“Never, never, never, give in!” These were the words of Winston Churchill during one of England’s bleakest moments. It was 1941 and Hitler’s troops were advancing. The American forces had not yet entered the war and things looked bad for Europe. He went on to say, *“Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” We need great tenacity in Disciple-Making Movements (DMMs). We must never, never, never give in until God’s Kingdom is established and growing among the unreached.
My previous blog was about Praying with Faith. That is the first key to seeing breakthroughs in Disciple-Making Movements. The second key for breakthrough and growth is perseverance.
Perseverance – Lessons from Snoozy
When I was a kid we had a dog named Snoozy. She loved to play. We would take an old sock, tie a knot in it, and let her grab hold of the end. A game of “tug of war” soon started. If I got the sock away, (and it was hard work to finally do that) Snoozy would lunge after it again. The game could go on for hours!
Let’s start with a funny story to illustrate.
A journalist was assigned to the Jerusalem bureau of his newspaper. He gets an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. After several weeks he realizes that whenever he looks at the wall he sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. The journalist wondered whether there was a publishable story here. He goes down to the wall, introduces himself and says: “You come every day to the wall. What are you praying for?”
The old man replies: “What am I praying for? In the morning I pray for world peace, then I pray for the brotherhood of man. I go home, have a glass of tea, and I come back to the wall to pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”
The journalist is taken by the old man’s sincerity and persistence. “You mean you have been coming to the wall to pray every day for these things?”
The old man nods.
“How long have you been coming to the wall to pray for these things?”
The old man becomes reflective and then replies: “How long? Maybe twenty, twenty-five years.”
The amazed journalist finally asks: “How does it feel to come and pray every day for over 20 years for these things?”
“How does it feel?” the old man replies. “It feels like I’m talking to a wall.”*
Frustrated With Prayer?
Do you ever feel that way about prayer? Ever feel frustrated and like it isn’t making much difference, so why do it? Ever feel like it is something we do first before we get to the “real work” of church planting?
There have been times in my life when I felt like prayer was a duty and a chore more than a joy.
That has changed a lot for me in the past few years. Prayer is now a great blessing to me. Prayer is my first priority. It is now some of the most meaningful kingdom work in my life. I have repeatedly seen God use prayer to dramatically impact the amount of fruit He releases. I’m sure that all those who have seen disciple making movements truly multiply would say the same.
Not all prayer feels that way or produces those results. What makes the difference?
Jesus And The Fig Tree
In Matthew 21, there is an unusual little story of Jesus and a fig tree. Jesus is hungry. He sees a tree without fruit. A bit frustrated (it seems), He curses it and it withers. His disciples are amazed at His power and comment about it. He then tells them, this is nothing…
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matt 21:22)
What makes the difference in our prayers according to Jesus? Faith.
When we pray with faith, amazing answers are released.
Obstacles Come – Big & Small
In life we all face obstacles. This has got to be even more true for those who are boldly pursuing the release of a movement of disciples among the unreached. We face financial obstacles, visa related obstacles, persecution related problems, family issues, discipleship and marriage problems and many other things. Big or small, the obstacles come with regular frequency.
What we do when faced with a barrier that stands in our way – determines what kind of a leader we become – and the results we will see.
Joshua Had A Bulldozer Anointing
Joshua faced big barriers when he moved into the Promised land as well. He battled a huge one right away with the fortified city of Jericho. Big walls. No way in. No way over. Armies that were bigger than his. What did he do?
He didn’t get stuck. He didn’t retreat. Joshua certainly didn’t give up. No, he simply listened to God and found a way to destroy the barrier he faced. God showed him an unusual strategy to “get the job done” in relationship to Jericho. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is able to make the walls fall down!
Tear Down That Wall
What barrier is making you feel overwhelmed today? What situation are you facing that looks impossible? Ask God to fill you with a breakthrough anointing. Be a spiritual bulldozer. Tear down that wall through prayer and obedience to His instructions.
Obstacles make us stronger if we respond to them in faith not fear, if we listen to God and obey rather than pull back and stop fighting. Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) are more than possible. They are on God’s heart and a part of His will.
Are you ready to drive your spiritual bulldozer now?