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  • Writer's pictureBarbie Durham

Desiring Perseverance

Who in their right mind would willingly desire perseverance?

That just sounds hard.

I will have to say, in my own life, perseverance wasn’t something I chose, but I actually felt forced to develop because it appeared to be the only way out of an obstacle. Wait, keep waiting and while I’m waiting keep doing the right thing until the right thing begins to happen.

It’s emotionally exhausting to persevere.

But the truth is the Lord desires for us to grow in perseverance. He told us in James 1:4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Perseverance means continuing with determination to try even when it is difficult or is taking a long time.

I think the “taking a long time,” part of perseverance is where we tend to lose our focus.

I was reading Exodus 31-34 and was reminded how difficult it was for the children of Isarel to wait and then to have to continue to wait to hear what the next step from the Lord would be.

In the interim, they lost their focus and took matters into their own hands.

Moses was up on the mountain spending valuable time with the Lord that would benefit all of them on how to move forward.

But it appeared he was taking too long and, in his absence, they decided to melt together their jewelry and make a god they could worship. A golden calf.

Carrying the chiseled stone tablets down the mountain, Moses and Joshua hear the people partying and when he approached the camp and saw the golden calf and the people dancing, Moses threw down the tablets and they broke.

What they didn’t know was their time of perseverance wasn’t cut shorter, it just got longer.

God was so disappointed and called them a stiff-necked people. Stubborn and prideful.

Even in His disappointment He remembered the promise He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He would give their descendants a land flowing with milk and honey.

So, He told Moses, lead them towards the promised land and by the way I will also provide an angel to fight any that try to come against you, but I’m not going with you.

The Lord was done with their attitude.

I can compare it to a father giving the keys of a beautiful new car to his 16-year-old stiff-necked son, only to insist that they separate ways and the father would never see him enjoy the gift.

What was more important, the gift or the giver of the gift?

Moses pleaded on behalf of the people and said, “If your presence does not go with us, then don’t send us there.”

God relented. Once again. And His Presence would go with them.

I don’t know about you, but desiring the presence of God is more valuable than any gift He could give to us.

Living in His presence will require our perseverance. He knew that. That’s why He told us to let it finish its work. Don’t cut it short because you’re tired of waiting.

God does not move on our timeframe.

I absolutely love the verse in Exodus 33: 11 where it says that when Moses left the tent where he was in the presence of the Lord to return to camp, but his young aide Joshua of Nun remained in the tent.

Joshua stayed and lingered in the presence of the Lord.

Joshua was being trained to desire the presence of the Lord more than anything else in his life. He was in training to understand that as he grew that the presence of the Lord would be a requirement for him to walk alongside of the Lord and listen closely to His voice as he would be Moses successor.

I want the Lord to complete the work He is doing in my life. I want perseverance to complete the finishes of my faith and more than anything I want to desire His presence more than anything else this world has to offer.

So, I will wait and while I’m waiting, I will remain in the presence of the Lord like Joshua. I think it’s the safest place to be.

I believe in you,

Love, Barbie

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