For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in their heart, having no necessity, but has power over their own will , and has so determined in their heart
(1 Corinthians 2:2, 7:37 in the Holy Bible)
I would like us to focus on the subject of ‘determination’. Not a subject you often hear about. I would even think that it might be a thought that many do not like to linger on.
We are living in a time of the ‘instant’. Drive-thru fast food restaurants and TV with a hundred or more stations from which to choose. You can just move from channel to channel in a moment. Our frustration rises in the rush-hour traffic or being put on hold on the telephone for a few minutes. Our society today demands fast action and instant gratification. We want everything in the shortest amount of time at the cheapest cost.
But what about those things that take time; a baby takes nine months and gray hair may take fifty years or more. Ha!
In the service of Jesus Christ our Lord we are often called on missions that require ‘determination’.
A good definition of determination is:
Firmness of purpose; resolve:
Approaching a task with determination and energy.
In my life I have faced many things that required ‘firmness of purpose and resolve’. Back in the early 60’s I went door-to-door witnessing in Anaconda, Montana and started a church that is still going today. In the mid 60’s I went from town to town in and around Elko, Nevada starting churches. They are still going and have started others. In the latter 60’s Jesus called me to Hollywood, California to go to the hippies and bring Jesus to them and onto the streets and into nightclubs along the Sunset Strip. This took again a determination to go out night after night in the face of danger and ridicule but Jesus did it! And I saw the ‘Jesus Movement’ start and explode in the nation and the world. In 1969 Jesus called me to carry the cross and walk across America and then on to the world. Now 34 years later and 301 nations and over 36,400 walking miles later I can say it took determination to fulfill the call and missions of Jesus.
Jesus calls and sends us forth. Rather Jesus calls and ‘Goes’ with you! Often difficulties of every sort come before us. Barriers block the way you are going. The mountains are steep and the rivers wide; the way is narrow and the road winding.
Sometimes it takes just getting up and just putting one foot in front of the other. The rain is pouring but you just go on about your calling. At times the critics are loud and the words painful but you set your face to go on. There could be years when there is no praise or glory and yet you are faithful. You know your calling and you do not detour to a more popular way or easier way.
You pray and trust Jesus to meet every need and in the face of danger and even ill health you press on.
It takes determination to go every week to the Jail or the rescue mission or the senior citizens home. It takes determination to gather food, pack it and give it to the poor. It is often the thankless jobs that are hard to fill. No glory, just laborers in the vineyard of the Lord.
Oh, dear one do not be weary in well doing! Stay faithful to the call of God.
Now before you began to be puffed up about ‘your’ or ‘my’ determination lets look at what the scripture says about the proper motivation.
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
(Philippians 2:13 in the Holy Bible)
The Godly determination comes not from the flesh but from the Spirit, from Jesus! Therefore all the glory is unto the Lord God Almighty and not to you or to me.
Ask Jesus to give you ‘Both the Will’ and the ‘To Do’ His good pleasure! Glory.
In the face of discouragement and struggles don’t walk away or drop out of the Will and Call of Jesus for your life. Just go on and on and on with your heart and desires set on doing what Jesus has given you in this life.
Rejoice! I can tell you that should you just keep on walking and walking you can make it around the world.
Remember the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step!
Hang on! Don’t give up on dreams and visions that you believe have been given to you by God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt