Have you ever wished you had someone you could run to with any perplexing question about life and get answers with 100% accuracy? Well, I used to wish that, but not anymore. I’ve got Someone who now takes care of that – the Holy Spirit! The bible calls Him our counselor (John 14:26). He is to us what Jesus was to His disciples in the gospels – a reservoir of wisdom and divine solutions.
Not too long ago, I asked Him a question: What is the number one secret to success? This post is all about the answer He gave me. He dropped one word in my heart ‘persistence’, and He taught me why. Here’s an excerpt of the core of what He taught me:
When travelling on a familiar path, there are certain landmarks that tell you are close to your destination. That’s the same way the impulse to quit tells you that what you seek is at hand.
Every time, you feel like quitting at something, just know that you are very close to succeeding at that thing. The urge to give up is a sign that you are closest to achieving that goal.
The magic day
Here’s an interesting phenomenon: I call it the magic day. It’s that 24-hour period when all things come together for you. Do you know that in one 24-hour period, you could receive the reward of 20 years? Yes, the results of a lifetime of labour could be crammed into a single day.
I call that day the magic day.
In the book of Genesis, we see Joseph wake up one morning as a prisoner; but by the end of that same day he had become the Prime Minister of Egypt (Genesis 41). One day!
I assure you that there’s such a magic day in your life; and, the urge to quit is the signal that the ‘magic day’ of your life is fast approaching. The closer you approach your magic day, the greater the urge to quit.
Now pay close attention.
Persistence is the quality that takes you beyond the quitting line – that point where most people give up.
Wisdom does not take you beyond the quitting line.
Brilliance does not take you beyond the quitting line.
Mere human strength cannot take you beyond the quitting line.
Faith does not take you beyond the quitting line.
Only persistence can.
Hebrew 10: 36 – It’s not enough to do the will of God. There must be a test of perseverance before you get the reward. You must persevere to prove yourself worthy. Faith only gets you to do God’s will; but it can’t help you to get the reward.
You need to wait long enough for your seed to produce your intended harvest – Genesis 8:22.
Only persistence can take you over the time-divide and get you to your harvest.
Let me describe some features of the quitting-line:
- It is usually marked by the lowest levels of enthusiasm and zeal. This is a dangerous state of affairs. Most of your worst decisions are made at this point.
- It is also characterized by depression, physical and emotional tiredness.
- In addition, the negative aspects of your circumstances suddenly become disproportionately magnified – you begin to notice only things that are not working.
Beware of distractions
However, the goriest feature of the quitting-line is the sudden appearance of another ‘wonderful opportunity’. When this occurs at the quitting point, only God that can deliver you. This ‘opportunity’ is usually an illusion. It is actually a distraction.
Typically, its attraction is the seeming relief from your present frustrations. If you ever make the mistake of embracing this so-called wonderful opportunity, you begin to make progress in the reverse direction.
Beware of things that appear easier than what you’re doing. The lawn looks greener on the other side of the lawn; because it’s farther away.
If the difficulty of a particular project was the reason you gave up, then there’s 99% chance you made the wrong decision.
Show me a man who is persistently stagnant in life and I’ll show you a man who’s been consistently unable to cross the quitting line; also, I’ll show you a man who has persistently succumbed to distractions.
How do I get across this quitting line?
There is a resource you must take advantage of at the quitting line: It is called ‘waiting on’ the Lord – Isaiah 40:31. You need God to renew your vision and enthusiasm. Fasting, praying, meditating on God’s word will replenish your strength.
Nevertheless, this is easier said than done, because at the quitting-line your ebb is very low; so, this is definitely not a time you may want to pray of fast!
A simple ‘Lord, Help!’ will suffice. Your God, who is bigger than your situation, takes over and begins to help you.
You need to realize that persistence is not glamorous. It is not spectacular.
Persistence sets in when everything around you is negative. Persistence is motion in spite of opposition.
In every sphere of life – politics, entertainment, business and so on – success does not go to the brilliant or the most talented. Persistence triumphs at the end of the day.
You don’t need to get away from difficulties; learn to get through them!
I was taught many other things including the number two secret to success but that’s for another day. Remember don’t break down, break through.