Updated: Oct 1, 2018
God loves perseverance.
He loves when we are so set on Him that we are able to push and push again. Rise and grind through whatever it is. Perseverance, as it is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary, is to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement.
Notice the key phrases: “Counterinfluences, oppositions, discouragement”
Perseverance is not the same as consistency. While both are desirable traits, perseverance introduces the element of difficulty. Nothing changes the fact that you are resolved to do something and see it to the end. This type of commitment manifests in different ways but ultimately God loves seeing the birth of conviction mature into action. Over this series we want to examine three ways (not an exhaustive list) that God is pleased by perseverance. The first of these is the perseverance with instructions.
Did you know that the wall of Jericho was two walls thick? The first was 6 feet thick, the second wall was doubly fortified, another 12 feet thick. Jericho was atop of a valley known as the Jordan Rift. It was built around primary roads many used in entering and leaving Judea. It couldn’t be ignored.
Chances are that as you are reading this, you are going through something challenging in your life. I won’t deny the pain you are feeling or pretend to know the extent of what you are going through. I may not have walked in your same shoes but God knows your hurt and He knows that you too are probably in front of some wall, towering over you and making you feel like you could give up.
If you know the story of Joshua this wall will come to amount to nothing more than debris. This didn’t happen overnight however, it was only possible because of the great devotion of a man who was willing to persevere. Joshua was given instructions from God to take the army and walk around the wall of Jericho for six days, blowing trumpets. On the seventh day, Joshua was instructed to walk around this wall seven times and then all the men would shout and blow their trumpets as loud as they could.
Okay, makes total sense. Everyone grab your crocs and let’s go.
The enemy has an 18-foot-thick wall, overlooking the valley and you’re told to take some laps around this thing for seven days and when your hike is over, just yell at the top of your lungs? No one would have blamed Joshua for telling God to take a hike instead.
God gave Joshua a bizarre promise. But Joshua knew that this had nothing to do with military strategy. All he knew was that God gave him instructions and his conviction to do follow them, no matter how strange, was strong. Sometimes, God gives us instructions we should persevere with, even if it’s not the most conventional. We don’t always know the why, it’s not entitled to us.
Sometimes the why isn’t even the important part. Joshua didn’t ask why, and if he did, it wouldn’t have mattered to know. What help would it be to try to make sense of walking around a wall until it miraculously falls down? The why doesn’t always matter, but we can honor God in all that we do.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, Joshua begins, taking his men and walking around the city walls. Let’s face it, most men could make it through day 1. Sure, anyone can walk day 1, probably even day 2.
Can you make it to Day 7?
Don’t just let your pride take over, pound your chest and say yes, I can make it to the seventh day. Can you really get up, after having already done it for 6 long days in a row, and do it again? Can you really carry on with seemingly crazy instructions, through ridicule from the enemy, in the face of impossibility? The difference between someone who can and can’t actually has less to do with physical strength or the ability to will yourself to the end. It has to do with a love for what God ask of you.
Joshua persevered with God’s instructions because he loved Him. Joshua was a rubber to the road type of guy. He didn’t just say that he felt strongly about something, he lived like he felt strongly about something. Joshua didn’t just say he would throw a football with his son, he did throw a football with his son. Joshua didn’t just say that he would call his mother, he did call his mother. Joshua didn’t just say that he would take his wife out to dinner, he took his wife out to dinner.
Joshua didn’t just say he could make it to day 7, he did make it to day 7. And he went through days 1 through 6 to do it.
Well for those who don’t know how the story ends, Joshua makes it. The seventh day comes around and sure enough, the wall crumbles. God was pleased with Joshua’s perseverance. God knew His instruction to Joshua was strange. But Joshua did it anyway and God made good on His bizarre promise, and ultimately, God was glorified for it.
We want to encourage you to persevere. Even when you may not understand the why at the moment. Sometimes, the most glorifying thing we can do is to keep walking for God even when He takes his hand off our back and allows us to go.
So keep on, fight the good fight and run the race. You'd be surprised what you can do in time.