Heb. 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
One of the most important truths and often overlooked that has much to do with how a believer can live a victorious life has to do with how consistent we are. As with anything in life the more consistent one is at doing something the more impact it will have on your life. When the first of the year roles around many people vow to get in better shape and begin to exercise or deal with eating better. The reason many do not see change is because this only lasts for a short while and then they go back to what they have always done.
This is so true when it comes to spiritual growth and development as well if we want to be victorious in how we live our lives. In spending the last 22 years of my life dedicated to helping people get to know God, grow spiritually, and become the believer Christ died and paid for; the biggest challenge people face and seem to have the most trouble with is being consistent. They may start to attend church for a while and then they start coming every now and then. They may have a serious battle come against them where they seem to get serious about their walk with God, but they tend to slip back into doing what they have always done. The problem in doing what we have always done is that we are going to get what we have always got.
Here in Hebrews 6:12 we have a powerful word of how we can imitate those who have gone before us, both those we read about in the Word of God, and those who have walked with Jesus since then who through faith in their God and patience have inherited the promises given to them through the New Covenant. We often emphasis faith and rightfully so, but this word patience is far too often overlooked. In the Western culture we live in it sounds like we are to just sit back and hang around until something happens. But this is not what the word “patience” here means. Let’s take a closer look from its original Greek origin as to the true meaning behind this word.
Patience: Endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; especially as shown in bearing troubles and ills.
As I just stated this is not what most would think when you talk about having patience. But Bible patience is not passive, but actually aggressive in nature. The reason this is so is because when you look at the definition of the word you won’t be able to do these things if you are passively waiting for something to happen. For example the first word endurance can be easily understood in the context of a long distance runner. To have endurance as a runner you must be consistent in your training to build up that endurance. If you only train once in a while or just when you feel like it you are not going to have endurance. A runner does not get this endurance by taking their training time and sitting on the couch watching T.V., or playing at the lake, going shopping, etc., they must push themselves to train so that they will have the endurance they need.
These other definitions are very similar in their meaning. To be steadfast, or to persevere one must be consistent in what they do. This is again probably the biggest challenge we face in being victorious as a believer. There are some very key elements that scripture reveals to us we need in our walk of faith. If we do not become consistent in those elements that make up what walking by faith is all about, we are not going to have Bible patience. Remember you don’t inherit the promises of God just through faith, but through faith and patience, or what is better defined as consistency. When you become consistent in what scripture reveals is a necessary part of our walk of faith then you can inherit the promises God has for you.
Col. 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
Col. 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Before I talk about these two key elements that we need to get consistent at there is one other very important point that I need to share with you. There is often a lot of emphasis put on what we do, but not much put on how we do it. As the scriptures above reveal it is vitally important how we do what we do. Christianity is all about a change of our inner man, our heart. If what we are doing is for our own personal gain and not something we do out of honor for the Lord it won’t last. Whatever we do we are to do so heartily, which simply means with all our heart. The motivation should come from our hearts desire to walk with God and get closer to Him desiring to know Him and make Him known.
Eph. 4:11 He (Jesus) is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.
Eph. 4:12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ,
Eph. 4:14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.
The first element that God gave to the church through His Son Jesus Christ as a gift to help you become victorious in life is a pastor. In verse 11 above we see that these are gifts that were give to the church. Of these five gifts one is the pastor. We clearly need all five gifts working in the church, but of those five what is the role of the pastor? This may seem like a stupid question, but I can’t tell you how many believers I have met who don’t think they need a pastor. If you don’t need a pastor then why did Jesus give to the church the gift of a pastor? The obvious answer is of course because He wants us to have a shepherd to grow us up.
Notice in verse 14 above that when we receive the gift of a pastor, and that pastor has in his church or brings through his church these other gifts, it is then we will no longer be like children forever changing our minds about what we believe. You don’t need just any pastor; you need the one that Jesus gave as a gift to you. You find out in John chapter 10:1-5 that you will know who that is when you hear their voice. There will be something different about the pastor Jesus has given as a gift to you.
The role of that pastor is to help equip you to be a follower of Christ, walking in what He has for your life, and then going out and reaching others with the gospel. Where does this pastor do this equipping? Sounds like a silly question again but many as I said don’t think they need a pastor. This equipping takes place where God has provided a place for that pastor to shepherd his flock. But what if we are not consistently coming and allowing our shepherd to equip us? Then we are not going to have the endurance to obtain the promises God has for our life.
A pastor can only pastor you to the degree that you will come and allow him to do so. The main ministry of the pastor as seen in Acts 6:4 is to stay in the Word of God and prayer so that they can take what Jesus, our Chief Shepherd has given them for us. If the pastor is doing what he is called to do then he is hearing what his flock needs to hear from God. But if we are not consistent in coming to receive from this gift that Jesus gave us what God wants us to hear, and have imparted to us what He wants to impart by His Spirit, then unfortunately we are going to miss out on much of our inheritance.
People think man made up the idea of the “Lord’s Day” where we come to the place where God has called us to a pastor to receive the Word of God for our life, but it was the Lord’s idea. Again, why would Jesus give you the gift of a pastor if He did not want you to come and receive from him what the Lord is trying to impart to you? When you come, remember it is not just important to do so consistently, but to do so with a right heart. If you come with a heart to hear from God, you will hear what the Spirit of the Lord has for you.
Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
There are many things you could cover that are important as a part of our walk of faith but I am focusing on just two because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The primary place this happens is under our pastor, and through the Word of God. If we want to be victorious, no longer conformed to this present world, we must renew our minds consistently. Being conformed to this world means you are not overcoming the things that those who don’t know God are facing. You walk in the same fears, worry, defeat, darkness, stress, bad attitude, critical spirit, etc., that they do. Jesus did not die to “just give us a ticket to heaven”. Jesus died to totally transform and revolutionize the way we think, speak, and act.
This change as Romans 12:2 takes place as we renew our mind to what God’s Word says about us and for us. It is equally important to not only know who you are in Christ, but how you are to live in Christ. We are to walk in the light as He is in the light. We must learn to walk in a balance in these two things from the Word. I will repeat these because they are both important. We must learn who we are in Christ, but we must also learn how we live in Christ. You can’t walk by faith living the way the world lives. They don’t consistently go to be taught the Word of God by a pastor, nor do they consistently renew their minds to God’s Word.
Heb. 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
The primary focus of the believer today when it comes to the Word of God should be the New Testament, for this is the better covenant we now have founded on better promises. I am not saying we should not read the Old Testament but we should do so in light of the New Testament. Remember through faith, and consistency in our walk of faith, we will inherit the promises. If being consistent in these two basics areas are a struggle for you, I would ask God to help me change that. If you ask anything in His will He hears you and you can have what you have asked of Him. Keep your priorities right and this will become a great blessing to your life, not a burden.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker