Beyond the Building (Part 5)
The last four articles have centered on habits that will help Christians more effectively serve their Lord, the church, and the lost. We learned first to be responsible by taking even the smallest job seriously. Second, we learned to be honorable, maintaining our integrity even in the face of abuse. Third, we learned to be a servant, aggressively pursuing opportunities to be a blessing to others. Fourth, we learned to be selfless, genuinely caring for the needs of others with no thanks or praise required. This final article considers that the process of continuing to be effective for the Lord is not easy, and that being a Christian beyond the building requires our stubborn dedication to God.
Habit 5: Be Stubborn. If a Christian is not stubborn, they will fall away. Stubbornness is not necessarily a sinful quality. In Ezekiel 3:4-11, God spoke to Ezekiel and said, “Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.” God made Ezekiel stubborn, but not a sinful sort of stubborn. It was the sort of stubbornness that would be required to continue to share God’s word to people who hated hearing it and refused to obey it. That’s a good and righteous sort of stubbornness that we ought to adopt and habitually display. It makes Christians more effective in service to Christ.
Jesus was stubborn. Think about His prayer in the garden: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39). Jesus was stubbornly submissive to the will of the Father. He was grieved to the point of death (v.38) but still prayed the will of the Father be done, and still endured the suffering and humiliation so that His will would be carried out (v.67-68). If a Christian would be like Christ, they must adopt righteous stubbornness.
Paul spoke of all the sufferings of this earth in Romans 8:35-39 and proclaimed none of them could separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. For those who stubbornly cling to the Lord there is nothing that can separate Him from them. God will not let go of those who cling stubbornly to Him. Make it your habit to cling to the Lord. Aim your stubbornness for God and against sin. Be stubbornly Christian. Refuse to compromise God’s standards. Refuse to alter His doctrines. Demand that your life bless others. Demand that those around you know that Jesus loves them. Demand that every lost soul have the opportunity to be saved by the blood of Christ. Make Christlike stubbornness your habit, and you will serve Him effectively both within and beyond the building. May your life be blessed as you adopt these habits!