When I left all like the early disciples and followed the Lord (Mark 10:38), He told me He had imparted to me the gift of faith and in His own words described it as stubborn faith. He said the opposition was going to be tough and this was what would keep me going. So in my mind I used to ask myself what stubborn faith meant. But I used to give myself this simple answer that stubborn faith meant stubborn faith.
But when I eventually googled the word stubborn, what I found was; adjective; 1. having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good reasons to do so.2. difficult to move, remove, or cure. And I also found the following synonyms; indelible, permanent, lingering, persistent, tenacious, fast, resistant. Many are familiar with the phrase “stubborn stains”. They are very difficult to clean and remove. They are tough.I also checked for the adjective dogged at yourdictionary.com and this is what I found; the definition of dogged is stubborn, persistent and not giving up easily.
So stubborn faith is a level of faith in God that is difficult, if not impossible to change and remove by common sense explanation and challenges; it is indelible, permanent, lingering, persistent, tenacious, fast, and resistant. It is a faith impossible to overcome by odds.
Can you imagine what this level of faith in God can do for you? So why will my Master Jesus give me this kind of faith? And for what? To enable me achieve His purpose for my generation. I said wow is this what the Lord has given to me? How did I qualify for this? And the Lord said this was what He made me for and He made the decision before I entered my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). So am I so special? Yes. And everyone is special to God; you are not a duplicate of anyone. You are special to God to achieve a certain purpose in your family, community, nation and the world at large. No one is here by mistake.
So it is a faith without which odds, people’s opinions, afflictions, hardships, rejections, deprivations, deliberate wickedness against me, and deliberate connivance to deny me even what is legally mine, all targeted at frustrating my discipleship of the Lord in pursuit of my life assignment would have stopped me long ago. I saw outright condemnations that my calling was untenable, was unreasonable and devoid of common sense etc. Some friends and close relatively claimed they knew the Bible more than me and they knew better how God should call people and assign them work. Further some presented me with a list of reasons why I am not qualified for this special attention and assignment by the Lord. Some pointed to me great men and women of God at work in Ghana and asked me who would listen to me.
But I have learned by experience that God does not call anyone by mistake. So when men disqualify you based on your academic qualifications they are wasting their efforts because it is a work of grace. You are called and ordained before you were born and you are given a message. It is no competition at all. One day the Lord asked me to go and preach in a particular secondary school and when I did, one of the chaplains from that school was moved and went to arrange other preaching appointments for me in another school. But amazingly, that particular chaplain missed out on my preaching and only heard eye witnesses reports from his colleague teachers and students. What a favour!
So I was subjected to emotional, physical and relational violence. In fact these are issues that would no doubt, stop the average Christian workman from pursuing his divine calling. I once met a young man with a great calling at one of our team preachings who has been going back and forth whether to fully give his all to the Lord or not. He once gave all his time and skills and efforts to the Lord and took it back because of financial hardships. Lord Jesus I pray that you rescue this young man by sending him special help so he can stand for you so he does not miss your purpose for his life.
Have you thought about what challenges the early disciples faced with families and friends when they left all and followed the Lord? Do you think they had a better treatment from friends and family than I? I suspect Simon Peter was called lazy and advised to go back to his fishing work, and Levi (Matthew) asked to go back to his customs employment. I have experienced the reality of all these.
But in the face of all these afflictions, thanks be to God the Father, and His Son and the Holy Ghost for the gift of stubborn faith in particular and the other special graces lavished on me. Oh God is good and His goodness is real to me personally. I still preach the word of my Master with joy and with power. I preach everywhere and anywhere He sends me; markets, Tema harbour, fishing harbour, train terminals, secondary schools, prison and on buses. After handing over my functional vehicle which I was used to for almost then years, I now walk and preach long distances and sometimes my feet rebel against my preaching schedules and appointments and threaten to carry me there. And I often plead with them to be as stubborn as my heart, mind, and soul and they are cooperating well.
Some loved ones told me the change in my social status was an embarrassment to them and they would rather keep away from me not wanting to be identified with the ‘embarrassment’ and I say ok. Indeed faith works by love (Galatians 5:6), my love for the Lord helps my faith to endure every hardship I suffer because of Him. If you claim to have faith in God without loving God deeply, that faith is not from the heart it is mental faith and is easily washed away when storms come. I shall ultimately preach to great congregations in stadia even in different countries in Jesus name.
But I must also say that leaving it all to disciple and please the Lord means a big sacrifice of my family’s comfort and convenience which they are used to and rightly deserve. It also means my family is also paying a huge price. I have learnt from personal experience that to move from the ordinary to extraordinary is a huge cost. And if you hold on to the ordinary because you want to maintain comfort and convenience, you will miss out on the extraordinary which is God’s ultimate purpose for you. If the Lord calls you to come and friends say stay, who do you obey? And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (Matthew 10:36).
And I got the understanding that if you always place personal and family comfort and convinience above pleasing God, it an easy way to miss God’s purpose for your life.
But when you please God He gives you all things and many will be possibly affected and they will celebrate with you. Today, the early disciples are heroes of faith not only to their family and friends and Jews but globally. But if they had missed that first step of leaving it all for the Lord, they would have died ordinary fishermen and tax collectors with no possibility of you and me hearing their names.
So stubborn faith in God moves ordinary persons from ordinary into stardom. You please God and as your faith honours Him, He honours you.
Stubborn faith is a permanent believe in God and His word and promise to you. It lends itself to no bargain or re-negotiation. If only we can believe God, He is ready to do the great things He has done with father of faith Abraham, the disciples, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Can you believe Him?