The Truth About Consistency
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, ESV) Sometimes the mountains in our lives can feel way too steep and it feels so much better to just pretend that they aren’t there. I am a master at doing this and always have been. But here’s a fun fact: just because you ignored those mountains in your life doesn’t mean they go away. One day, they pile up to the point that hope or faith sound like long-lost friends.
When we do this, we also tend to blame our issues on other people. But the fact of the matter is that we do this to ourselves. So how do we prevent something like this from happening? We maintain consistency in our relationship with Jesus. Of course, when you are consistent with Jesus you will still make mistakes, but out of that consistency your challenges will not intimidate you. In this consistency, we find truth. We begin to see the amount of unnecessary stress we create for ourselves and how much we care about the most irrelevant things. When you are consistent with Jesus, three heart-changes happen. First, His opinion is the only one you want to hear. Second, His strength becomes your own, and third, you are insanely content with what you have and what you don’t. I think we, as Christians, overlook the beauty and power in a consistent relationship with Christ. We have become okay with being lukewarm and treating faith like a chore, rather than the powerful tool that it is. If you have grown up in a Christian home, you have heard about Jesus your whole life, which makes it so easy to forget the power in a faith that’s always been a part of your life. Where are you at on this spectrum of consistency with God? Maybe your relationship with him is super consistent and you’re feeling strong. Maybe you feel far away from God and the church and have been trying to find your identify in other things. Maybe you don’t have the slightest clue what I’m talking about. Whatever position you are in today, don’t feel bad about it. You are exactly where you are meant to be for God to do a work in you. You are never too far gone. Paul is a great example of how we see a consistent and beautiful relationship between God and man. Before Paul had a relationship with God, he completely rebuked him and denied his name. You could even go as far as saying that Paul hated God, as he persecuted and killed Christians in the early church. Then Paul encountered God on the road to Damascus and his life was forever changed. Just like that, Paul the murderer became one of the greatest apostles of God, all through the power of His love. God’s love mixed with consistency and dedication has the power to surpass all man made limits. Galatians 1:13-17 says, “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.” (NIV) This was Paul’s reality. This was his story. He didn’t live in shame of it; instead, he used it as a testimony of what God’s love can do. Your story was seen and known by God before you were even a thought. He handcrafted you into all that you are and your story and your past is completely unique to you. It is a part of you, but it does not define you. God's presence in your life will cast out all anxiety, sadness, numbness, nervousness, and loneliness and replace it with the one remedy we all need: the presence of his Holy Spirit. Philippians 3:12 says “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (NIV) None of us have ever obtained perfect consistency in a relationship with God because we are human and we trip up. Each day we have a decision of how we are going to face our life, with God or without him. Being with God isn't about obtaining perfection, it's about obtaining confidence in all that He is and continuing to learn all the amazing things He can and will do. God has such big things for me and you to be a part of, and I think it’s time you gave yourself the chance to be a part of it. Discipline yourself and your brothers and sisters in Christ to be consistent in their prayer, worship and reading, because God has so much to say to us and there so much we need to hear. In the presence of God, you will soar on wings like eagles and find complete contentment in all that He is. He is worth it, and we are not. But He wants us despite our imperfections. He desires to set you free and empower you through His matchless love. He is completely humble in all that He is and He loves us. Oh, wow. If you have “gotten over that,” you need a reality check because that fact should never fail to blow you away. The world might not say you’re worth it but God does, and a consistent relationship with God rather than the world will mature you in miraculous ways. Dive into that relationship head first this morning. Be all that you can be in His spirit. This is your time to turn those mountains into molehills. You can do it. Jesus is right beside you.
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