Persistence not Perfection
We all know that consistency is a “#MajorKey” in relationships (if of course, you want in for the long haul). Consistency, consistency, consistency. We hear it, we see it and we try to live it. Fortunately for us, consistency is also the key to a fulfilling relationship with God. It is all about persistence, not perfection.
God has not called us to be perfect. He is a realist and as a realist, He knows that his children will never live up to a perfect standard. Hence why God sent Himself (THE perfect standard) in the flesh to show us how to live. He then took it one step further by being crucified on the cross, where God poured out all His wrath on Jesus for every dirty and grimy sin we could ever commit.
Hold up, wait a minute, ya’ll thought He was finished? He took it even further by not only dying for us but then rising from the dead, proving He has divine power over everything including death, sin and anything that tries to defeat us. Now, by grace, we are fully forgiven for our transgressions. In Christ we are a new creation, the old has passed away (unrepentant sin nature) and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5).
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)
Therefore God has called us to know who we are in Christ, persist in understanding this knowledge, build upon it and utilize it like a man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24-27), like a tree firmly planted (Psalm 1:3).
But how do we persist and stay consistent in our relationship with God? Don’t forget God is a realist so the same way we excel in earthly, natural relationships is the same way we excel in our relationship with God. Let’s look at some other “#MajorKeys” we expect in our earthly relationships to help us define characteristics of our supernatural relationship with God.
First comes love…
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV)
There is no fear in love; but, perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19-19 NKJV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)
I’ve heard it once said that the Bible is the longest love letter ever written. The verses of scripture about love in the Bible go on and on and on and on. God’s love satisfies a void that can never be filled by any earthly relationship. His love is indescribable, uncontainable and truly life-changing. There is no way for me to tell you how you can fall in love with God, but when you do your life will never be the same. When you get to know God, you will find the way He loves you is an incredibly undeserving gift, but it’s ours if we just reach out and grab it.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
Now, I know my mother super well. I know her voice, I know how she would react in pretty much any situation, I even know when it’s her coming into the house by the way she shakes her keys and walks right into the bathroom every time she comes home. All these things separate my mom from anyone else. However, I did not learn all this in one day. For 23 years and counting, I spend time with her, observing her, listening to her, and talking to her. The same way I know my mother intimately is the same way I can know God.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17a NKJV)
His spirit lives right on the inside of us helping us get to know Him and to discern His voice from our own. To grow closer to God we have to prioritize spending quality, uninterrupted time with Him. The things we do during our time with God are endless. Some examples include reading the Bible, listening to the Bible, journaling, praying, reading sound Christian authors, watching YouTube videos, or just laying in the bed talking about anything. Remember, any time spent with God is time well spent. And when sitting down with God, don’t let the knowledge you gain go in one ear and out the other due to a lack of understanding and distraction (Matthew 13). We need to meditate and build upon what we learn. As you consistently get into God’s presence you will start to notice a pattern of God’s character. This allows us to become more and more sensitive to His voice and WWJD becomes obvious.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty
“You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3-5 NIV)
No one wants to be in a relationship where the significant other is always facetiming other people, hanging out with everyone else but you and then when it’s finally time for the both of you to spend time together, they’re texting someone else. Anyone who loves you will choose to be in a relationship with you and only you, no side relationships or “friends.” There has to come a time in our relationship with God for it to excel, that we make Him number one before anything. Before your bae, family, work, any and everything.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
On an episode of the show Married at First Sight, one of the experts talked about how vulnerability is like giving someone a loaded gun, either they will use it to protect you or use it to shoot you. From the numerous scriptures that touch on protection, we can rest assured knowing that our God is the ultimate protector in all aspects of our lives-physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually (Psalm 27:1, Psalm 91:2, Psalm 23:4). So, it is okay to be vulnerable with the only God who formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Who knows what you need before you say it (Matthew 6:8) and welcomes your honesty (Ruth 1:20-22). Your deepest secrets, thoughts, insecurities, and fears are all safe with Him. He’ll even show you how your flaws are exactly what you need to do whatever you’re called to do and take care of your fears along the way.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV, MSG)
You have to trust God by faith that He is the answer to all your problems. On Chance the Rapper’s song How Great, Jay Electronica said it best when he said, “A mustard seed was all I needed to sow a dream,” Get you some mustard sized faith and watch God work.
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