A Soft Landing for Perseverance

Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses —1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

We today frequently hear of technology that is innovative and complex. In just a few years we have advanced from hand-held cellular communication devices to the recent launch of another mission to Mars. In this launch are vehicles designed to move independently and rove the planet as never has been done before.

This latest space venture, titled Mars 2020, delivered a multi-tasking rover named Perseverance to Mars. Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 30, 2020, the 2260 lb. rover landed successfully in Jezero Crater on the red planet on February 18, 2021, just 6 ½ months later. The highly complex programming successfully placed the rover on Mars with a “soft landing.”

The EDL – Entry, descent, landing phase, began seventy-eight miles above Mars at 12,500 mph, with the heat shield protecting the craft as it decelerated to 940 mph. At that time the supersonic parachute opened as planned, slowing the craft’s descent to the point it was safe for the rocket powered Sky Crane to take over. The heat shield was then jettisoned, leaving the Backshell which held the Perseverance rover. The rocket powered Sky Crane completed the landing safely. This took only seven minutes, but it was dubbed The Seven Minutes of Terror because there was no human control during this time.

All went according to plan—almost, we would say, miraculously—accomplishing a successful soft landing for Perseverance, with everything intact, on time, and on target.

Due to the tremendous amount of technical planning and programming that went into the Mars landing, NASA engineers went from hopeful expectation to cautious optimism to tense anticipation. They knew it wasn’t a sure thing until touchdown was confirmed. But what relief when those who had done their utmost toward the future of the mission learned of its success!

Isn’t this an illustration for us as we invest our all in reaching those higher mental and moral levels that our Creator expects of us?

But to reach these high spiritual levels demands our total commitment to mind transformation. That new way of thinking steers us toward a mind programmed with instructions in right living and avoiding the dangerous terrain of deception. If we want a “soft landing” on higher ground, we need to understand that now is the time to be getting ready for it, now, before our Savior Jesus Christ comes.

Our mission now is to draw closer to God in prayer and absorb into our minds the Scriptures He has left for us. These scriptures tell us who will reach that spiritual higher ground, as in Psalm 24:3,4, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”

Before we can have access to those heavenly realms and the new world soon to be established on Earth, we must pass our final spiritual exam here. Second Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (ESV).

Can we ever achieve a level of spiritual perfection where we will have full confidence that we will receive the full reward, a safe landing in the “Promised Land”? This is our goal.

Our spiritual soft landing device is also named “Perseverance.” This is the one quality that will bring us through successfully. Hebrews tells us (Heb. 10:36 NJB), You will need perseverance if you are to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.”

As we keep working, we need to continue with hopeful optimism and patient perseverance, while we, like the great Apostle, “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”a perfect character (Phil.3:14 ESV).

Even though we are earthbound now, “our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body…” (Phil. 3:20-21). Knowing the greatness of our Creator, we can be absolutely confident that He will be faithful in His covenant to us if we are faithful to keep our covenant, our good confession” with Him.

If we persevere in faith to the end of life’s journey and attain to the standard He has set, Jesus will fulfill His promise in Revelation 3:21 (ESV), “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

All who attain His standard will be granted a place with Him, to stand on the high and holy ground of Mount Zion, to rule over the nations with King Jesus when He sets up the new administration for the earth, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:2 ESV).

Christ WILL reward every faithful one with eternal life. God has promised this with an oath and “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Heb.6:17-19 ESV).

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Heb. 10:35-36 NIV).

It is God’s promise, and His promise is absolutely SURE! –WB

Of the promise of the Lord
Makes me feel at ease when others
Doubt the truth of God’s own Word.

He is bound to keep His promise;
He is able to make good.
What He says He will accomplish
You could trust Him if you would.

Stagger not at any promise
God has given in His Word.
He is able, beyond measure,
To “abundantly” reward!