3 Questions: Samuel Rodriguez

The pastor and bestselling author reminds us that faith bolsters our hope even in the most tumultuous of times.

Posted in , Jul 26, 2022

Pastor Sam Rodriguez; photo courtesy Sam Rodriguez

Pastor Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, with 42,000-plus churches in the United States and throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. He has advised three U.S. presidents. Pastor Sam and his wife, Eva, live in Sacramento, California, where he leads New Season Church.

1. Why did you focus on Elijah and Elisha in your new book, Persevere With Power?

We’re living in a very interesting social, political and cultural environment. A spiritual climate that is not engaging. And it hit me—we are living just like in the days of Ahab, Jezebel and Baal. We have an antidote in plow pushers like Elisha, whom the prophet Elijah encounters in I Kings 19. Elijah throws his cloak on Elisha to show he is Elijah’s successor. It shifted the trajectory of a nation and prompted me to write the book.

If you know what it is to get up every morning and push life’s proverbial plow in family, home, marriage, job, relationships, on good days and bad days, sunny days and rainy days, a mantle of promotion is coming your way. That’s Galatians 6:9: “Do not grow weary of doing what is right. At the appropriate time, you will reap a harvest of blessings if you do not give up.”

2. Why do you believe there’s reason for hope despite all the turmoil in the world?

Don’t just look up for the hope—look inside yourself. The designer of the universe ordained you to be alive for such a time as this. You are God’s primary conduit to change the world around you. Rise up and don’t make excuses. Don’t justify failure. Don’t give up hope when God is preparing you for your breakthrough. The real battle is between your mind and your mantle, between the thoughts in your head and the calling upon your life.

The architect of eternity has promises with your name and mine. And all we need to do is, by faith and our relationship with Jesus, occupy the promises. When your integrity is more important than your influence, nothing can stop you. When your hunger for righteousness is greater than your fear of criticism, nothing can stop you. And when your praise speaks louder than your pain, nothing can stop you.

3. How can we get unstuck from past failures?

One of the most repeated phrases in Scripture is “Go.” Don’t get stuck behind the wounds of the past, things you did to others or yourself. There’s something greater waiting on the other side. Each of us goes through seasons when we are plow pushers, but we cannot be defined by what we push. We must be defined by what we carry—and that is destiny and purpose.

Those who rise up and say, “As for me and my house, we’re going to go,” these are the individuals who occupy God’s promises. People who, like Elisha, change the world around them for good. It requires audacious faith, tenacity and resilience. We need to get our heart right, which is the place of inspiration; our mind right, which is information; and our hands right, which is impartation.

When we are driven by the truth of God’s promises, of who he is, of what he has ordained us to do and to be, then we can go. And that stuck season comes to an end.

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