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  • elenaham87

Persevere

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

I’ve always categorized myself as a procrastinator. I think this started in my middle school days. Waiting to the last minute to complete lengthy assignments or projects. It’s funny because if it was a simple one-page assignment, or something I knew I could knock out in no time then I would have no problem getting it done. Those lengthy assignments and projects intimidated me and my time. Those of you who fall in the category of a procrastinator probably share the same ideology of “I do my best work under pressure.” That was me, that's what I told myself. Although procrastinating put me in some stressful situations, I always seemed to get out of them on top. So, I figured it worked and never thought to intentionally change it. Of course, there was always that peptalk I would give myself telling myself that I needed to stop doing this to myself, but they were empty words, because I never really intended to change. It was just me trying to make myself feel good, I guess. I realized it was wrong but at the same time it wasn’t a big deal.


This lifestyle carried into high school, college and into the rest of my adult life. It even trinkled into my career. I was a functioning procrastinator. It’s important to note that not all procrastinators experience positive outcomes. Some fail and fail miserably, and yet they continue. See for me it wasn’t that at all, I really did seem to do my best work in a pinch.


What does this have to do with Jesus you may ask. Well, procrastination doesn’t pick and choose what area of your life to stay in, so it totally infiltrated my walk with Jesus. This is the worst place and yet the best place this lifestyle could have infiltrated. Let’s begin by talking about why it was the worst for me.


In the beginning my desperation and newfound love for Jesus was no match for procrastination. I was hungry and thirsty for him. The scale was tipped all the way towards Jesus, and nothing else mattered. I would go to work, and not even be present, or give my best, because all I wanted was to be in his word, and in his presence. This is how I functioned for about three months straight. Now, this was great, but not so great, because I was lacking balance. Balance wasn’t my goal, though, I was in a state of deprivation and needed to be filled, and even more. After those three months or so, I began to find myself, my new self, and I began to work life back into my life with Jesus. I began to be intentional with my career and school. For about two years it was a good balance. I prioritized my time with Jesus and was intentional with my time. I didn’t struggle with procrastinating when it came to spending time in worship, prayer or reading the Bible.


I started to get comfortable in my walk with the Lord after a while. Once I got married, I feel like the scale was tipping more so toward life, not life with Jesus. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t forget about Jesus, nor did I backslide, but I had more responsibilities now, and I was trying to fit those into my new life changes. Procrastination began to peek into my walk with Jesus. Remember, before I had no concept of time, I had nothing pulling at me, or asking for my time, so I would get lost in worship and prayer and reading my word. But now, I was a wife and owned a home. Now I had to make dinner, pack lunches, do laundry, clean house, and still make time for Jesus. I will admit that I struggled a bit because I wasn’t used to having time constraints. I believe this is where procrastination began to set in. In my mind, I wanted to spend a long uninterrupted time with the Lord, like before, and anything less than that wasn’t good enough for me. So, I found myself procrastinating in spending time with Jesus. It was a big task, a beautiful one, but still a big one, and I felt that it needed to be perfect, or it wouldn’t work. I didn’t want to give him anything less than this.


Eventually, I got to some very empty moments because I wasn’t filling up. I realized that things needed to change, and that it was going to look different than before. I understood that I had to prioritize my time with Jesus, even if a load of laundry wasn’t done or if we had to eat leftovers for two days. I had to be willing to bend and be flexible. Things got better, but there were still some rough patches. I always found that Jesus was always present, and it wasn’t difficult to get filled back up. His grace and mercy were and is unmatched.


Let’s fast forward to life as a Mommy. If I thought my time was limited before, this next season in my life was going to get very interesting. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done but I’m sure the majority of us feel this way. I’ve had to make countless modifications to my lifestyle in order to have a good flow. And yet till a few days ago, I felt like the flow was still off. I’m a stay home mom as of a year ago and this has been one of my toughest jobs yet the most rewarding. I have cried many times because some days I felt so much pressure to have it all together. Spending time with Jesus was tough. I’m talking about that dedicated time because I still woke up with a praise on my lips most mornings, even when they were rough, but the demands of the day awaited me along with my babies. I didn’t have sufficient time to give God my best, so I just figured I would wait till later in the day when some time freed up. That time sometimes never came. I ended up having many days where I was depleted. Just empty and running on fumes spiritually. I was pouring all of myself into my children, my marriage and my home but I wasn’t going to the well to be poured back into consistently. I was in a danger zone and needed to find safety and stability quick.


Remember when I said that I wanted my time with the Lord to be perfect and if it wasn’t, I didn’t want to give him anything less? Well, I found out that there are some pretty interesting culprits to procrastination. Per my Google search I found that some causes of procrastination are:


  1. Perfectionism

  2. Fear of failure

  3. Fear of criticism


These were actually the first three on the list for causes, and my eyes widened while seeing these. These causes of procrastination really intrigued me and helped me understand the very possible root cause to my procrastination. Procrastination had initially started in my daily routine life, but once it reached my walk with Jesus, that is when I began to be troubled by it, and that is when I really did want it to go away. So, let's break down these three causes because it will help get to the root of the issue. When you get to the root of a problem, that is when the true solution is brought about and the solution in this case is freedom.


Perfectionism

So many times, we look to achieve perfection in our lives, but true perfection is not attainable, so we’re already setting ourselves up for failure. Only Jesus is perfect. Perfection can also cause legalism. We look to achieve perfection so we think we need to follow a certain form and it will get us there. I was looking for my time with Jesus to be perfect. Long, with zero interruptions, and to be able to do it at any given time. It’s honorable to aim for this, but it’s simply not realistic. For this reason, many times, I missed out on opportunities to have a sweet moment with the Lord because I thought that it had to look a certain way. I was truly getting in my own way. I was restricting myself because I thought I had to have control, and that my time with the Lord needed to be perfect. If I gave him anything less, then I felt like I had failed him, and he would even possibly be disappointed in me for not trying harder. This leads us into the second cause of procrastination…


Fear of Failure

If I didn’t feel like I could do something great, then I wouldn’t even attempt it. I kept comparing myself to the newborn Christian Elena. When I used to go and spend time with Jesus at any moment, and my time was so beautiful with Him. I had so much on my plate with life changes that I felt like anything less than what I first gave Jesus would be failure. Failure to provide more. Failure to be more. I was afraid of failing Jesus. Was I still going to hear him? Even if all I had was 30 minutes, would I get a word, would he speak to me?


Fear of Criticism

One thing about me is that I am very hard on myself. I always have been. I am my own worst critic. You see, my fear of failure directly ties into this last root cause of procrastination. I was afraid to fail Jesus with my time and if I did, then I’d be seen as not good enough. As if what I had to give him was not even on the spectrum of what was approved or pleasing to him. I criticized myself so much that if Jesus didn’t do it, it was OK because I made sure to be extra hard on myself. Everything I did seemed to root from fear. Nothing I did created a lasting impact, and I was still trying to figure out my time, my value to the Lord and my purpose. What was I doing wrong and how come I couldn’t get balance?


A few months ago, after I had Baby Will I was struggling really bad with all of this. My balance was off. My time with the Lord was not consistent and I often felt depleted. I felt like a lukewarm Christian. I loved Jesus and talked about him and had him in my life, but my spiritual life did not attest to this. On the outside it might’ve looked good, but my spirit was grieved. I felt like I had disappointed God so much. One night, this all got on top of me. I felt like the devil had found a good breeding ground to come and wreak havoc in my life. I began to feel extremely overwhelmed. The enemy was attacking me, and he was telling me that I was nothing but a lukewarm Christian and reminded me of what the Bible says about being lukewarm; that God will spit you out. Yep, the devil knows scripture too! He was accusing me of not being worthy. I began to feel so anxious, and anxiety was taking place. I was warring with all these thoughts, and I felt like I was losing the war in my mind because it all seemed to be true. I began to weep, and the enemy began to demand perfection from me. I felt like I needed to be perfect in that very instance. It was impossible! I couldn’t remedy the situation. I couldn’t fix all the time I had lost with Jesus. I couldn’t be perfect! I finally found the strength to cry out to God, because I truly felt like I was having an anxiety attack. While this was all happening, I was holding Baby Will and feeding him his bottle before his bedtime and I thought to myself “this can’t be happening.” I began to talk to God, and I apologized and told him I couldn’t be perfect. He began to speak over me, and I heard the word “grace”, “my grace is sufficient" he said.


I immediately received peace. I began to pray and cancel every lie of the enemy. The enemy is the accuser of the brethren. What I was experiencing was not an anxiety attack, but an enemy attack. See the enemy comes and gives you a portion of the truth but the rest of it is wrapped in lies. For a while, I believed my time with the Lord was never good enough. I was believing the lie.


Since that night, I have been guarding my thoughts a bit more diligently. The enemy doesn’t need much to slip in, so we must always be on guard. I began to understand the grace of God in such a different way. God saw me, but I wasn’t seeing myself through his lens. God understands every role and responsibility in our lives. He is the one who has allowed us to have those roles and responsibilities, but we must learn to persevere in our journey with him. Persevere means to continue in a course of action, even in the face of difficulty, or with little or no prospect of success. So even when the work hours are long or when the dishes are piled high or if you have tons of laundry to be washed or if your work schedule is jammed packed, or if your little ones are working that one last good nerve you have left, PERSEVERE! If you are grieving a loss or if you’re overcoming health issues or if your children are lost or if your marriage is getting attacked, PERSEVERE!


In our walk with Christ, we must persevere. It’s a decision we must make daily. As we persevere, we find that God is always present. But I want to be clear; perseverance shouldn’t be grounded in sacrifice. Please hear me, sacrifice is good, but obedience is better. I am encouraged to persevere, so that I may be obedient to the Lord, not to bring him a sacrifice. Sometimes we feel like we have to sacrifice our time and energy to be present with God. That isn’t what God wants, God wants obedience. He wants you to be present because you long for him and because you love him not because you think it will be pleasing to him. I’m reminded of scripture in 1 Samuel, where God is displeased with Saul because he was given instructions by God to go and destroy the Amalekites but failed to follow exact orders. Read the scripture below for some more context on this.


“Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.” When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied. Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?” “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭7‬-‭22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wow, right?! But wait, I want you to read The Message bible version of verse 22 because it makes it plain…


“Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15‬:‭22‬‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Crazy right!? I just love the word of God! It’s so powerful and can speak to any and every situation we may face in life. Here is Saul and he thought he had done an amazing job with being obedient to God ‘s command. Saul decided to add a little razzle-dazzle to God’s instructions because he figured it would be worthy of praise and that it would please God. How many times don’t we get caught up in doing things to please God. Saul was being extra and sometimes we fall into that same bucket. I know I have a time or two, but I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get caught up in dead works. As The Message translation puts it “staging a lavish production". If God doesn't instruct me to do something or say something, then I want to make sure I stay in line with his commands. There is no good thing in our flesh, it wants praise, it wants to feel glorified and because of this sometimes we’re driven into religious works. This reminds me of another scripture found in the book of Matthew spoken by Jesus himself...


“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The people that Jesus talks about is those that simply perform for Jesus. You have to understand that we can get caught up doing the works of Jesus or "being" Christians and yet still fail to have a personal relationship with him. The name of Jesus is so powerful and when we prophesy or drive out demons or perform miracles in the name of Jesus, we must know that it is the name of Jesus that brings forth the prophesy or the freedom/miracle, not the individual. We have no power apart from Jesus! We are nothing without him. So, we must be vigilant to not partake in religious works. These people thought that because they did these things it granted them favor in sight of Jesus and that they would be excepted but their hearts were far from him. This puts a fear in me to make sure to not be like these people. To stay grounded in Jesus and to remain at his feet. I encourage to do the same.


So, the Lord gave me the title for this blog a few days ago during my time in prayer. There is so much that pulls at us and sometimes we don’t even know how we are going to execute everything the Lord has planned for us, and the things he has spoken over our lives while still being present with our day-to-day responsibilities. I heard the Holy Spirit say, “the will to persevere". I began to weep, and I began to pray into that. I am standing in the gap for us to have the will to persevere. We must be resolute in this journey with Jesus that we will be relentless in seeking him as he is relentless in his love for us.


Since the day this word was given to me by the Holy Spirit, I am joyful to share that I have been more focused and intentional with my time with Jesus. I have been waking up much earlier to spend time with him and it has been sweet. During my talks with Jesus these last few days I asked for guidance or a systematic foundation on how to have order because God is a God of order. He is not a God of confusion; the Bible declares that in 1 Corinthians 14:33. God spoke and gave me a foundation on how to have order. It was these three words…


  1. Discipline

  2. Balance

  3. Flexibility


As I begin this new season of persevering, I will be instilling these three things to keep order. My discipline will be important in doing what is necessary. Everything that is good for us doesn’t always feel good, but it requires discipline to execute. I will be disciplined, so that I can do all that the Lord requires of me. Then, there has to be balance. Remember, God doesn’t bring confusion, he brings peace. In all that you do, do it onto the Lord as the Bible plainly states. I am understanding that first and foremost my priority is Jesus, but then comes my marriage, and then my children. If I keep Jesus first, then the rest will follow. When we include Jesus into our everyday lives, he truly does bring all the balance we need. Allow him this space in your life and make him a priority above all other things and see if everything doesn’t begin to flow beautifully. You’ll have more love, joy, peace, patience, endurance, determination, and the list can go on. It won’t be perfect every time but remember we aren’t aiming for that. That’s why we have to remain flexible. God spoke to me and said flexibility is super important. Especially in my case because I hold a high standard for myself, and I can be extremely hard on myself if I have a hiccup. Flexibility translates into grace. I have to understand that if I have a plan set for a day and something interrupts my plan, then I need to be flexible to make the appropriate changes. I have to be careful not to get discouraged and feel like I failed. So, I encourage you to be flexible. Everything won’t always go the way we plan it, but I believe that God has the best plan so if something interrupts our plans, then that simply means that God has a better one. Also, be careful not to get frustrated or upset because you can rob yourself of the blessing that God may have for you in the change of plans or maybe he wants to test your flexibility and if so, you want to make sure you pass the test. Be flexible and have joy while giving way to changes.


Remember when I said that procrastination coming into my walk with Jesus was the worst place but also the best place? Well, we covered why it was the worst, but it was the best, because this was the only place where it could come and be eliminated for good. The power of Jesus does that. It brings order. It removes those things in our life that hinder a full move of God. When we submit to God, he takes care of the problem and brings forth freedom! Remain grounded in Christ. Persevere and don’t give way to the things in our life that are a blessing to take the place of the One who gave the blessing. Intentional time with Jesus is always good, no matter the length of time. I didn’t know that everything I was and had was all that Jesus needed. I was never a failure in his eyes, and he yearned for me just as much as I yearned for him. This goes for you too! He loves you, and it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you last spoke to him or spent time in his Word. Pick up where you left off and be willing to persevere in your quest to grow closer with Jesus.


As I prepared this blog post, the Lord led me to the book of Colossians, and it was so fitting and timely for this post. I love it when God speaks this way and shows me more, not just for me, but to share with you. I want to encourage you to read it. It’s a short book of only four chapters, but it was compelling and refreshing. I’ll close out with a verse that blesses me and encourages me all the more and I pray it does the same for you. Blessings! ❤


“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭6‬-‭10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Ok, wait, one more thing, lol! As I was getting ready to release this blog post, the Holy Spirit said to be open to prayer requests so I’m going to be obedient. If there is anything you need prayer for, please send me an email to elena@adropofjesus.com with your request and the subject as “Prayer” and I will be standing with you in prayer. I believe prayer is powerful and moves mountains! Jesus can do all things but fail! Don’t doubt, just believe! 🙌❤️

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