Creflo Dollar - Overcoming The Temptation to Quit
Let's go to the Book of Galatians chapter 6, verse 9. Let's look at it in the King James and then the New Living Translation. Galatians chapter 6 and 9, King James, and then the New Living Translation. Here's our text for today. He says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not". The word "faint," it means to give up, cave in, and quit. And the Bible says, "Don't get weary in well doing: for in due season", in other words, it's not if it comes but when it comes.
"For in due season you shall harvest, you shall reap if you don't give up, cave in, and quit". But if you give up, cave in, and quit, there's a harvest that was, you know, available for you that you didn't harvest because you gave up and you quit. Look at the NLT on this. He says, "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, at just the right time, at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don't give up" at just the right time.
So basically, what I'm saying here is don't get weary of doing good, because that due season is coming, and that due time is coming. And it's not if it comes but when it comes. But it'll be just the right time. So the temptation to quit, let's first of all start with defining temptation so you'll understand what I mean, so we can be on the same page. I, in the past, have defined temptation as pressure applied to the flesh to get you to go in opposition to God's Word.
Today, I want you to see this definition. He says temptation is a strong desire for a wrongful pleasure that offers a temporary escape from an agonizing emotion. Let me say that again. It is a strong desire for a wrongful pleasure that offers a temporary escape from an agonizing emotion. Now, wrongful pleasures if, you know, most of you would think immediately, you know, that would be drug and alcohol abuse, that would be overeating. It would be sexual immorality, et cetera. And you're not, you know, all the way wrong about that. Those are wrongful pleasures, but yet another way, another way that we temporarily escape a frustrating situation is to prematurely and selfishly quit, to prematurely and selfishly quit.
I put that in the same category as, you know, drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, sexual immorality, the premature, selfish desire to quit. And so, I suppose all of us at some time or another have been frustrated, that we've been discouraged, and that we've been tempted to quit. We tried hard, but we didn't immediately get the results we expected. Therefore, we declare, "You know what? I tried. It didn't work. I quit". Now, who am I talking to out there? "I tried. It didn't work. So I quit". You know, the temptation to quit affects us in the body of Christ as well. It affects us in the church. I see some Christians right now, you're probably thinking, "Well, you know, we're born again. We're filled with the Holy Spirit. We never have a temptation to quit". Oh yeah, there's a temptation to quit. That temptation comes even with people who are born again, even with the church.
You see, we witness and we teach and we preach, and it seems no one's life is change, and as a result we are tempted to quit sharing the gospel, we're tempted to quit teaching, we're tempted to quit preaching the Word, and perhaps some are even tempted to quit, you know, attending church, or even right now in this time, tempted to quit logging on. "I just don't wanna log on and hear the message today. You know, I've heard enough. I mean, they don't know what I'm going through. They don't understand what's happening right now". And so, you know, this temptation to quit comes. "I just don't wanna hear", I know people like that. "I just don't wanna hear the Word right now. I got too much going on".
That's exactly what you need to hear right now. This is not the time for people to log off and declare, "I don't wanna have anything to do with the Bible right now. I got stuff going on". Everyone that has ever attempted to faithfully serve the Lord and to live a life that honors Christ has encountered frequent opposition, frequent disappointments and discouragements, and these can become so severe and, I understand, so prolong that the temptation to quit seems like the easiest course to take at the time. But ladies and gentlemen, please listen to me. You see what's going on right now.
And as the Lord's Coming draws nearer, it is going to come even more difficult to live this Christian life. Not to say they can't live it, but there's gonna be a lot more pressure applied. The wicked will seem to prosper, and persecution against the righteous will increase. And instead of quitting, instead of us trying to look for the easiest way out, and that's the quit, right now we need to begin to prepare ourselves, and we need to encourage one another, and we need to continue in the work of Jesus Christ. Now is the time to gird up your loins like a man. Now is the time to get more diligent than ever before, to get in the Word more than ever before, to get the things that you let slip in the past that you know that you know that you know.
Now is that time. Now is that time when people will be mocking you and people will be saying, "I don't believe your God. I don't wanna have anything to do with your God, your church. I don't wanna have anything to do with your religion". Now is the time for you to become that living epistle so that you don't have to tell them to go read the Bible. They can read your life. They can look at you and they can read the epistle of God's Word by seeing you and how you live your life. Let me show you what I'm saying. Let's get in the Word and see some things.
1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 58. 1 Corinthians 15 and verse 58. He says, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord". And even though it seems like it's in vain, he says, "Don't move. Be steadfast. Continue to abound in the work of the Lord". And he says, "I want you to know this. What you're doing for God is not in vain, is not in vain. It may seem like it, but it is not in vain". You ever heard the saying, "Only what you do for Christ will last"? And the reason why that's true is because it has lasting effects. It has everlasting effects.
You know, even Jesus had his disciples to quit on him. Look with me into the Book of John chapter 6, verse 66 through 69. You know, Jesus began to minister on the communion, and he began to talk about "Take my flesh and eat of my flesh. Take my blood and drink of my blood". And he was talking symbolically, but they didn't get that. They thought that, you know, this guy was talking about cannibalism. They thought, you know, "This is crazy. I'm not gonna eat his flesh, and I'm not going to drink his blood". And they were offended at what was preached because they didn't have revelation on it. And the Bible says, verse 66, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and they walked no more with him". That's where we're living right now, that you're gonna see a lot of Christians go back and walk no more with him. And look what he said in verse 67. "Then said Jesus unto the twelve", he turned. He says, "Will you also go away"? Didn't seem like Jesus was real bothered by that.
Now, he loved them, but he was, like, you know, "Are you gonna leave like they're gonna leave"? And then the next verse says, "Then Simon Peter answered him". He said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the word of eternal life". When you begin to experience God's Word and you begin to see that Word operate in your life and you see that Word deliver you, you see that Word heal you, you have a flashback and you remind yourself of all that the Word of God has done for your life, then when you're tempted to quit and leave God, you're gonna pause and say, "Wait a minute, where am I going to go? Who can heal like he has healed? Who can deliver like he has delivered? Who can set free like he has set free? Where am I going to go? Jesus, you have the Words of eternal life".
Tempted to quit, there are lots of areas that people are tempted to quit. One of the areas that, you know, has been brought to Taffi and I's attention, there seems like there's a sudden surge of people quitting on their marriage, a certain surge of, you know, since the pandemic and all the things that are going on, an area where I see people tempted to quit is in the area of their marriage.
Now listen to me very carefully. At the first sign of difficulty or disappointment, many are tempted to escape by ending their relationships, and what happens is their vows before God and man means so little to them at this point. And what's happened is selfishness has overcome them and they continue to commit one sin after another against each other. And if they prematurely quit on the marriage, they may escape temporarily from the difficulty, but they will take the consequences and their personal problems with them. You'll just take them to another relationship.
Well, somebody says, "Well, okay, that's true, but what are we gonna do about it? Because throughout the pandemic, I've been stuck with somebody that I realized I don't even like," that in the midst of the pandemic, "I've been stuck with somebody, and I realize I hate a lot of stuff that they do". And in the midst of it, because, you know, you've been so busy and you got away and you were gone eight hours or ten hours a day and you come back home, but now you really get to do something that you really should have done before you got married, and that was to come to know one another.
Well, it sounds to me when you talk about how bad things are and you talk to me about this happened or that happened, just sounds like marriage to me. I don't know, people have this little fairy tale idea of marriage that you're supposed to come together, everything's supposed to be peachy keen. But when you get married, what that is is an opportunity to welcome growth and maturity into your life. That's what that is. You're gonna get married and both husband and wife that you've entered into a chamber that's gonna cause you to grow, that's gotta cause you to mature, that's gonna cause you to put the bottle down.
Let me show you some interesting things. Look at Ephesians chapter 5; Ephesians chapter 5, verse 23 and then verse 25. You know, one of the reasons that marriages are breaking up and the D word, the divorce word is being talked about a lot is because people, both man and woman, they don't understand headship, and there's always this argument about headship. And it's proper understanding of God's Word that's gonna help you to properly combat and fight these things.
In Ephesians chapter 5, verse 23 he says, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body". And immediately you think, "Well, the husband is the boss of the wife". And that's not what he's talking about. I mean, we need to be, probably instead of being so concerned about controlling somebody, we need to be more concerned about sacrificial servanthood towards someone. But the head, Taffi taught this a while back, that the Greek word for head in this verse of Scripture is "kephale," which means source. It's how something grows, or it's how something comes into being. Headship here is a source of love. It's the head, or the source, by which love flows. And what he says is, "Husband, you ought to be the source by which love flows to your wife, even as Christ is the source by which love flows to the church, and he is the savior of the body".
Look at verse 25. Verse 25 he says, "Husband, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it". This is not talking about who's the boss over somebody, this is talking about who is the faucet that's responsible for allowing the love to flow. And one of the things that we understand here is that the source by which love flows, four times, you see, "even as" is mentioned, saying, "Be the faucet that love flows". Because when love flows from a man, it equips the woman with potential to become. Nourishment comes from the source by which you came from. You are nourished from the source that you came from. The atmosphere that gave birth to you is the place, or the source, for our life. And God took one rib out of a man, and he put into a woman.
And so, gentlemen, headship doesn't mean rulership. It doesn't mean you're the boss. It doesn't mean you get to boss somebody around. Headship means you are identified as the faucet where love flows out from you to your wife, to your children, and so on. And I guarantee you that a lot of men have never come to understand that because a lot of preachers have never come to understand that, and so the right teaching didn't get out. And so we're still trying to be the head, and we're upset and we're mad because we're trying to be the head and the wife won't cooperate. "She won't do what I tell her to do". And that's not what that's about, "even as Christ".
Christ is the faucet that flows love to the church, and we ought to be the faucet that flows love to our wives. And he uses "even as, even as," and it's a lack of understanding. And from that bad teaching and bad tradition that, you know, and what the world thinks about it, you're upset, you're ready to go get a divorce because you haven't understood your assignment well enough to execute it, and so now you wanna quit on your marriage and abandon something that has been designed to cause you to mature like never before.
Look at this Scripture: 1 Timothy chapter 1, verses 5 through 7 in the Message translation. Taffi and I shared this in our confession time this past week, and it had quite an impact. 1 Timothy chapter 1, verse 5 and 7. 'Cause there is an enemy to love. If we're to be the faucet that loves flows, and I said to you before. You know, how you treat your wife, you know, is none of your business. How your wife treats you is none of your business, your business is how you treat your wife. How your wife treats you is none of your business, your business is how you treat your wife, and the same thing is true the other way around.
But look at this, verses 5 through 7. He says, "The whole point of what we're urging is simply love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God, those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into a condescending gospel. They set themselves up", excuse me, I use, cul-de-sac is what he says. A cul-de-sac of gospel. In other words, it's just kind of goes in, you a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood, and it ends that road right there. He says you come up to a cul-de-sac of gossip. "They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven't the remotest idea of what they're holding forth with such imposing eloquence".
Now, go back to verse 5. There's something here that I saw. Self-interest contaminates love. "Love uncontaminated by self-interest". In other words, your self-interest will contaminate love. Is that you? Is one of the reasons why your marriage isn't working and you're quitting on your marriage is because your self-interest is contaminating the love? It's because you're in the circle and it's all about you and it's not about anybody else, and everybody else needs to, you know, serve? No, no, no, your self-interest will contaminate love. And any time your love is being contaminated, all you have to do is look at you. Your self-interest is what contaminates love. Nevertheless, living daily as a disciple of Jesus Christ is not easy in this world.
And some days we need God's help just to help us to put one foot in front of the other. Some days we need God's help to keep praying. We need God's help to keep standing, to keep working. Some days we feel like the only success was that we didn't quit today. And some of you may be tempted to escape a trial by quitting, and you need some encouragement in order to persevere. Well, here's one Scripture I can use to encourage you. Psalms 46, verses 1 through 2. Look at this, Psalms 46, verses 1 through 2. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't give up. Look what he says here. Verse 1 says God is a refuge and strength and a very present help in the time of trouble. God is a refuge and a strength and a very present help in trouble. "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea".
See, I can hold on to that, that no matter what trouble comes God is a refuge and a help in a time of trouble. So if you're in trouble right now, you need to just say that, "God is my help. God is my refuge in a time of trouble". You're not gonna be by yourself in this time of trouble. You've got to understand that maturity is got to come somehow, and you're not gonna mature when everything's gonna always be going great and peachy keen and floating on, nobody matures that way. That's just like saying you can go into a weight room without lifting weight and think you're gonna develop muscular definition. That's not how that works. God is your very help in a time of trouble.
So instead of thinking about quitting, the first thing we gotta do is get quitting out of your thought life. You gotta stop thinking about quitting, and you gotta start thinking about what the Word has to say in the midst of quitting. You remember what the Bible says? He says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". So you are, in your heart, based on what you're thinking about. And if you keep thinking about quitting and that's all you think about is quitting, you know what? You're gonna develop that on the inside of you, and it won't be long before you start quitting and you start seeing quitting as the answer, and here's the bad thing about it. You will quit and then go and say the Lord told you to. The Lord told you to do this. Lord told you to do that.
And then, you know, you go on with that deception until you finally fall into a ditch and, the Lord had nothing to do with that. God, listen, yes, I know that maybe if you're going down the wrong way, God will have you to turn around, and he'll direct you to the right way, but at least you're still attempting to try to fulfill the will of God for your life. But just quitting, just quitting on God? I can see a preacher now quitting on God, and he goes to the bar. Nobody wants to drink with him because he's still got the Word on the inside of him. He preaches when he gets drunk. I'm telling you, man, when God stamps you and he puts something on the inside of you, this thing will come to pass. And no matter what you're going through, that thing is going to be dealt with because God is a very present help in a time of trouble.
Now, let's look at these Scriptures. James chapter 1, verse 2 through 4. Don't be afraid of trouble. Don't be afraid of trouble. I mean, you think, you know, "Oh, I have trouble. I must've sinned. I must've done something wrong". No, you need to mature. See, God prepares everybody that he calls. God didn't call anybody ready. God didn't call anybody prepared.
People have this idea, "Well, if God told you to do something, you must be prepared for it". No, no, no, God will tell you to do something and then maybe spend the next four or five years getting you ready for it, getting your mentality ready for it, getting you ready to be talked about, getting you ready to be lied on, getting you ready to be able to go into a world and putting a shield on you so that the world won't be able to affect you and stop you from doing what you need to do. So you got to quit running away from trouble.