We've heard these stories of persistence for generations, some we've learned as children, like the tortoise and the hare, and some we've learned from our own experiences. Martin Luther King Jr created an entire army of persistent peaceful resisters who incrementally brought change. We even see examples throughout the bible of persistent people causing a stir. Luke 18:1-8 (HCSB) speaks of the widow who persistently requested justice from a judge who was unwilling to grant her request until verse 5 when he winds up saying, "Yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn't wear me out by her persistent coming." Persistence is one of the great character traits of faith that Jesus is looking for when He returns, as stated in verse 18 of this same chapter. We not only see this as a strategy that we, as Christians, are encouraged to utilize (Hebrews 12:1 AMP); but we understand the power of persistence as a way in which to overcome all things. Another scripture that comes to mind reflecting this same attitude is found in Luke 11 (NET) where Jesus tells a story that starts with verse 5, "Then He said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him' then he will reply from inside, 'Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man's sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs."" Not only does God understand and appreciate the power of persistence, but the devil himself has employed this attribute as a negative method of getting what he wants hoping that after much application the recipient of his persistence will cave and accept what he is trying to do.
As much as we understand this methodology that the devil has adopted as his own, we often think that this applies to the things we are already looking out for. We know that he is persistently trying to get us to give up or to give in to sickness or disease, we even see through him as he tries to keep us in a mindset that is under his thumb. These things are obvious to us because they are recognizable and we can spot them from a distance, but what about those sneaky things that he has persistently used for generations to keep entire populations in a holding pattern? Think about it, how many of us concede (especially now that we're older) that the older we get the weaker our bones get, the more aches and pains are headed our way, the less mobile we become or maybe even the less "potential" we have to do something great. Some of us are going to read this list and think, yeah, that's what happens as we age, there's just no getting around it. And right there we have accepted the persistent LIE from the devil himself. Most of these understandings have been passed down to us from older "wiser" relatives who have "been there" and "done that" and are only trying to help us get ready for the inevitable. God sees things a little differently, though.
Paul the apostle had constant harassment from the enemy everywhere he went. He noticed that every time his message was well received and people were healed and delivered, the enemy would kick up more resistance. Finally, after having a great experience and after hearing heavenly things that are unspeakable with revelations that came to him from God; the enemy had actually assigned a demonic personality to continually strike him. He cried out for God to help him and God told him that He had given Paul all that he needed through His grace. For even in our weakest state, having felt the devil's persistent attack, God's strength is perfected in us to get us through.
2 Corinthians 12:7 (YLT)
"And that by the exceeding greatness of the revelations I might not be exalted over much, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of the adversary, that he might buffet me, that I might not be exalted over much. Concerning this thing thrice the Lord did I call upon, that it might depart from me, and He said to me, "Sufficient for thee is my grace, for my power in infirmity is perfected;" most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may rest on me..."
With this principle in mind and considering the social climate that we are living in right now inside of a panic-demic with our elected/appointed leaders who clearly, aren't certain as to what they should do, throwing around borderline constitutional law breaking emergency ordinances as a way to band-aid the latest upheaval; we can see and are experiencing how these solutions only lead us to more unrest. Look, we know that if we are looking at flesh and blood as the source behind any destructive thing, we are looking in the wrong place. If Epesians 6:10-12 has taught us anything, it is that evil spiritual beings are definitely at play. Now we are provided with a greater opportunity to exercise this attribute of the love of God that much more to get through all of the hot mess. This attribute being persistence.
Matthew 24:12-13 (NABBE)
"And because of the increase of evil doing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved."
What we are seeing on a daily basis is what happens when the persistent devil, who as the father of lies, begins to utilize all of the natural falsehoods which, for generations he has embedded into our frail human understanding as his easy access point in order to keep the scary outbreaks thriving and persisting, finding new ways every day to continue the spread. After all, fear is more contagious than any virus. One of the best ways to persist and resist is to personally embrace the need to move forward in the demonstration of the love of God. This does two things 1. Satisfies the void that Jesus said would happen in the last days with people panicking and not looking out for one another in love 2. This will help reverse the viral spreading of fear, because perfect love drives out all fear. After all, LOVE is more contagious than what fear or the natural/spiritual virus could ever hope to be. Therefore, let us arise and shine keeping this in mind:
TO PERSISTENTLY LIVE BY FAITH AND WALK IN HIS LOVE, WE MUST RESIST FEAR IN KEEPING OUR EYES ON OUR FATHER ABOVE.