percentage never finish their career as a pastor. Somewhere along the line they get discouraged, lose their vision, and leave their calling for another job. Why does this happen so often? Certainly there are stresses in the ministry, but I believe it is because the enemy has dislodged them from clinging to the His promise and written instructions. I know, because it happened to me at age 35. The Lord graciously and mercifully restored me and has given me another chance to fulfill my calling and finish well. I have learned that I must remain close to Him, abide in the Word, be constant in prayer, live a life of worship, and walk moment by moment after the leading of the Holy Spirit. Faith and patience (perseverance) is the only way we can obtain the promise!
- “Dear friends, even though we say these things, we are still convinced that better things are in store for you and that they will save you. God is fair. He won’t forget what you’ve done or the love you’ve shown for him. You helped his holy people, and you continue to help them. We want each of you to prove that you’re working hard so that you will remain confident until the end. Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are receiving the promises through faith and patience.” (Hebrews 6:9-12 GW)
This is not “works” righteousness, it is “faith” working through “love” (God’s love). Jacob wrestled with God and would not let go until he was blessed. We need to have the same tenacity with regards to our faith as we do in other areas of our life. The Psalmist proclaimed –
- “Every path of the LORD is ⌊one of⌋ mercy and truth for those who cling to his promise and written instructions.”
Lord, this morning, grant me the grace to persevere, to cling to Your promise, to obey Your Word (written instructions). As I do, let me walk in the fullness of Your mercy and truth.
In Jesus Name!