Have you done everything God has ever asked you to do? Do you have that one thing that you believe you need/must do? Have you done everything possible to fulfil your own faith dream? Have you done everything prophesied over you?
Fail means: First Attempt In Learning
You MUST never give up. It’s not the end until you graduate to Glory. Until the You MUST never give up. Ever.
You have no need to give up and, in the Christian sense, you have no right to give up on something God asked you to do. I want to quote from Romans 8. My New Testament lecturer, he used to say, “Gentlemen, if we lost all of scripture except Romans we would still find salvation and if we lost all of Romans except Chapter 8, we would still find salvation”. That is very true. Paul’s talking about life in the Spirit and our future glory and then he comes up with this question in Verse 31:
“What then shall we say in response to this – if God is for us who can be against us?” and he goes on in that famous beautiful passage – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall trouble, hardship or persecution, famine or nakedness or danger or sword? “
“No! In all these things we are more than conquerors!”
We need to think about that for a while. That is one to ponder.
You know we Australians love our sport and we like to win! If we play sport we like to win, but we are more than victors in Christ Jesus. We are more than that, isn’t that hard to get your thoughts around?
Now, that is worth sitting under a tree for a few of days and thinking about. I want to encourage you to never give up no matter what happens, no matter what the world throws at you, or the devil throws at you, no matter what people throw at you DON’T GIVE UP.
Winston Churchill was thrown out of Eaton College as a young man – failed. But then as a very successful man he was invited back to speak at the graduation service and there was all the pomp and everything that accompanies such things in England and he said, “Young men, never give up. Never give up! Never give up!! Never, never, never-never-never-never!” and then he sat down.
NEVER GIVE UP! We can all adopt this attitude, many people in history have:
Brahms who took seven long years to compose his famous Lullaby. He kept falling asleep at the piano. BUT he didn’t give up.
Henry Ford – revolutionized the industry by creating the mass production line. It took him years, but he kept going never giving up.
Garland David Sanders; The father of KFC approached thousands of businesses and received thousands of no’s, but he would not give up.
Walt Disney was fired from his first job for a lack of imagination!
Thomas Edison – inventor of the light globe was interviewed at one point and a young journalist made a comment like “you have no real idea how to make a light globe?” Edison replied “young man, I know over 9,000 ways how not to make a light globe.” He would not give u until he succeeded.
Fred Astaire was told at his first scene test: can’t act, can’t sing, can dance a little. He didn’t give up either and was still gaining roles in his 90’s.
Vincent van Gogh – was a failed artist in his lifetime, but he kept painting and no one in his or her right mind would consider him a failure.
Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting ‘too emotionally invested in her stories.’ She didn’t give up either and now has her own network OWN.
Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times, but he kept going and has so many highly successful films.
R.H. Macy – had a series of failed retail ventures throughout his early career, before beginning the famous Macy’s.
Soichiro Honda’s unique vision got him ostracized by the Japanese business community. But he kept going and now Honda is hugely successful.
Sir Isaac Newton’s mother pulled him out of school as a boy so that he could run the family farm. He failed miserably at farming but he didn’t give up his studying.
When Sidney Poitier first auditioned for the American Negro Theatre, he flubbed his lines and spoke in a heavy Caribbean accent, which made the director angrily tell him to stop wasting his time and go get a job as a dishwasher. Thankfully for us movie buffs he didn’t give up.
J.K. Rowling was a single mum, living off welfare, when she began writing the first ‘Harry Potter’ novel. She kept going and kept going.
Harrison Ford’s first small movie role, an executive took him into his office and told him he’d never succeed in the movie business, but he wouldn’t give u that easily.
Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers, but he kept going and is a household name now.
James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes and his savings over 15 years before he developed his unique vacuum system.
Stephen King – grew so frustrated over his attempt to write the novel ‘Carrie’ that he threw away the entire early draft. But he worked and worked refusing to give up and has had over 40 best sellers.
Nelson Mandela refused to lay down – 27 years in prison on the infamous Robyn Island, but he persisted to become the first black president of South Africa.
Steve Jobs – was fired as head of Apple, but came back and took back the leadership and lead Apple into being one of the top companies in the world.
On a personal level:
I have been maligned, lied about, manipulated. At one time I had an attack planned by people against my ministry. I would not let it stop me. I would not let it stop me.
My life has been threatened at least three times. It has not stopped me.
In 1993 I parted company on a curve between my Harley Davidson and myself and I spent time in hospital with some very funny stories attached to that. One doctor said I would never walk again! I won’t tell you now what I told him, but it was a colourful response. In the Australian vernacular like, “Yeah, sure!” My feet were both crushed my left leg was smashed. In fact, when I woke up lying on the side of the road, my leg looked like a carrot that someone had snapped in half. Injuries to my neck and arms, my back was broken in two places. I WON’T GIVE UP, I WILL NOT GIVE UP. There is nothing that will make me give up what God has asked me to do.
I had a situation in one church where I got down to a handful of people. I didn’t care because I was still so sure that God wanted me there. I got on with the preaching the Word and built it up again.
Amiee Semple MacPherson, founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church used to say when her church had suffered a downturn, dust off the organ, roll up your sleeves and preach the Word.
There is nothing, nothing that should keep us from doing that which the Lord has called us to do. We have to be so doggedly determined that we know what we know, what we know. Is that right? And we do not have to give up.
PERSEVERANCE = Persistent determination
Phillippians Chapter 4: Verse 13
“I can do all things through him who gives me strength”
That needs to be clarified in as much as we can do whatever God calls us to do. That is a Max Watson paraphrase, feel free to use it. We can do whatever God calls us to do. It does not mean you can do anything you dream up to do, there are people teaching such rot. But if God called you to it, you can do it. If you think you have all the ability to do that then think again, because he will often put us in a situation where we go “Oh Boy! What am I doing here?” OK, we know that, just keep going anyway. I really want to encourage you. Just keep going anyway.
Samuel Johnson said:
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.
I have had no choice in my life BUT to just keep going:
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all”
I was Born into dysfunctional family. Long before the word dysfunctional was made-up. I was repeatedly told I wasn’t wanted and take it from me no child should ever hear those words from a parent.
I was constantly told I was stupid; by age 9 I was a victim of emotional, physical & sexual abuse, but I knew somehow I had to keep going; I somehow knew that God would guide me.
My Conversion came at age 16, I felt called to ministry that very same night, which would come back every couple of years; I was convinced that I was too stupid to undertake such study.
Not long following my 16th birthday I left school and I wanted to be a cabinet maker but my overbearing/controlling father “directed” me to become an electrician, which I hated, but eventually passed.
In 1979 I met and in Dec. 1980 I married the amazing Chris, my wife. When it came time to start a family, we were eventually diagnosed as an infertile couple. We were doing the right stuff but nothing… We revisited the Dr…testing the end result was infertility, a medical impossibility for us to conceive . A few months later I was working for Bose, the speaker people, we travelled to Adelaide for the annual Hi Fi show; which meant 15 hour days doing presentations. I remember falling into my hotel bed on the Saturday night exhausted. I took out the Gideon Bible and read my favourite passage in Daniel, chapter 3 about the image and the king’s edict to worship it. The men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to do so they replied to the king:
the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Verse 18 is the critical verse. I sat there and prayed. I told God that I knew He could give us what we wanted so much then said But even if you do not we will still follow you and serve you.
When I arrived back in Sydney on the Monday, Chris greeted me with “guess what?”
I was in no mood for a guessing game and said so, my tiredness was extreme, Chris said “we’re pregnant. My tiredness simply vanished. She had felt a bit off that morning and had gone to the doctor who confirmed her pregnancy.
The next thing that came to me was the call to ministry, again.
I was still sure that I didn’t have what it takes to get through Bible College, I spoke to our Pastor who assured me I could but also suggested I talk to the principal. I made an appointment and told him the entire story including my abject fear of Greek, which I knew was mandatory. He summed up and said that all I had to do was apply myself and I’d be fine.
Well I went to college early the next year and completed the course, including gaining a high distinction in Greek.
Following these four years we moved to a country church, by this time my daily pattern was 12 hours a day studying; I approached ministry with the same gusto and it only took two and a half years to find myself in a full-blown burnout. So it was back to Sydney to recover. The next thing was I was back to college, where I completed a course to gain a degree a Bth – Bachelor of Theology, while I took a caretaker ministry in a dying church. We saw a regrowth in that place and stayed for 4 years. After which we moved denomination to The Foursquare Gospel Church in Sydney’s Mount Druitt, where we stayed for 7 years.
During this time I undertook a masters degree via external study from a US university, where I earned my Mth – Masters of Theology with honors in 2001.
At the end of 2002 I left pastoral ministry to see where God would next lead me. I was tipped off by a friend that a position was available that would be very suitable to me. In early 2003 I went to work for Samaritan’s Purse Australia, heading up Operation Christmas Child project for Australia and the South Pacific and South East Asia area.
My workaholism again in full throttle mode, this all came back on me when in May 2004, while on assignment in Cambodia I had a massive stroke. I was transferred to a hospital in Bangkok that same night.
A week later I was flown home to Sydney to hospital and then months in a rehab facility. Sadly, I never recovered from the left side paralysis, which I still live with to this day.
Eventually, I found a part-time desk job where I worked until September 2011, when I made to tough decision to retire. Since then I turned my passion and education to writing; so far I have written and self published 12 books.
I want to quote to you from John Wesley’s diary. When we think of John Wesley we just think of the Methodism and the incredible revival and all that. Now just think of this:
Sunday Morning May 5 – Preached at St. Anne’s and was asked not to come back any more.
Sunday Evening May 5 – Preached at St. John’s, Deacons said get out and stay out.
Sunday Morning May 12 – Preached at St. Jude’s, can’t go back there either.
Sunday Evening May 12 – Preached at St. George’s, kicked out again.
Sunday Morning May 19 – Preached at St. Somebody else’s, Deacons called a special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday Evening May 19 – Preached on the street, kicked off the street.
Sunday Morning May 26 – Preached in a meadow, chased out of the meadow as a bull was turned loose during the service.
Sunday Morning June 2 – Preached out at the edge of town, kicked off the highway.
Sunday Evening June 2 – Afternoon service, preached in a pasture, 10,000 people came to hear me.
That’s what I want to do – preach to a crowd of 10,000 the message of not giving up.
YOU DON’T GIVE UP
YOU DON’T GIVE UP
YOU DON’T GIVE UP, YOU JUST KEEP GOING…
My secret is you need to know who you are in close relationship with Papa God. When you have that, you can then dig into that whenever you are, in a situation of desperation. I admit that I have suffered depression all my adult life, I have experienced such black times I understand the action of those like Robyn Williams… I understand it but I don’t condone it. Things have been very black but I read my arm and I dig into my relationship with Papa and keep going.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything
2 Peter 1:6
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
Why do you keep going? Because God has called you and he has apportioned work for you to do, and if you don’t do it, then the world and the Kingdom might not become quite what it could or should be, because you need to do that which God has asked you to do.
A seminary professor overheard a conversation between two students. One of them had just received his appointment from a Bishop and the student didn’t feel that the placement was exactly what he thought he should get and he was complaining to the other student and the other student responded to him. “You know the world is a better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, “I don’t do ceilings.” The student had made a stunning reply!
You know, you and I, we have to be faithful to that which God has asked us to do. That’s it, that’s really it. You know there are times when I wish he had asked me to just pack boxes, drive a forklift truck and just be a store-man because I really like that sort of stuff but he hasn’t. You know it has everything to do with our availability and not our ability, I know you have heard that before but we need to hear it again and again and again. Our willingness to allow God to use us, as He apportions and chooses, not as we think.
The world is a better place because a German Monk named Martin Luther did not say, “I don’t do doors!” You might need to read some Church history.
The world is a better place because an Oxford Don named John Wesley did not say to God, “I don’t preach in fields!”
The world is a better place because Moses did not say, “I don’t do mass immigrations!”
And the world is a better place because Noah did not say, “I don’t work with animals!”
And the world is a better place because a lady by the name of Rahab didn’t say, “I don’t work with spies!”
And the world is a better place because Ruth didn’t say, “Oooh! Mothers in law!”
And the world is a better place because Samuel was prepared to be a morning person.
And the world is a better place because David didn’t say, “I don’t work with giants!”
And the world is a better place because Peter didn’t say, “I don’t work with gentiles!”
And the world is a better place because John didn’t say, “I don’t do deserts!”
And the world is a better place because Mary didn’t say, “I don’t do Virgin births!”
And the world is a better place because Paul didn’t say, “I don’t write letters!”
And the world is a better place because Mary Magdalene didn’t say, “I don’t do feet!”
And the world is a better place because Jesus didn’t say, “I don’t do crosses!”
And the world is a better place if you and I, will say, I will Never, Never Never Give Up.
May the Lord bless you and encourage you as you serve Him, as he has called you to serve Him and
NEVER EVER, EVER GIVE UP!
GOD BLESS YOU!
Don’t forget the best is yet to come!