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 Let Your Endurance Grow

Number 1-2 and Acts 24. We are reading through the NLT.

All are accounted for… all 603,550.  These are all the troops of Israel, listed by their family names.  All are warriors ready for battle, ready to march out under the banner of their family name. They are ready to carry out and follow the Ark of God’s Covenant, and go wherever God’s spirit leads them.  

And so it is with Paul, too.  Solitary Paul is accounted for every day, for two years, in his prison cell.  Paul, too, is a kind of soldier, ready to go wherever the Spirit of God leads him.  But sometimes God’s leading is to not go anywhere at all.  Sometimes God is not calling you to march forward into new lands.  Sometimes, it’s to stay put.  For Paul, he was to stay put for two years, in prison.  For two years he was brought before his captor, and forced to present himself and his case, only to be sent away, with no change to his status. Sometimes your orders are to just stay put. When they are, it can be discouraging and hard.  It’s important to remember that waiting is a part of God’s plan, too.  James 1:2-4 says,

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Sometimes God is doing a work on the soldier and sometimes that means staying put. It might be two days, it might be two years, it might be two decades.  But God’s got a plan and part of that plan is to work on us.  He’s making an opportunity for us to grow. And our growth comes from tested endurance.  When that endurance is being tested it’s an opportunity for great joy.

Remember that you are a soldier of God.  Like the soldiers in Numbers or the soldiers we see in Paul, God’s got a plan.  A big part of God’s plan is awakening us to the transforming power of Christ’s life in us.  That is what gives us the strength to do those hard things like staying put or marching forward.

It’s only in the power of Christ in us that we can do any of the things he calls us to.  So be awakened to the life of Christ living in you, that enables you to accomplish more than you can ask for or imagine, whether you’re staying put or marching on.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Eph 3:20)