Sanctified Stubbornness Sermon Blog Day 1
Suppose a busy, modern-day pastor of a church in a mid-sized town had a conversation with the Apostle Paul from the Bible? Maybe it would go something like this:
As the pastor rushes down the sidewalk toward his church campus, he bumps into the Apostle Paul coming the opposite direction. The pastor responds, “Hey, hey man...! Look out!
The Apostle Paul asks, “What is your hurry young man?” The pastor explains, “Sir, I am late to a committee meeting. The church I pastor just hasn’t progressed like people want. We have buildings that need to be repaired. These are just a few things in a long line of problems, and I am about to be late to an important committee meeting.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure, but I think it may be time to just quit. By the way...what is your name...?”
Paul answers, “My name is Paul, and what in the world do you mean quit...?!”
The pastor answers, “I mean quit! After so many difficult things happen, I start to get the message that I need to simply quit. I don’t expect you to understand...”
With a questioning look, Paul answers, “Oh really? Well how about this, ‘From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.’ (From 2Corinthians 11:24-28)
As Paul finishes his passage, the pastor cries out, “STOP!!! PLEASE STOP ALREADY!! Are you nuts, or are you simply hardheaded? Mister, can’t you take a hint?! Nobody seems to want you and people are after you! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST QUIT?!!! WHY...? PLEASE TELL ME WHY YOU DIDN’T SIMPLY QUIT???”
Paul pauses for a moment. Looks into the face of the preacher and explains, “Sir, I am not perfect, nor will I ever be on this earth. But, there is one thing I do... ‘Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus'.
At this point, the pastor/preacher nods his head with an understanding look and heads off to his meeting. What was the key to Paul’s success? Could it be that Paul had a sanctified stubbornness that would not allow him to quit doing God’s plan. God’s enemy will often attack and threaten God’s leaders in order to stop the work of God’s Kingdom. What attacks might God’s leaders expect from the enemy?