Today I went to a friend’s house and listened to “Endurance” by Derek Prince. It’s a teaching about, well, endurance. Derek Prince was a brilliant thinker, profound speaker, and passionate man of God. He died in 2003 after years of travelling the world: speaking, healing, and bringing deliverance. His teachings are incredible.
(More on his life here)
I drove home after the endurance-infusion and when I put my hand on my doorknob I thought, “It’s very important that I am Redding right now.” The stature of this statement is measured against my desire to be in Iraq presently. When I left Iraq weeks ago it looked like I would be back there at the end of January. Then the US troops left; and the nation wiggled-and-waggled into more instability. Now it is not clear when I will return, but between my blazing hope and quicksand love for Iraq, there is a holy confidence in God’s timing. There are things for me in Redding; and this preparation period matters. Moreover, Romans 5 promises the end quotient of the endurance equation is HOPE. Well, I’m all about hope. Moreover, I have discovered that hope and endurance are key assets when in a war zone, and certainly life in general.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
In Derek’s talk “Endurance” he broached several strategic insights. Here are a few of them:
Patience and perseverance are not signs of weakness, but of strength.
When the book of James talks about trials, he is indicating that allowing yourself to fully journey to the rightful end and resolution of a trial will cause flaws and shortcomings to be worked out of you so you are ready for what is next. (AMEN!)
It is one thing to faithfully claim a promise at its giving; it is a true demonstration of character to continue to hold onto a promise until its fulfillment. Many people let go of the promise during the process and they later wonder why they didn’t see the promise fulfilled.
There are two tests of character:
1. When life is “too hard”
2. When life is “too easy”
Many people can make it through tribulation, but they can not make it through success. Conversely, many people can make it through success, but they can not make it through tribulation. Those with true character will flourish through both.
Lastly, Derek presented four instructions for enduring:
1. Make a firm, wholehearted commitment to Jesus with no reservations.
2. Keep your focus on the invisible. (The unseen world must be more real to us than the seen. THOSE things are eternal.)
3. If you fail, don’t give up. (Psalm 37:23-4 and 2 Timothy 4:7-8)
4. Keep the faith, fight the fight
Now, a lot of people know I’m a bit fixated on Antarctica. It’s been one of my life dreams to go there since I was a kid. I love the idea of frontiers; confronting the “impossible”; expanses of ice and wonder; and I love adventure. Thus, it makes sense that a favorite demonstration of endurance is that of Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was an arctic explorer. He also named his ship “The Endurance.” Though the ship did not make it through the icebergs that surrounded it, the expedition was far from futile. On the contrary, Shackleton proved to many that Antarctica was accessible. Well done, faithful explorer! Like another hero of mine, Amelia Earhart, Shackleton provided a foundation for the generations following to do more and have greater success than he ever did. This is the nature of leaving a legacy and an inheritance. Endurance is also an investment in future generations, so your ceiling can be their floor.
Mighty men and women of God, keep on keeping on! You are strong; and He is stronger! Drive through the icebergs! Commit to do the impossible. A.W. Tozer said, “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible.
What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.”
Endurance is a pathway to the impossible. And if you are madly in love with Jesus, it’s fun. You get to discover what both you and He would do and can do and will do for love. Endurance is recreation for the lovesick.
See video of the voyage here