Hitler was leading the Nazis in conquering Europe and, as they advanced westward, nation after nation fell. France was defeated, and it appeared that Britain was next. During this tumultuous time, Winston Churchill became Britain’s prime minister and many thought it best to attempt a peace treaty with Hitler. They saw no other way out. Churchill spent many sleepless nights and saw it as futile to try to negotiate with an evil tyrant. He decided that they would not negotiate. They would not surrender. They would fight. Against all odds, he declared to a nation “Never give up! Never! Never! Never!”
This demonstrates what the resolve of one man can accomplish when he makes up his mind to do the right thing no matter what the cost may be. If this shows us man’s abilities in the flesh, think of what a leader can do who is walking in the Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. How can that be described? Paul says it well in Phil. 4:13 (HCSB): “I am able to do all things through Himwho strengthens me.” The Scriptures tell us that Paul fought a good fight and that he finished his course. He endured with tenacity, and he decided to never give up. Never! Never! Never!
Leadership requires developing a ministry tool belt with different skill sets. The first is the ability to hear the voice of God as He speaks to you through His Word and prayer. There are many biblical examples of hearing from God, but in the life of King David, you see this statement over and over, “So David asked the Lord about it.”
Another necessary skill set is the ability to endure, which requires tenacity and determination. Your desire and passion should be as Paul said in Gal. 6:9, “So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.”
Your endurance is a three-way collaboration:
• It is providential because God is involved. In Phil. 2:13 it says, “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” Do not miss it — He is enabling you.
• You have a personal responsibility in this process. Philippians 2:12 states, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Are you placing yourself in the position for God to work through you?
• There is a pastoral aspect to this development. Galatians 4:19 says, “My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you” — building one another up.
What do you do when someone stumbles or falls along the way? What happens if that someone is you? Galatians 6:1-3 speaks to this process of restoration. Growing tired and weary is normal, but it is a dangerous place to remain because it can lead to losing heart, giving up, burning out and, if not extremely careful, quitting altogether. Giving up is the opposite of I Cor. 15:58: “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord!”
The first step to restoration is to pick them up. When someone stumbles, their first need is for someone who is spiritual to step in and help them back to their feet. Everyone stumbles and, when you do or when they do, we need to be ready to respond by helping, encouraging and even rebuking. Those who are spiritually strong are responsible for those who stumble; if they will let us. It is wise to remember that you are responsible to people not for people. I Thessalonians 5:14 challenges us, “warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Once you pick them up, your responsibility does not end. It is now time to hold them up. Galatians 6:2 tells us to, “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” The idea here is to carry them with endurance. This is referring to any difficulty or problem a person has trouble coping with by themselves. Just because you have been freed from a sin does not mean you will always be free from temptation. Holding someone up requires making ourselves available for counsel and encouragement. You want to make sure they have steadied themselves enough and have their spiritual footing to move forward.
It is not spirituality but pride that makes us want to go it alone. There is no place in our spiritual journey for Lone Rangers. John MacArthur says it like this, “Conceit can coexist with outward morality, but it cannot coexist with spirituality.” Allow others access to your spiritual walk and growth. In James 5:16 we are instructed, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.” If you see someone who has stumbled, you are called to pick them up and hold them up. If you have stumbled, allow someone into your life to do the same.
Paul then challenges us to build them up. How do we build them up? By walking with them and discipling them in the Scriptures. The spiritual Christian who has picked up and held up his fallen brothers and sisters in Christ by being present and available also builds them up in the Word. You need to be fed by others, but the most important aspect of the discipleship process is being taught to feed yourself. Galatians 6:10 gives us this challenge: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”
Are you taking advantage of the opportunity to pick up, help up and build up those who stumble? Is your spiritual radar tuned in to those who are struggling? By God’s grace, never give up! Never! Never! Never!