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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Incremental Victories

There have been issues in my life and ministry that the Lord immediately changed.  One was my focus on what was ultimately important, not airplanes but people.  Another was an immediate and sustained hunger for His Word.
Incremental Victories
But other issues took time.  Swearing was one.

Some I was able to overcome, later attempted, with some success, to reassert themselves.

Some, like journaling, I was off and on with for years and now has become consistent.

In ministry engaging people in the Word is a strength, but prayer is a challenge.

The point is not everything in this journey is easy.  Further, things that we may have nailed down today, may break loose tomorrow.

Why?

There are probably more reasons than we can possibly cover in a short post.  Someone has probably written a book about this.  But I find help on this in some places in the Word.  First, in Exodus 23:29 – 30 (here @ Bible Gateway).  When the Lord was sending Israel into the land, it was not done overnight.  It was a process.  He wanted them to take the land incrementally.  The stated purpose was so that the land would not become desolate.

I resist allegorizing the text.  Detest is probably a better representation of my reaction to that type of reading of the text.  With that firmly in mind Romans 15:4 – 5 (here @ Bible Gateway) tells me that this passage is given for my instruction.

Now it is not the case that I am currently engaged in a war of conquest of a large land mass.  It is the case that I have been enlisted in a project to help change the culture of a number of communities in which I am involved.

In both the war and the project there is resistance.  In my case if there was not resistance I would find myself in a situation where people would want help and because there were not enough leaders equipped to give that help, the communities would become frustrated and much future opportunity would be lost.

Romans 15:4 – 5 (here @ Bible Gateway) reminds us that this is a journey, a mission that requires perseverance.  Facilitating change, is part of that journey both personally and in a community of believers.

From time to time I forget that.  When I do, discouragement surfaces.  I have to be reminded that this is a journey of perseverance.  That requires me to abide in Him, in His Word, and in fellowship with others that are pulling with me in the traces.