Panamanian professional boxer Roberto Duran is considered to be one of the greatest fighters in history earning championship belts in four different weight classes. The boxing world called him respectfully “Hands of Stone” because of his punching power. Ironically, he is best known for losing his punch and quitting right in the middle of his championship fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, exclaiming, “no más” or no more. Instead of going out a champion, the way he lived most of his life, Duran ended his boxing career and hung up his gloves perceived by the boxing world as a quitter.
The pressure is on believers all over the world to do the same thing. The enemy knows that we are more than conquerors through Jesus, that we are always led in triumph in Christ, and that we have the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. He cannot defeat us so he focuses instead on trying to provoke us into quitting because he knows that he cannot win without our willful surrender. He could never defeat you, affect your right standing with God, or ever get God not to love you, but he can and does do everything he can to get you to quit on your right believing and right living. So, all over the body of Christ too many Christians and Christian leaders are hanging up their gloves and quitting their spouses, cutting off friends, leaving their churches, vacating their ministries, and bankrupting their destinies. Why? Because they became weary in doing good instead of holding on to the promise that they would reap in due season if they did not quit (Galatians 6:9). They started to focus on the limited negative at the expense of all the positive.
Every assignment, every attack, every confrontation, every disappointment, every setback, every loss, every inspired criticism, every agenda, and every perceived slight is designed to get you to quit, because quitting gets you off the path of God, and that was the devil’s goal all along. Quitting indicates a believer has become demonized and is under the influence of the enemy and captive to do his will. Regardless of whether we do it in the thralls of discouragement, the depths of depression, a fit of anger or offense, or with an arrogant smile on our face, quitting in violation of God’s word and will is a clear indicator that the enemy has pushed our buttons long enough that our troubled minds and roller coaster emotions are now driving our decisions rather than the voice of the Holy Spirit.
In these challenging times, the Lord would have us keep punching, to never give in, and to never give up. That’s why he commanded (not just encouraged) Joshua to not be discouraged (Joshua 1). Discouragement is a loss of spiritual courage, and the loss of that courage always precedes quitting. I know as a believer and Christian leader that there are times you just want to hang it up, but the Lord needs you in your place, your family needs you to be steady, the Church needs you to be stable, and the world desperately needs you to model the hope you profess.
When you feel like quitting (1) on purpose put off that decision to quit, (2) take the time to flood your heart with the word of God and prayer, (3) get around people who are uplifting, challenging, and encouraging, (4) refuse to make decisions based on negative feelings or thoughts, (5) and remember God NEVER forgets a seed sown. No matter how things look, you WILL reap in due season IF you do not quit!