God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!” ~ Jeremiah 31:3, MSG
walk: the way you conduct yourself; to live in obedience; to move; to go through
Throughout his ministry, Jesus walked a lot. There was this one time that he needed to travel through Samaria. When he arrived to Sychar, a city of Samaria, he was tired (John 4:4). What I love about this passage of scripture is that when Jesus got tired, he didn’t quit. He didn’t give up. He stopped and rested.
Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well (John 4:6, KJV).
So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well (John 4:6, AMPC).
As believing Christians, we walk a lot too. Well, we are supposed to.
Let us walk honestly (Romans 13:13).
For we walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16).
And walk in love (Ephesians 5:2).
Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).
That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing (Colossians 1:10).
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments (2 John 1:6).
Throughout the bible, we are told how we should walk. I know we don’t always walk how we were taught to walk. I know you’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I want to encourage every person who is reading this.
Do you remember when Paul was in a ship with some other prisoners? While they were sailing, Paul perceived that they would suffer hurt and much damage (Acts 27:10). He wasn’t just talking about the ship, but he was talking about their lives being in danger. But the centurion wouldn’t listen. He believed the master and owner of the ship more than the words spoken by Paul.
Sometimes we believe the words of people more than the word of God.
When a violent wind came, they were tossed about on the ship. To save themselves, they had to throw things off the ship to reduce the weight. They experienced seasickness, stress and they were without food for a long time. Have you ever thought back to some decisions you made and said, If I had only listened? Paul told them that they should have listened to him, but he knew they were already feeling bad so he didn’t make them feel worse. He didn’t condemn them. He told them to cheer up. There will be no loss of life among you, but only loss of the ship (Acts 27:22, AMP).
Maybe you didn’t listen when God warned you, but don’t dwell over it. Don’t beat yourself over it. Cheer up. The enemy wants you to feel like you’re a failure. He wants you to think that you can’t do anything right. You’re always messing up. You do good for a little while, but then you do something foolish just before the breakthrough or before the promise can be fulfilled in your life. For some of you, there are people who have blamed you for the choices they made. They made you think it was your fault. They made you feel like you were a bad person. Yes, you have made some bad choices, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. Everything wasn’t your fault.
I don’t care what people have said about you. You won’t miss it this time. You have been the tail for too long, but things are about to turn around for you. No, God hasn’t changed His mind about you. He wants to bless you. If you will obey His voice and do all that He has commanded you to do, God will make you the head (Deuteronomy 28:1, 13). You don’t have to force it. HE will do it.
So don’t look back. I don’t want you to regret anything. I don’t want you to worry about it anymore. I don’t want you to sit too long. Get up and ‘walk’. Don’t stop doing what works just because it seems like it’s not working. I know you wish you could have done some things differently, but guess what? You still can. It’s not too late for you. Every day that God gives you is another chance and another opportunity to do things differently.
I told you earlier that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. When Jesus sat down to rest, he ministered to a woman who was ‘tired’ too – tired of going from man to man, tired of the hurt, tired of the disappointment – looking, searching and hoping. Is he the one? Will this one love me the way I deserve to be loved? This woman was so busy looking for someone to love her that she never learned to love herself. But she met Jesus – and he spoke to her like no other man had ever spoken to her before. What this MAN did for her made her forget about what all the other men did to her.
You need to go through what you’re going through. It’s going to help somebody. Someone has lost hope, but you’re about to give someone hope again. I know you get weary at times along the way. Sometimes you want to give up, but keep walking in what God told you to do.
And when you get tired, rest.
Rest in the promise God made to you. Become like Paul who believed God and believed that it would be as it was told to him (Acts 27:25). Be at peace with what God said and as you place your hope in Him, He will renew your strength and you will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Rest, but don’t quit.
quit: to stop, leave a place or person, let go, to admit defeat
I know the one thing Jesus had against the church of Ephesus was that they left their first love, but He saw their works, their labor and their patience. He knew that they had not given up. Despite the long wait, they continued to serve Him. They were patient. They kept going. They kept trying. They suffered for the sake of His name without quitting.
If you’re going to quit anything, quit giving up.
I know you are wondering, When is God going to do it? When will it come to pass? For some of you, it feels like you’ve been waiting for a long time, but I want to encourage you with these words: The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise (2 Peter 3:9). You may think that He is late, but everything God does is at the right time.
Some of you reading this want to quit. You want to quit church. You want to quit that ministry. You want to give up on that marriage. You want to give up on that child. You want to walk off that job. I know it seems like nothing is happening. It seems like God isn’t doing anything, but He is always working (John 5:17, NLT).
The reason why some of you can’t quit is because God won’t let you. Don’t you realize how far you’ve come? Don’t you realize that God has been with you all the way? You can try to give up. You can try to run and hide from what God has called you to do and to be, but just like Peter, people will recognize you because you can’t hide that light under a bushel. I don’t care how dark it seems in your life. It is not able to put out the light that is in you.
But a certain maid saw him (Peter) as he sat by the fire and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him (Luke 22:56).
And after a little while another saw him and said, You are also of them (Luke 22:58).
And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean (Luke 22:59).
It wasn’t long ago that I was lying on my bed thinking about all the poor choices I made, the people I hurt, the people that hurt me, the things I’ve lost and the things that were stolen from me. I was comparing my life to others. I was giving up. I was asking God to give up on me. I began to think that every word I read in the bible and every word spoken to me were lies. (Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about). But even though I was ready to let Him go, He wouldn’t let me go. He wouldn’t leave me alone.
At this point in your life, you couldn’t walk away even if you wanted to because His lovingkindness keeps drawing you back. Every time you said you weren’t going back to church, you went right back. You started praying again. You started believing again. Just when you thought you couldn’t go any further, God gave you new strength to go on and to press on. In the last few months, God has proven Himself to me. I cannot deny Him or His existence. Even when things weren’t going good in my life, He remained good to me. He never left me. He was with me and is still with me.
Listen. Don’t beat yourself up about the past and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Think about the steps and strides you have made. Yes, you have failed some tests, but think about the great testimony that will come out of what you’ve been through. Think about the people who will be set free and delivered because of your testimony – because you refused to give up. You may not be what you should be, but you’re not what you used to be either. You may not be where you want to be, but you will get there –
IF you don’t quit.