We live in an instant-gratification culture. If we want something, we just hop on our phones and order it, and it's at our door in as soon as a day! This has taught us that we should get what we want when we want it, regardless of our circumstances. This mentality is not biblical, it isn't noble, and it's robbing us of an important kingdom concept—perseverance. Without which, we forget how to wait on God, and can actually slip into entitlement. However, perseverance is not a gift, or even a personality type; it is a choice that we make to refuse to give up when life gets tough. The fruit of perseverance is great character and promise actualized.
Our Grandparents Didn't Have Credit Cards
This instant-gratification mentality is expressed in hundreds of ways in our society. Credit cards and 30-year mortgages are just a couple of ways that this attitude finds expression. Of course, I am not saying these things in themselves are evil or bad; I am simply pointing out that they are expressions of a culture full of people who want it now, regardless of whether they can afford it or not.
Think about it: Credit cards have only been around for about 50 years. That means our great- grandparents actually had to have money to buy things. I know it seems ridiculous to us now, but it is true.
Instant Gratification Robs Us of Perseverance
One of the challenges of the instant-gratification culture is that it can take away the motivation we have to persevere through tough times in order to apprehend our aspirations, because we can just charge it. Slowly but surely, perseverance is becoming a lost art, shared by few and passed on to no one. In a strange way, our supernatural culture can even feed our impatient obsession in that we believe in miracles, which is the immediate intervention of God in a situation. This can undermine our value of life's processes that are often rooted in perseverance.
Miracles Are Often Predicated by Years of Prayer
The truth is, God often takes a long time to act suddenly. As a matter of fact, many of the most amazing "instant miracles" I have witnessed have been predicated by years of prayer and persistent faithfulness. This reminds me of the story Jesus told about the widow who wore out the wicked judge with her persistence:
He told them a parable to illustrate that it is necessary always to pray and not lose heart. He said: "In a city there was a judge who did not fear God or regard man. And a widow was in that city. She came to him, saying, 'Avenge me against my adversary.'
"He would not for a while. Yet afterward he said to himself, 'Though I do not fear God or respect man, yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she will weary me.'"
And the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge says. And shall not God avenge His own elect and be patient with them, who cry day and night to Him? I tell you, He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8).
Why This Generation Needs Perseverance in Their Faith
The reason Jesus told His guys this parable was to keep them from wimping out in prayer by quitting before they got answers. Jesus closes with a profound question about whether or not, when He returns, He will "find faith on the earth." The connotation is that persistent, prolonged, unyielding, "I refuse to give up" prayer is faith.
The point is, if persistence and perseverance are rooted in faith, then the instant-gratification "I have to have it now" mentality must be inspired by the wrong kingdom. In fact, perseverance is to our soul what exercise is to our body. When we push against the challenges of life, our inner man gains strength day by day. On the other hand, when we act like impatient, entitled, spoiled victims, our inner man degenerates, leaving our new man withered, weak and pitiful.
Resist the Easy Way Out
To live successfully in greater abundance around us, we must increase our capacity for a greater glory within ourselves. Otherwise, we can become infected by the spirit of entitlement. It is gratitude and perseverance that inspire hope and faith within us. These attributes and attitudes inoculate us from evil and expand our capacity for greater blessing in our inner man.
I want to challenge you, therefore, to resist the temptation to take the easy road. Instead, take the highway of perseverance, which will become the path to your palace. This is the process of nobility that prepares us to embrace our royal identity and fulfill our divine destiny.
Have you seen perseverance pay off in your life? How do you remember to persevere in an instant gratification culture? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and cofounder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). Kris travels internationally, training and equipping people to successfully fulfill their divine purpose. He's a best-selling author, having written more than a dozen books and training manuals to help prepare believers for life in the kingdom. He has a diverse background in business, counseling, consulting, pastoring and teaching, which gives him unique leadership insights and perspectives. Kris has a passion to use his experience and his prophetic gift to assist world leaders in achieving their goals and accomplishing their mission.
This article originally appeared at krisvallotton.com.
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