A successful marriage, a ministry that fulfills its purpose, a professional achievement. All of this takes a lot of work and dedication. Many times we want to live and enjoy good and intense results, but without paying the price of consistency and perseverance.
I don’t know if you’ve ever lit a fire. Starting a fire is not the hardest, but keeping the flame lit requires fuel, work, attention and persistence. Sometimes I watch those survival shows and keeping the flame lit so that they can enjoy it to boil water, keep the body warm and cook food is one of the biggest challenges.
Constancy to be relevant
In the Bible, people who made a difference were people able to persevere, to keep the flame burning. Daniel in Babylon was called by King Darius to be one of the 3 administrators who would oversee the provinces of the kingdom, something great and probably desired by many. At that time Daniel was between 80 and 85 years old and had led an exemplary life in Babylon. The Bible describes him as “trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him” (Dan. 6:4). Building a reputation like this takes work, perseverance, and constancy. In life with God he also possessed exemplary discipline: “three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God”.
The apostle Paul, when he knew he was nearing the end of his life, wrote in his letter to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). A ministry that left such a strong legacy for the Church of Christ required resistance, sacrifice and permanence. After all, it is not possible to complete a race without the effort of preparing and traveling the entire circuit.
Consistency goes beyond discipline
Consistency must start, in addition to discipline, mainly from the faith and conviction that exists within us. James 1:6 says that “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”. There will often come stormy situations and moments in our lives, however our faith in God and not doubting is what will make us stand firm.
The disciples of Jesus in Mark chapter 4 experienced a storm literally and were desperate, they were afraid to die. Faced with their reaction, Jesus asked them: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). The disciples probably still did not understand in a profound way who was in the boat with them and that a word from Him was enough for the wind and the sea to calm down. They lacked faith.
We also have Jesus in the boat with us. And He doesn’t change. He is always constant. As it is written in James 1:17, “He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” Having Him on the boat doesn’t mean we won’t suffer, that we won’t be sad or down when we go through a difficult situation, but it does mean that trusting Him will help us to remain firm and constant in everything that really matters. Recently I went through a situation of great concern, but what calmed me was knowing that, regardless of the storm, Jesus was and would always be in the boat with me.
We can be like the “wise person”
We, who can live the Word of God in us, have the privilege of being like the wise person that Jesus describes in his parable, who built his house on solid rock. We are able to remain constant because Christ and His truth are our foundation. Also, when we go through times of rain, we can count on God’s grace, which consoles and comforts us.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” (Mt. 7:24-25)
We need to work to build our whole lives on the foundation that is Christ and to strengthen our faith.
Conclusion: to think!
What have you been doing to achieve intimacy with God, successful relationships, a relevant profession and a ministry that bears fruit for the Kingdom? How much are you willing to pay the price of consistency? What do you do in your routine to advance more steps in the circuit you’ve been doing? What are your habits? What can you stop procrastinating today? Have you nurtured your faith to stand firm on the right foundations?
Ponder this and try to adopt some practical measures. 🙂
Grace and peace!