In 2024 the imperative to stay, remain and abide in Communion with God, and committed to Community with other believers will become even more critical.
The days in which we live are becoming more precarious and perilous by the hour. They are dangerous days. Without a firm foundation, an anchor, and adequate help and support, it will become more difficult to sustain and maintain qualitative and quantitative mental and emotional equilibrium. We need the Lord and we need each other more than ever before.
Therefore, spiritual support, sustenance and strengthening will be of the essence in 2024.
That is not to say that we will not enjoy blessings.
In fact, the blessings will flow. We will see great answers to prayers. We will see the fruit of what we have been waiting and labouring for all this while. We will see the victory we have fought for over previous months. Many of our tears will be turned to laughter in 2024. Our mourning to dancing. Seeds we have sown will become ripe for harvest. But, there will be tares among the wheat.
So, we need to be ready for what lies ahead. To sustain the blessing, we must remain and abide in devoted Communion and accountable Community.
What is Staying Power?
Staying Power is Stickability. It is the intentionality, ability, diligence, faithfulness, focus, perseverance, and patience to stay, remain, abide, obey, and build.
According to Business Coach, Gary Morgan:
“It’s not what you do, it’s how often you do it”
Great leaders have the ability to do small things on a consistent basis; for example, they will go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week for 30 minutes, whereas those that don’t have stickability may go to the gym once for 2 hours, wake up in the morning aching, and never go back again because of the pain.
When Jesus was preparing for His disciples for His physical departure, knowing the persecution and hardship that lay ahead of them, He gave them the instructions in John 15:
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4-5 NIV
In fact, the word REMAIN occurs 11 times in this one chapter alone.
The impact of remaining in Communion and Community is huge. Here are those listed in John 15.
1. We rest from our labour and God works on our behalf. v 1
2. God’s Pruning results in more fruitfulness. v2
3. We produce more fruit and flourish. v 2
4. We develop an effective prayer life. v. 7
5. God is glorified as we bear much fruit. V8
6. We produce evidence of discipleship. v 8-9
7. Joy becomes our hallmark. v 11
Society is becoming more and more hostile to godliness and to God. Alternative religions, worldviews and ways of life are becoming the norm. These are demonstrated in almost every area of public life, profession and field of learning.
Therefore, we must be fully equipped and prepared with the resources, attributes and gifts that only God can supply. Attributes and gifts such as wisdom, counsel and courage; and also great love, grace and truth. These divine resources are only available in submitted Communion and committed Community.
As we hide and abide in these divine places of safety and strength to seek and receive practical and tactical wisdom for our teams, projects, communications, conversations and/or confrontations, we will see much fruitfulness and flourishing in our endeavours and in the workplace in 2024.
We need staying power!
The ability to remain consistent in the face of strong resistance. The resistance that comes from ourselves most times - Our flesh and soulish desires; our weakness and tendencies; our preoccupations and ambitions; our distractions and obsessions.
We push back on these by leaning into God’s power and grace, and not on our own ability and/or ingenuity.
How do we demonstrate Staying Power?
By practicing spiritual disciplines.
There is no definite list of spiritual disciplines. The Bible does not prescribe a list. However, here are some practiced by Jesus and prescribed for all believers in the Bible:
Study, prayer, fasting, confession, worship, fellowship, rest, celebration, service, generosity, chastity and disciple-making.
Remember, “It’s not what you do, it’s how often you do it”
So, seek God and ask what you need to do in each given situation. Do not give up halfway, due to some very good excuse. An excuse is just that, an excuse. It is not a valid reason to quit.
Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778) wrote the famous song:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee…
This should be our constant song in 2024...