When I think of a bulldog I think of an animal that just won’t quit. I’ve always heard that if you get a bulldog wrestling with you over a chew toy or something like that you will give up before the bulldog does. In my mind a bulldog just won’t quit no matter what. That’s the attitude that Christians need. We need to be bulldog Christians.
As I thinking about the idea of bulldog Christians I decided to go to Wikipedia and see what it had to say about bulldogs. When it talked about the characteristics of a bulldog it said they were stubborn. I checked out the definition of stubborn in the dictionary. The primary meaning of stubborn is, “Unreasonably, often perversely unyielding; bullheaded.” This was definitely not the attitude I was going for, and certainly not an attitude I would ever encourage anyone to have. Then I noticed that the secondary definition of stubborn is, “firmly resolved or determined: resolute.” This is more what I had in mind.
Perhaps a better word that more or less means the same thing would be perseverance. Perseverance is more or less to keep on keeping on no matter what. It is to plan a course of action and not turn away from it. The Bible frequently calls on Christians to persevere, to endure, to keep on keeping on no matter what.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27 (NKJV)
Set your eyes on what needs to be done and then work toward getting it done. Don’t get sidetracked, stay the course and accomplish your objective.
Why do we keep on keeping on no matter what?
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV)
While man experiences weakness, God does not. God does suffer from the same limitations that humans do. He never experiences fatigue. He never experiences exhaustion. The point here is that His strength is limitless. There is nothing He cannot do. There is nothing that is too hard for Him. There is nothing that is beyond His capabilities.
Not only does God have unlimited strength, but He also strengthens the weak. It’s one thing for God to have unlimited power and unlimited understanding. It is something entirely different for Him to use that power to help His people. That is what He’s saying here. God will use His unlimited power to strengthen those who are weak. What can make this hard is that, as Isaiah says, we have to wait on the Lord. God doesn’t usually jump in on our schedule, but His. This means that we may have to wait quite a while before we experience His strength. This is why we must keep on keeping on. God will jump in and help us but He will only do it when He knows the time is right. We always miss out on what God wants to do through us when we give up.
Every Christian needs to be a bulldog Christian. We need we need to persevere. We need to keep on keeping on no matter what. We need to be able to see what God would have us to do and then set out and to do it. We need to determine in our hearts and minds that nothing will keep us from doing these things that God would have us to do. We need to be bulldog Christians.
The posts on the blog this week will help us become bulldog Christians.
For further study read Mark 2:1-12.
What was the problems the guys in the story faced?
What might have tempted them to give up?
What did they have to do to keep on keeping on?
What were the results of their perseverance?