I've said it for months now: 'This is the year of "No Excuses!"' Do you have any idea what compels me to keep pressing in and pressing on in the Smallest Winner program? Do you have any concept as to why I cannot quit? At first I thought it was about being there for my family. But now I see it from a whole new perspective.
What is motivating me to keep going is something so much deeper than I first thought. You see, a few years ago when I was a new born again believer in Jesus Christ, I wrote a message to my dad blaming him for indirectly teaching me how to quit and for most of my life I have been a quitter when life got hard. I learned from him how to cut and run when I didn't like the circumstances or the pressure of any tough situation I found myself in - whether at home, at work, in a relationship, in school... That was my mindset and my level of maturity.
But Jesus has since taught me the value of persevering in the trials...how to put the interests of others before my own...and how to die to myself and to prefer being stretched, following directions, and taking correction from wise counsel.
Shortly after I sent that note to my dad I sent a follow up message asking him to forgive me as I had forgiven him, and we have a great relationship today far more I than I could have imagined. And while we may be distanced due to geography and a lack of many common interests, I love my dad because God used him as an instrument to teach me something amazing that living an abundant and overflowing life is not free but rather comes at a very high price. Yet no matter the trials and how much my mind, body, or the influence of others might try to pressure me to give up and quit, I know there is nothing greater than giving my life in exchange for His! After all, that is what Jesus and my dad both did for me!
The bible says "many are called but few are chosen". Have you ever wondered what that really means? It is simply this: Too often folks never take the time to really get to know the truth because it requires letting go of who we used to be and the life we have become accustomed too, and we are so resistant to change. As for me, I hated the man I had become and when God finally convinced me of the value of denying myself-ishness, I crossed over to a place of real freedom.
And THAT is why I will not quit. My relationship with Him means more to me than anything I could ever ask for or even imagine and the process I am going through right now is simply training for what is to come. It is causing my reliance on Holy Spirit to grow more and more, not for the purpose of physical health only, although that is a benefit of it, but for the purpose for which He has called me for such a time as this. Jesus did not quit and we have been made to be just like Him.
Can you see that? What has He called you to that seems beyond your capacity and requires a huge degree of sacrifice and perhaps even pain? I can tell you with all enthusiasm that should you finally decide to fully engage and trust Him to guide you through it, there is nothing that will be impossible for you and He to accomplish together.
If you have been struggling in this process, if you have been beating yourself up over what seem like setbacks, or if you have even been contemplating the cost of continuing and whether it is worth it, then let me encourage you in this - the cost of quitting is so much higher. It isn't just that others (in your household, at work, in the gym, at the grocery store, and everywhere) are watching to see if you persevere, but what's more, God is watching to see if you will prove yourself faithful in this little thing you asked Him to help you with.
He called us each to run our race as if we intend to win, not to just look the part. He expects us to endure all the way to the end, to cross that finish line that every eye upon us shall witness the miracle and that they will themselves find hope that if they call on Him for help, He will be equally faithful to see them through.
I cannot encourage you enough to seek Him right now if you're standing at the edge wondering if this is really what He wants for you. Call out to Him and ask Him to make clear what He is calling you to do. My best advice to you is to go all in without any hesitation. I promise you that He will never lead you astray and will be there for you every step of the way.