Let’s now continue to unfold F-E-L-L-O-W-S-H-I-P, the 10 letter acronym we started to explore on the previous post…
Being strengthened with all power… so that you may have great endurance and patience—Col. 1:11 (NIV) May the Lord direct your hearts into… the patience of Christ—2 The. 3:5
The second letter of this acronym stands for ENDURANCE.
For starters, you should know that in the New Testament, the words endurance, perseverance and patience often carry the same meaning. They mean: to be faithful in your God-given assignments (under pressure) without quitting.
Patience (in the N.T.) means way more than not being annoyed by someone. Or the common idea of “wait in line please, be patient.” What the apostles meant by patience was really endurance. Endurance to faithfully persevere in following Jesus (for decades) without quitting in your pursuit of God.
That’s why, we need the power of the Holy Spirit touching our soul… to impart endurance… to keep you from quitting during the dry and difficult seasons… to save you from backsliding under the growing pressure of immorality and lawlessness (that reigns in our time).
But endurance is for more than just “trials and temptations,” it’s for all kinds of pressure. Including the ultimate pressure: persecution and martyrdom. Something we don’t know much about in the western world. But guess what? According to Voice of the Martyrs hundreds of thousands of people are martyred every year (all around the world) because of their faith in Christ.
This extreme pressure may or may not happen to you. But make no mistake, before the Lord returns… persecution will escalate to global levels (Rev. 6:9-11).
Something to keep in mind…
Specially when you consider the unbelievable stupid reasons why—spoiled Christians get offended today: “He didn’t look me right… she passed me by and didn’t say hello… I’m not getting the position I deserve.”
Dear Lord… what on earth are we going to do in the coming days? Think you got valid reasons for getting offended now? We’re definitely ready for the end of the age (:
Do yourself a favor…
Decide not to get offended for anything or by anyone ever again! “… that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” —Phil. 1:10. If you make that decision and apply the next letter of this acronym will never get offended again—period—end of story.
So, be it for small or huge pressures, we need a daily impartation of endurance. We must ask the Lord to release this grace to our hearts.
Here’s a sample prayer:
“Father, strengthen me with endurance to do Your will and NOT quit under pressure. Give me endurance to seek your face when I pray and fast. Direct my heart into the patience and perseverance of Jesus. Grant me the strength to fulfill my calling, even when it’s dry and difficult. Empower me to endure and persevere. In Jesus name I ask. Amen”
Ready for the next letter of F-E-L-L-O-W-S-H-I-P?
Yes, the third letter is love. It would take an eternity of words to cover this one. But here are some key Bible verses to enrich your prayer language:
I pray, that your love may abound still more, in knowledge and all discernment—Phil. 1:9 The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit—Rom. 5:5 May the Lord make you in-crease and abound in love to one another—1 The. 3:12 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God—2 The. 3:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength—Mk. 12:30 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love—Jn. 15:9 That the love with which You loved Me may be in them—Jn. 17:26 May be able to comprehend… what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ—Eph. 3:17–19
It’s impossible to love (as God wants you to love) without the influence of the Holy Spirit. In order for your heart to “abound in love” (as Paul prayed for the Philippians), the Holy Spirit must empower you in four ways…
- First, ask for a revelation God’s emotions for you to abound in our heart.
- Second, ask Him to tenderize your heart so you can abound in love for Jesus, to love Jesus as the Father loves Him.
- Third, ask Him to help you love yourself as God loves you (the ability to stop disliking yourself and see you as God sees you).
- Fourth, ask the Lord to help you love others as He loves them, to feel for your neighbor (and enemy) as God feels.
As I said, it will take forever to fully explain each dimension of love. But for now, here’s a sample prayer:
“Father, pour out Your love into my heart. Fill my inner man with your Spirit that I may overflow in love for You and for others (Rom. 5:5). I desire to love Jesus as you love Him (Jn. 17:26). I ask for grace to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30). I ask for more revelation, to comprehend Jesus’ love for me and for the wisdom to stay connected to His love (Jn. 15:9). Empower me to see myself and others through Your eyes. In Jesus name. Amen”.
That’s all for now…
What are your thoughts about this? Leave your comments below.