Updated: Oct 9, 2018
Persevere for others. We are called to be servant leaders but we must always remember where our strength comes from.
This week we are going to examine the perseverance of serving others and what it takes to make that a life long commitment rather than just every time we get one fire for something,
Sometimes God gives us instructions that make perfect sense, but they require years of devotion. God wants to see men lead and take a stand for other people, time and time again. Our enemy knows this. He knows that if he can convince men that they are actually “owed” time and that they shouldn’t have to give that time to others then he has effectively neutralized us. Moses refused to be neutralized, he persevered for others, perhaps the longest of anyone who lived.
Moses’ conviction to persevere began with convincing Pharaoh to let the people of Israel have their freedom back. Pharaoh was not going to entertain this idea, but Moses kept after it. After relenting from the plagues, Pharaoh allows the people to leave but he changes his mind. Then, as most know, Moses and his people are able to escape by parting the Red Sea.
This isn’t where the story ends.
Moses then leads these people through the desert for forty years. Moses had already spent a long piece of his life finding a way to free the people from Egypt but now he is starting yet another career of leadership for these people. No one would blame him for turning in now, right? He earned it. He freed a nation and through God, literally made a sea split into two at the age of 80 years old.
But Moses didn’t turn in, he didn’t hang his robe. Moses persevered for people other than himself. He continues to lead these people, moving them through the desert towards the promise land. Fast forward a little bit to the Ten Commandments.
Mount Sinai is just shy of 7500 feet tall, exactly 6 times the height of the Empire State Building. Moses is at the top for forty days, receiving the Ten Commandments. Down below however, the people are smelting their gold together to form a golden calf, their new “god”.
I’m not sure I’ll know the full extent of Moses’s anger, coming down that 7500’ mountain, carrying two stone tablets the whole way just to see the people he left for just over a month are now worshiping a golden cow. The same people God freed from slavery and parted a sea for. But Moses, even in his anger, even with opposition, persisted. God was ready to let his anger burn against His people. Moses pleads with God on their behalf.
“So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
Moses is still fighting for these people. After years of spending his time on them and leading them and being uncomfortable for them, He is still persevering for others, because of his love for them. He was so willing to fight for them he told God that he would give up his own name, take their judgment, so that they would be spared.
As if all this wasn’t enough, there is one more instance where Moses persevered for his friends. While Israel was fighting off the Amalekites, Moses was on a hilltop praying for them, raising his staff to God. Whenever Moses’s arms were stretched out, the Israelites had the advantage but whenever he rested his arms, the enemy had the advantage. Moses, with the help of some friends, kept his arms out from sun up to sun down. He did all of this for other people, and this perfectly sums up his perseverance.
A moment for the fathers. If you are a father reading this, I want to encourage you to persevere. We often like to think that after long days of work (and I know you do work hard) that we are entitled to at least an evening to ourselves to relax and get ready for the next day of long hard work. It would be easy to sleep in or to spend our time on us when it rarely can be. But keep going on, if you are being poured into by your community and your church, then keep going. Persevere for others, show no selfishness for time. It will be hard, there will be discouragement, there will be times where you are not recognized. In spite of this, persevere.
If you were to boil down the Bible and God’s commandments to a single sentence, many would say that it is to Love God and Love People. For some of us we struggle with the former of these two. We struggle to love God and to trust in Him. That He is good, all knowing, all powerful, and personally invested in you. If that is you today, please get into contact with us. We would love to meet you for coffee or lunch or whatever and talk through some of these questions. Our focus for this piece however is for those who may struggle with the latter of those: Love People.
One of the best ways we can persevere relentlessly is by loving people. For some of us this is harder. It is easier to Love God than to love our neighbor. For some of us it can be difficult to give mercy and to see that people are wrestling just like we are. We want to challenge you, men, to love people with your time as Moses did.
Time does not belong to you. You are not entitled to a minute of any day you live. If the enemy can convince you that helping another person, or being with your wife, or being a set of ears for a burdened friend is cutting into “your time” then you are being deceived. We know the temptation, how wearing a day can be. We know that thoughts that we have to go into a hard day of work and work 50 hours a week to put food on the table and how tempting it can be to say that we just need some time to ourselves after work each day.
There is only one resource we can all give, time. Pick up the torch men, we are called to servant leaders. People will remember not what you said but how you spent the time you had.