Refusing to quit may be one of the greatest acts of spiritual warfare you will ever engage in.
By Larry Kreider
Charles Spurgeon once said, “By perseverance the snail finally reached the ark.” Many start out in their Christian lives or in leadership filled with the Lord’s vision burning in their hearts, but a few years later find themselves shipwrecked. They fail to persevere and thereby fail to reach their God-appointed destiny.
God’s destiny for our lives will only be fulfilled if we persevere. His destiny includes leaving a godly legacy for the next generation: the legacy of an obedient life, the legacy of a spiritual parent, and the legacy of one who refused to quit in the midst of the battle.
The legacy of an obedient life
Joseph was a young man immersed in dreams and visions (Genesis 37). Yet when they were tested, he remained obedient and refused to become discouraged. When his brothers sold him into slavery, it seemed all his dreams had ended. Still, he did not allow bitterness to spring up because of unmet expectations. His perseverance and obedience eventually landed him the top job in Egypt next to Pharaoh.
Are you feeling tired or defeated? Regardless of what you have experienced, you can still fulfill your destiny in God.
Several years ago, I nearly quit. Our small group-based church had grown from twenty-five people to over 2,000 within ten years. Things appeared to be great on the surface, but I was tired and weary. I felt misunderstood as a leader. I told my wife LaVerne one day, “If I get kicked in the head one more time (figuratively speaking), I don’t think I can go on.” But we knew we could not abort the original call of God on our lives. So we chose to be obedient and press on.
The Lord gave us grace to continue and we faced our fears. Faithful friends encouraged us, and the Lord cleansed me and gave me fresh faith. Today, I am eternally grateful I did not quit during this season of testing. We are now experiencing victory and great fulfillment. He is faithful, even when we are faithless! Obedience always pays off.
The legacy of spiritual children
Abraham was ninety-nine years old when God gave him the promise that he would be the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4). This covenant also promised that his descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Genesis 26:4). Galatians 3:29 tells those who belong to Christ they are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Therefore, as believers, God wants us to have “spiritual children” who come to know God and grow in God through our influence. They will be our spiritual lineage—our posterity in God’s kingdom.
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20: “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” His spiritual children were his glory and joy. They were his inheritance.
God has placed us here on earth because He has called us to become spiritual fathers and mothers in our generation. Our inheritance will be the spiritual children that we can some day present to Jesus Christ. Those you are mentoring in your small group are your spiritual children. Whether you are a homemaker, a student, a worker in a factory, or the head of a large corporation—you have the divine opportunity and responsibility to disciple spiritual children, who will produce spiritual grandchildren and great grandchildren. This is your spiritual inheritance.
The legacy of not quitting
Paul was shipwrecked, in prison and beaten (2 Corinthians 6), but he refused to quit. In the garden of Gethsemane, the devil wanted Jesus to give up. Praise God He did not quit! Recently, I was talking to a small group leader who had been discouraged, but refused to quit. Then later he shared with me that three people came to Christ in their small group in just two weeks! Praise God he persevered!
Refusing to quit may be one of the greatest acts of spiritual warfare that you will ever engage in! Let’s purpose in our hearts, by the grace of God, to persevere and leave a godly legacy: the legacy of an obedient life, the legacy of spiritual children, and the legacy of one who refused to quit.
About Larry Kreider
Larry has spent the past four decades training leaders to make disciples with the small group concept. Larry serves as the international director of DOVE International, a worldwide network of over 1,000 churches in 26 nations. Larry has written more than 40 books and travels extensively teaching and imparting practical discipleship to leaders globally. Read about Larry or catch up on Larry’s blog.