Vision and Perseverance

(spontaneous outburst amongst the saints, passed on)

3/6/1995

“Jesus would not falter or be discouraged until He established His justice on the earth.”

I would have to say that it might be pretty difficult to have that kind of faith unless you were looking outside of yourself for motivation.

I speak of the heart cry: “The lamb deserves the reward of His suffering. I will not falter, by Jesus’ Spirit living in me. I will not be discouraged until He establishes justice on the earth. Until I see what God is looking for, I will not falter and I will not be discouraged. I will give God no rest until He establishes His people as the praise of the earth, until His city is in reality a city set on a hill that can’t be hidden, until the Bride can honestly say with the Spirit, ‘Come Lord Jesus.’ I will press on until the Bride is prepared for the Bridegroom, until His enemies are made His footstool.”

We are, with that heart cry, going forward. We refuse to falter or grow discouraged until God has justice, until the world has had an opportunity to be in the valley of decision and to see who Jesus is, until the Lamb has received the reward of His suffering.

But I wonder if that passion is sustainable if it’s just about me. “Oh, let’s see. I’m not supposed to falter, I’m not supposed to be discouraged. Okay. I think I can, I think I can.” Could that be sustainable?

But what if I am laying down my life for others, if my cause is far greater than myself, might God sustain that ?

“Not my will, Father, but Yours be done. Please let this personal cup pass...”

But why did the Father not let the personal cup pass for His beloved Son? Because He had something much larger He was wanting to accomplish—the redemption of a fallen, ugly, deformed race. Originally He had created it in His own image and likeness, but it had since decayed in sin, selfishness, self-pity, laziness, and apathy, becoming altogether worthless. Jesus gave His life so that something far larger than just some personal thing might be accomplished. I have an idea as I look at my own life and look at the scriptures that perhaps it’s necessary that we have a little larger view than our own survival if we are not going to falter, if we are not going to be discouraged, if we are going to press forward and be relentless in spite of the battering.

The Kingdom is entered through much tribulation. If we are going to be able to endure it, I believe we’d better have a much larger view and a much greater objective in our heart and mind than just our survival or satisfaction, or any such limited vision. I think we are going to have to see with our hearts’ eyes the holy city. We are going to have to see the King receiving the reward of His suffering. We must be driven by a vision of the New Jerusalem. We have to be driven by the Bride that has made Herself ready for the return of the Groom, not just by our own personal little deals.

I invite you to enter into that vision in a deeper way right now than you have before. You can make it past your own little agenda, whatever it is, if you have your eyes on Jesus. If you have your eyes on what He wants to accomplish in this world—for the sake of the saints of God and for the Lamb—I’ll bet you can become one by faith with the Spirit living in you, Who does not falter and will not accept discouragement until He sees justice reign over the earth. But I think you are going to have to cultivate and hang onto a vision that goes way beyond your own little thing. Otherwise you are going to vacillate and meander up and down like a yo-yo all the time. You will falter, you will grow discouraged, you will shrink back.

The Hebrews writer said that “we are not among those that shrink back and are destroyed.” The cost of unbelief, of shrinking back, is very high if the scriptures are accurate, and I trust that they are. So, let’s not be among those who shrink back. Let’s get our vision, fix our eyes on the throne and the Lamb and the rainbow and the witnesses. Let’s focus our eyes on something far, far, far larger than our little things. I’ll bet that by His Spirit He will sustain us so that we will not falter, shrink back, or grow discouraged, until justice has filled the earth and His name is made great.

When I look at what God wants to do in me personally, I can look at things as I suppose them to be and develop an attitude based on my rate of progress, the tools available to me, my track record, and so on. I can take that view of things. Or I can say: What is it that God’s after, what has Jesus promised, what resources has He applied to this? And if I will combine the answer with faith—as Hebrews warns us the Israelites didn’t do—I will see miracles happen in my life.

There is another attitude, too, that goes beyond even that personal view into the corporate expression, that looks and sees what God wants to do as a whole. It looks beyond what He wants to do with me as an individual and asks what He wants to accomplish on the earth. What does He want to accomplish in the Church? What promises has He made about His life among His people as a whole, as an entity, as one man? Then I, as an individual do not falter and become discouraged until God’s will is fulfilled in all of us together around the earth—until His justice floods the nations, with His life and His grace, His mercy, truth, and judgment. We will remain dissatisfied, we won’t accept discouragement, and we won’t falter until we see the thing accomplished in us that brings Him honor and fulfills His promises. We are not going to shrink back.

I think perseverance and vision are very closely tied together. If my whole world revolves around me, I’m going to vacillate, up and down and up and down, but if I am willing to look out beyond myself, I will see that Jesus purchased men for God with His blood—and I will persevere. It wasn’t just about His own life. He said that He sanctified Himself for His disciples. His reasons for doing the things He did went beyond His own personal life. What a glorious relationship He had with the Father, but even that wasn’t His end. That certainly was a glorious thing and a wonderful part of our inheritance—to have that relationship with the Father that He had. But that relationship He had with the Father was for a purpose, that He might be able to help others have that relationship with the Father, too. It wasn’t an end in itself, but it was a means to an end of bringing many sons to glory. That was His heart, His purpose. “For them I sanctify myself.”

Let’s take our faith past believing simply that He can change me individually, into a faith like the men had who lowered the man through the ceiling. They believed for the sake of their paralyzed friend, not just for themselves. Let’s begin to believe for other’s sakes and then for the sake of all of us around the globe. Then we will not waiver from the course. We will march resolutely towards Jerusalem—even our own death, if necessary, for the sake of the larger thing that God wants to do.

We are to show “the manifold wisdom of God.” I know good and well all those glorious, supernatural qualities of God are beyond just me. I may manifest certain character qualities in His image, but to personify the glory of God in all of His manifold wisdom—that can’t be just me. That has to be all of us. That’s the vision!

 

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