Americans LOVE speed and convenience. We want things easy, and we want them now. 

  • We want gourmet meals at microwave speed
  • We want to lose 30 pounds before the next holiday
  • We want Olympian fitness in just 20 minutes a day
  • We want instant communications – cell phones, video conferencing, emails, texts, Facebook, news

All these things have their place and are amazingly useful. BUT the problem is that we often expect the same thing in our spiritual lives – we want instant and easy spiritual growth; instant and easy relationships; instant and easy conflict resolution; instant and easy Bible knowledge. However, the reality is that spiritual growth takes time. It takes persistence.

What does persistence look like?

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; whereby there results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”

A “long obedience in the same direction” is Biblical perseverance, endurance, or steadfastness. 

  • Jesus said – (Luke 8.15) “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”
  • The apostle Paul said – (Romans 5.3-5) “…tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint…”

Worthwhile things take time and effort and perseverance. They require “a long obedience in the same direction.” Whether it’s your career; or your marriage; or your relationship to your children; or your character; or your finances; or your spiritual life – these things take time, effort, and perseverance. They take this “long obedience in the same direction.”

One more thing: If persistence is this “long obedience in the same direction,” we must have a direction. But direction is determined by destination. If there’s no destination, we’re simply wandering aimlessly. For Christians, our destination is the Father, and Jesus provides the direction – “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14.6). 

Do you practice persistence? Do you have this “long obedience in the same direction?”