Have you ever been tempted to quit? To simply throw in the towel and stop trying or moving forward? If so, you’re not alone. Lately, I have been talking with a number of Christians who are feeling that way. The enemy of our souls seems to be working overtime in these days to discourage the saints and obstruct their forward progress.
Does it help to know you’re not the only one facing these obstacles? That you are not the only one who has been tempted to quit? I hope this letter will convince you to counteract the enemy’s attempts to make you give up. In fact, I hope you will feel refreshed by what I say — even to the point of setting your face and renewing your resolve to keep moving forward in God’s purposes for your life.
I recently read a quote by Winston Churchill I hadn’t seen before. (Actually, my wife and I have his famous quote, “Never, never, never give up!” on a refrigerator magnet in our kitchen.) This newly discovered quote by Churchill strikes a similar chord: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Most likely, Churchill did not intend for that quote to be taken in a spiritual context. But I take what he said as a word of encouragement: No matter what the circumstances, keep moving forward. Under no circumstances can I allow my weariness or discouragement to cause me to give up in exhaustion and stop. Instead, I will keep moving forward in God’s plans and purposes for me. Do you feel the same way? Let’s agree right now that no matter the circumstances we face in our lives, we will not stop! We will keep going!
Weary Yet Pursuing
There are many biblical examples of this kind of determination to keep moving forward in the purposes of God. One that always stirs me is a phrase from the story of Gideon and his band of 300 men. (In fact, my wife and I regularly use it as our response when one of us asks, “How are you doing right now?”) That phrase, taken from Judges 8:4, is “…weary yet pursuing” (NASB).
Gideon and his band of 300 were in hot pursuit of the Midianites. They had them on the run… but they had worn themselves out through hours of furious fighting. They may have been tempted to quit in exhaustion. However, had they stopped, the tide of battle might have turned against them. So, instead of quitting, they kept on with the chase: “weary yet pursuing.” The New International Version says they were, “exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit.” Can you relate to that situation?
We see other references in the Word of God about moving straight ahead, not deviating from the path by turning to the right or to the left. (See Deuteronomy 5:32; 28:14; Joshua 1:7; 23:6; 2 Kings 22:2; 2 Chronicles 34:2.) In addition we get a picture of the Messiah’s determination from the prophetic insight in Isaiah 50:7b: “Therefore, I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” We see the outworking of this Scripture in the life of Jesus when He was on His way to Jerusalem: “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 NKJV). Everything about the life of Jesus fits our theme: Don’t Stop; Keep Going.
Your Labor Is Not in Vain
You may be asking if there is some heavy theological point I am trying to make in this letter. There really isn’t. I simply want to encourage you in whatever situation you are facing. Don’t stop; keep going. Keep following the Lord with as much endurance as you can muster.
Last Fall at our 2013 meeting of the international directors of DPM outreaches from all around the world, Ross Paterson, Director of DPM–China, shared a number of wonderful biblical insights. But one Scripture was a particular focal point of his teaching, and I want to share it with you here. Here is 1 Corinthians 15:58 from two different versions of the Bible.
First, from the NKJV: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Then, from the New Living Translation, because it addresses both men and women (as do a number of other translations as well): “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
I hope the message of encouragement is coming through loud and clear. Never give up in your pursuit of the Lord and His purposes for your life. Don’t stop; keep going. Know for certain that even in your worst moments, your work in the name of Jesus Christ counts for something. Do you believe that?
Going On to Maturity
If you still need further convincing, please take a big dose of encouragement from the teaching of Derek Prince. What he says in this teaching from his Hebrews series, Hebrews 7:20–7:28, may actually surprise you.
I would like to remind you of one of the ways the devil attacks. He attacks and undermines your confidence in God — in the Word, in yourself, in your destiny, in your gift.
I probably strike you as a pretty confident person. I think most of the time I am. But there are times when I have real struggles to maintain my confidence. It is undermined by subtle, Satanic insinuations that are very well designed to touch me in my weak points. I say this because I don’t think the majority of you would think of me in that light. I have to tell you, as a matter of fact, preachers have problems most of you don’t know about. They need prayer.
The second application of this passage is to go on to maturity or perfection. That is a theme that runs all through this passage. Don’t stop. Don’t rest content. Perfection, maturity, fulfillment is the only legitimate stopping place.
Again, I think that is very relevant to us. There is so much to bog us down and deflect us. Some pursuits that just make us busy. When I’ve spent a day — and today I’ve been almost all day busy either preparing radio outlines or getting ready for tonight — it has been hard work. But every now and then, I stop and I thank God: “God, thank You for the privilege of working on things of eternal value.”
Even if it is hard, I count it an unspeakable privilege. I’m not wanting to stop. I don’t want to go back; it doesn’t enter my mind. One thing you cannot do in the Christian life is stand still.
Just Keep Going
Is this letter striking a resonant chord with you? Does the issue Derek has addressed in this excerpt apply to you? If so, this would be the perfect time for us to make a declaration together about our intention to go forward despite the obstacles in our way. Are you ready to pray the following prayer with me?
Lord, I confess that lately I have been tempted to give up. Circumstances have pressed in upon me, and thoughts have come to me about not going on any more. Please forgive me for entertaining such thoughts.
Lord Jesus, I focus now upon the example You set. Even facing crucifixion, You set Your face like flint to go to Jerusalem, the very place where You would face betrayal, pain and death. I join You now in setting my face like flint to move forward in God’s purposes. Thank You for giving me the strength and the grace to move ahead. I look to You, the Author of my faith, and I declare that I will move forward with endurance.
I place all the circumstances I am facing right now in Your hands. They are Yours to deal with, Lord. My job is to cling to You and move forward in Your will. So this is my proclamation: I am moving forward in Your strength and in Your grace. Amen.
The Lord has heard your declaration, and He will be faithful to respond and help with what you have expressed. The enemy of your soul has also heard what you have proclaimed, and his resistance may increase. Don’t stop; keep going. Let your testimony be like that of Gideon and his men. Please move forward – “weary yet pursuing” the will of God for your life. You can be sure of the Lord’s help for you as you set your face to keep going.
And you can be sure of our prayers and help as well. We want to offer you the full message from which Derek’s excerpt was taken: “God’s Last Word: Hebrews 7:20–28.” His teaching from this portion of Hebrews will inspire you to keep going. Download it by clicking here. It is just one small way for us to stand with you to show our thanks for the prayer and financial support you have provided for this ministry. We simply can’t thank you enough for your love and generosity.
Let’s Keep Going
Now, it is time for us to move forward with a new sense of encouragement. Together, we fix our eyes on the Author of our faith, who endured hostility and suffering at the hands of men without flinching or turning to the right or to the left.
As we close this letter, please take one more moment to encourage yourself with the title of this letter. Say it out loud to yourself one more time: Don’t stop; keep going!
All the best,
P.S. Thank you so much for your generous participation with Derek Prince Ministries. Through your gifts, we are able to place Derek’s foundational teaching in the hands of so many disciples who are hungry to receive and grow in God’s Word. You make it possible for us to meet that great need! Thanks again. Please take us up on our offer for a free MP3 download of Derek’s message “FATHER GOD.”
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.