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Ziklag (4 of 5)

Mike Connell

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It says: be followers (an imitator) of certain kinds of people. Young people - there's a great tendency to follow the crowd. Have a look at what you're following, and where it goes. Think it through, and where that leads to, because the people you follow, connect with, and share your life with, will shape what you are - so be careful what you follow.

The Bible tells us what to follow. It says: follow those men and women who through faith and endurance (or courage) continue in the face of pressure. Follow people who are believers in God, and when it's tough in their life, they've got the courage in them to stick with it and go on.

They may not be up on a platform, but they've got faith in their life, and when you watch them in adversity, in trouble, under pressure, there's a courage inside. They stand up, and they stay the course, and they're not quitters. I've had years and years of people, and when the pressure comes on them, they quit - right at the crucial time! I grieve over people that do that. Right at the point when they should be breaking through to the things God has, they quit, because they didn't have the courage to stay the course.

One of the things that helps us stay the course is when you have people you look to, and model your life on, who have got faith. They believe God, and they have courage to stand. You watch them when times are tough, and you hear them still praising God. They continue, and a year later, they're still there serving God.

Over the years I've seen some bright and shining stars. The bright stars shine, and then they go; but what I look for are men and women who stay the course. They may not be on the platform, or out in the open, but when you watch over the course of time, you see - there they were. They just hung into God. You never saw what went on behind the scenes, but they hung into God. They had the courage to stand. I could share story after story of people here, who had the courage to stand, when everything in them wanted to quit? The Bible says: be like that!

“…be followers of those who, through faith and patience… inherit the promises of God.” If God has spoken to you about something He wants to do in your life, it will take you faith, and some courage to stick with it, because everything is going to take you off course, if it possibly can.

I can think of times when people have come up and have stood in altar call, they've dedicated their life to the Lord, and the Spirit of God spoke prophetically… and I look at them now. They just didn't have the faith, and the courage, to stay the course. They were sabotaged before they finished their course. I say: Lord Jesus, help me, I want to stay the course and finish strong. It's not where you are now - it's how you finish! It's what you're like at the end of your life!

Are you still strong, and there's fire, and passion for God? You're pursuing, and still believing, the promises of God? Or did you quit, because it got tough; you gave up, because your friends around you gave up? Perhaps there was someone who was your friend, and they gave up on God, and you followed them? Don't be followers of quitters; follow people who stay the course!

Even in the natural things of this world, people who quit too easily never achieve, never succeed. There's something about staying the course, not being distracted, keeping your focus on your dream, your vision, and particularly in this case focusing on the Lord, who has got the ability to fulfil your promises.