What will You Do?

Jer. 12:5   If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

If we have run with the footmen and grown weary… how will we be able to contend with the horsemen when they come?  If we are tired and weary now when things are relatively easy, what will we do when hard times come? 

Ps. 34:19   Many are the afflictions  (hurts, troubles, adversities, sadnesses) of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth (rescues, recovers) him out of them all.

The “many afflictions” that are with us simply identify us as “the righteous.”  If we are “the righteous” then we can expect “many afflictions.” And we are promised total deliverance from them ALL… not by what we do but by what God does.

Afflictions will come.

Trials will come.

Temptations will come.

Troubles will come.

Hurts will come. 

Sadnesses will come.

Adversities will come.

When they do, what will you do?

We have set our course.   We have made our declaration.  We will press toward the mark for the prize.  We will go for the gold.  We will not settle for anything less.  This is the hour and this is the season.  God is bringing forth His very best… His elite…  His first string… His champions.  We have been in training.  We have sat under great teaching.  We have heard great preaching.  We have been exposed to the best God has to prepare us for what is about to come forth.   We have been around a while.  We are not novices.  God has moved us into the Main Stream.  He has provided us with Revelation.  He has brought us Out that He might bring us In.  We are part and parcel of His Divine Purpose and Plan. 

Now, times will change.  Things will change.  Pressures will build.  Situations will happen.  And when they do, what will you do?  If you are wearied by the footmen, what will you do when the horsemen come? 

There will be times in your Christian Life when you wonder what is happening.  Things will get spooky.  Situations will get out of control.  The more you try to reel in the problem, the more tangled your line gets.  In the process, you will get tired and weary and impatient.  You will begin to wonder if it is really worth it all.  Discouragement will move in and satan will begin to make you tempting offers and alternatives.  Pursuing God is not an easy thing..  The way into Life is Narrow and Straight and only a few will find it according to Jesus.  Sometimes, the way to get relief seems to be just to quit.  To forget it.  To retreat.  To back down.  It is always easier to cop out than to cope.  The greatest temptation any Believer faces is the temptation to quit or back off when afflictions arise.   The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence.  The pressures and stresses of maintaining your Victory Stand may build to the point of breaking.  Situations and circumstances may develop that will press you beyond measure and push you “over the edge”.  How are believers to handle such situations?  What are we to do when we are pressed beyond measure?  Where can we go to get some “relief?”  Is there a way out when we are at the breaking point?  What are our alternatives?

Here are your options.

1. You can Quit.  You really can.  It is possible.  It is an option you have.

John 6:66   From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:67   Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

John 6:68   Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Jesus wondered if his own disciples were going to quit.  It looked like they were going to do what everyone else was doing… they were going to leave.  Back out.  Go back.  Just because following Jesus became a challenge.  A hard thing.  A dividing thing.  A costly thing.  “Are you leaving, too?”  “Will you also go away?”  “Are you going to follow the crowd?”  I’ve wondered at times how many will quit.  How many will stay behind.  How many will dig in and refuse to go ahead.  We have faced some formidable obstacles… some costly ones… some demanding ones.  This is an issue we need to face today.  We are nearing the Promised Land… we are close to entering in.  This is when the pressures build and the temptations come.  Will you quit?  Will you throw in the towel?  Will you take a dive?

This is not hard to do and it is always a temptation especially when things really get tough.  When the demands of Jesus become costly.  To quit is  the easiest thing to do and it offers the least resistance.  Anybody can quit.  You can quit.  We can quit.  Many have and others will.  What about you?  Has satan “got your number?”  What will it take to make you quit?  How much more “can you stand?”  Do you have your price?  What will it take for you to sell out?  Are you at your breaking point?  Is quitting a real temptation for you this morning?  Some who are listening are right at the “giving up” and “quitting” stage.  I know it.  I feel it.  I sense it. 

I have learned over the years that the best way to overcome the temptation to quit is to do something radical.  Something weird.  Something unusual.  Something that is not natural.  I like to make bold confessions… especially when I do not feel like doing it.  It seems foolish and impractical, but it is the Thing To Do.  And there is Scriptural evidence to support such an act.  David did it.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did it.  Moses did it.  Joshua did it.  So I can do it.  And you can do it.  Let’s do it now.

Let’s take a vote.  Let’s make a declaration.  Let’s take a stand.  Let’s announce to hell.  Let’s resolve….  I WILL NOT QUIT.  I WILL NOT QUIT NOW.  I WILL NOT QUIT NEXT WEEK, NEXT MONTH, NEXT YEAR.  I WILL NEVER QUIT.  I AM HERE TO STAY…. NO MATTER WHAT.

Now, it’s settled.  It’s settled on earth, in hell and in heaven.  It’s settled in your heart.  In your home.  In your business.  In your church.  I WILL NOT QUIT.  Now or Ever… I WILL NOT QUIT. 

2. You can compromise.

To compromise is to settle for something less than God’s Best.  To compromise is to waver in your commitment to God.  It is to be half-hearted.  It is to be mediocre.  It is to be lukewarm.  It is to be less than what God wants and less than what God demands.  To compromise is to look for and settle for the easy way out.  The comfortable way out.  The way of “least resistance.”  To compromise is to refuse to come out of your “comfort zone.”  To compromise is to hit the snooze button when God says “get up.”  To compromise is to make a deal with the devil.  To cut some slack with hell.  To listen to the voice that says:  “don’t take this God stuff too seriously… after all, it’s going to blow over… it will pass away… it won’t last.  Don’t get involved in all this emotional hype.  It can’t last…”

To compromise is to fail the test.  To compromise is to cheat.  To compromise is to consider self more than God. 

satan is probably saying to you right now…”if you will back off, I will back off!”  “If you will ease up, i will ease up…”  “If  you will slow down, i will slow down.”  You can back down and ease up and let off.  You can stop and get stuck where you are.  You can be still and placid.  You can retreat and give up ground that you have fought for and won.  Compromise is an alternative.  A real alternative.  A tempting alternative.  But a disastrous alternative.  You can slip back and fall back and go back.  To compromise is to backslide.  To compromise is to stay put.  To compromise is to be comfortable.  To compromise is to be satisfied.  To compromise is to cool off.  To simmer down.  To change what you believe  because of what is happening around you.

3.  You can feel sorry for yourself and give in to self-pity.

You can become introverted… introspective.  You can be so caught up in your own problem that that is all you think about.  You become blind to the needs of others.  You become insensitive to the call of God and the Move of God.  You can become more concerned about YOU than you are concerned about OTHERS.  This is self pity and it is a sin.  It is selfishness.  It is wrong and it is abusive.  Abusive to others.  Abusive to God.  Abusive to your testimony.  Abusive to your church.

Looking inward can make you compare yourself with others.  Then it can make you mad at others because they are not having it as hard as you are.   It will make you Jealous of others.  It can cause you to be hurt with others.  It will rob you of your joy and contribute to your misery.  It will consume you and cripple you if you do not deal with it. 

It can even make you mad with God.  You will begin to wonder about the wicked getting blessed and others getting blessed (that are not working as hard as you are or doing as much as you) and you can get mad with God.   Really mad.  Upset.  Disgusted.  Then you will get mean and ornery and hateful.  You will begin to feed on the sympathy that others give you.  Next comes the grumbling and the griping and the criticizing.    All because you got into self pity.  It will shut off the love flow.  It will stifle your compassion.  It will make you miserable and everybody around you miserable.  It will affect your home, your job, your relationships. 

This is an option you have… but it is not a good one. 

4.  OR… you can turn your problems into Opportunities to trust God.

You can make your “situations” a test track for the Word of God.  You can stand and sing and shout and refuse to accept defeat.  You can endure and count it all joy when you come into temptations and trials.  You can see every impossible situation as an opportunity to defeat the devil.   You do not have to quit.  There are other things you can do.  There are other things you should do. 

Ok… so you have decided not to quit.  You have decided not to compromise.  You have decided not to feel sorry for yourself.  You have decided to turn your problems into Opportunities to trust God… NOW:  HOW do you do it?

FIRST…. Understand that you are not the only Believer facing a tough situation.  You are not by yourself.   There are literally thousands of other saints who have not bowed their knee to Baal in the thick of the battle.  The very fact that you are tempted to Quit is a good sign…  If nothing is happening to you then you are doing nothing for the Kingdom.  If the devil is not moving, then you are not moving.  If demons are not stirring, then you are not stirring.  If you are not in conflict with the powers of darkness, then you are headed the wrong way.

Ps. 34:19   Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

1Cor. 10:13   There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

SECOND… never expect your Faith Walk to be easy.  You have not chosen an easy way of life.   To live by the Word is the most disciplined life a man or woman can know.  All the forces of darkness are set in array against you… demon powers have zeroed in on you because you have become a threat to them…. REJOICE and be EXCEEDINGLY GLAD.  SHOUT.  SING.  DANCE.  RUN.  LEAP.  

THIRD… Review your Contract with God.  If you will, you will see that there is no provision for quitting in it.  When you got saved, you made a Life Commitment to God with no strings attached.  There were no “what ifs” or “just in cases” or other conditional clauses in the Contract.  God did His part.  Jesus did His part.  The Holy Ghost did His part.  The Salvation Contract calls for you to do your part.  You are expected to ENDURE.  You are required to STAND and not WAVER.  You are bound by your Contract with God not to QUIT no matter what.  “He that endureth unto the end shall be saved…”  “Do not grow weary and faint in your minds…”  “Having done all, Stand!…”  “He that dwelleth in the Secret Place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty…”

FOURTH… Remember your victories in the past.  See how God delivered you from the “hand of the lion and the hand of the bear…”  That is what David did as he faced the Uncircumcised Heathen Giant.  Remember and recall and relive the many victories in your past Christian Life. 

We have endured dishonest building contractors and thieving con men.  We have maintained our honesty and refused to bow to criticism.  We have lived down lies and resisted the devil and watched him flee.  We have held our head high we have bowed our knee to no man and we have refused to compromise our convictions.  WE WON.  WE ARE STILL WINNING.  The WORD will always WIN.  If you are considering Quitting… STOP right now and REMEMBER YOUR PAST VICTORIES.  

FIFTH… You need to REPENT for even considering quitting.  It is a sin and an affront to your faith to even think about going back.

2Pet. 2:20   For if after they have escaped the pollution’s of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

2Pet. 2:21   For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2Pet. 2:22   But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

            You do not have the RIGHT to quit.   You cannot legally cancel your commitment to God.  You are bound by your Promise.  If you have quit, REPENT and come back.  If you are considering quitting REPENT and stop considering it.  Quitters are losers.  Quitters are Apostates.  Quitters are Backsliders.  Quitters are those who “fall away”.

SIXTH… Rededicate your efforts to Keep on Keeping on.

Renew your mind so that you can think right in the middle of your tight situation.  If you allow your situation to dictate how you think and how you feel you will fail and you will quit.  If you allow your mind to be renewed by the Word of God so that you will think like God thinks then you will not quit.  God did not Quit.  Jesus did not Quit.  The Holy Ghost did not Quit.  The Word did not Quit.  Aren’t you glad they didn’t.  Be a non-conformist.  Be a radical.  Be different.  Don’t yield to the pressures and allow them to make you back down.  Make your boldest confession in the midst of your darkest trial.  You do not have to be like everybody else. 

Say this with me right now:  “Jesus, forgive me for even considering quitting.  I repent of the sin of turning back and slowing down and backing down and giving up.  I vow this day to never quit.  I will stand and I will not yield to the pressures of satanic powers.  I decide today to keep on keeping on… no matter what.  I will not be moved.  Hallelujah.”  Be as persistent as the 3 Hebrew Children:  “I will not bow I will not bend… go ahead and heat the furnace and throw us in… God will deliver us out of the fire and out of your hand, devil.”  Be as unwavering as David when he faced his giant (we all have our giants to face, amen?)  “Thou comest to me with a sword and with a spear and with a shield: but I come to thee in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied… (your situations have defied the Lord God Most High.) This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand and I will smite thee and take thine head from thee and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines THIS DAY unto the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth that ALL MAY KNOW there is a GOD IN ISRAEL… for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands…”  (I Samuel 17:45-47) 

“Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude (your situations) for the battle is not yours, but God’s…”  (II Chron. 20:15) 

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shall condemn…”  (Isa. 54:17)

FINALLY… Rejoice and praise God for the Victory even before it comes!!  Sing and shout.  Leap and dance.  Run and jump.  Rejoice and praise God right where you are before you see any signs of relief.  Get you some banners and flags.  Paint you some posters.  Hang out some ribbons.  Advertise your victory before you get it.  Buy you a billboard!! Let God see that you are committed to winning and overcoming.  You can never embarrass God with your Faith.  Persist.  Press through.  Stretch.  See your victory in the eyes of your spirit.  See it so real that you can shout about it.  Sincere, heart-felt praise always precedes victory!!  I command you right now in the Name of Jesus to REFUSE DEFEAT and to CHOOSE VICTORY. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live…!  (Deut. 30:19)

Let’s take our oath of allegiance:  (Stand up and put your right hand on the Bible…)

“I solemnly promise to go on with God.  I promise to actively pursue God and His Divine Purpose for me.  I vow before heaven and earth and hell that I will never retreat.  I will never back up.  I will never slow up.  I will never give up.  I will protect, defend and support to the death  (if necessary) this End Time Move of God.  I will remain faithful to the end… so help me God.”  

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