Pastor in the Pasture: Consistency
By Wendel Elliott
If you’ve ever started a colt or tried to teach your horse something new then you know the importance of consistency. It is the difference between a successful new skill set and failure in competence. We all want our horse to respond to our cues and do what we ask, when we ask. However, I’ve noticed that if you climb on your 4 wheeler or into your side by side or pickup just because “it’ll be quicker;” then you and your horse miss out on a golden opportunity. It’s surprising to see how small things can add up when done consistently. The great leadership author, John Maxwell says in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” I have this colt I’m working on right now and if I’m not consistent, then he ain’t learning anything and I’m not developing him into a good mount.
I feel like I’m terrible when it comes to consistency. This here column is a testament to that fact. I have good intentions and come up short time and again. I want to share God’s word and encourage others however, I look up and it’s been months since I’ve written. No sugar coating here, I confess and ask you to forgive me, yet once again.
There are other areas in our life that we find the need for consistency. It helps us in our job or career, in parenting and disciplining our kids, and definitely in our marriages. We find this need in our walk with Christ and reading God’s Word. We all need to be more consistent in regards to living out and practicing our faith. What are some things that keep us from being consistent in this important area? What creeps in and steals this life changing opportunity? What can I do to overcome and get back into a practice that will bring about long term and eternal results?
We struggle in consistency because of many things but the major thing is distractions. Distraction in and of itself can be in the form of sin, worry, disappointment, and fear. The list of things that keep us from being consistent however is endless. Some of your reasons are the same as mine. We are made as individuals, unique by God so therefore there are some I face that you don’t and vice versa.
Here are three things to help you remain consistent regardless of the reason:
- Start at the cross of Christ. If you start at the cross of Christ and remember what He endured and went through for you; then consistency on your part pales in comparison. “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 NASB
- You are Christ’s workmanship. When you think of what He has made you because of His saving work then you can live in such a way on a consistent basis. You can also walk fully in His purposes and plans for your life by being consistent. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NASB
- Keep your eyes on Jesus. Looking to Jesus as your example to follow you can clearly see His consistent walk with God the Father. He and the Father are one and we, as Christians are one with Him. Jesus did the time of seeking the Father’s will and doing His work. Jesus went through sufferings beyond what we can imagine and after His resurrection gained His rightful place in heaven. Jesus’ faith in the Father to complete and do what He had laid forth in scriptures through the law and prophets is the example for us to follow. Therefore, we need to be “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NASB
Let us be consistent in our walk with Christ as well as in the everyday responsibilities in our lives. The consistency and growth in your faith should be evident in all aspects of your life. I pray that we will all find ourselves more consistent in our faith and growth.
Well, that colt ain’t learning anything new so I best get out to the round pen.
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News