As a kid, I was determined to be a pro baseball player and a psychiatrist. Never really had any other long lasting goals I would commit to. As a teen, I became committed to attending Duke University and having 5 sons to play basketball around the country against other teams. My determination to get to Duke and become a psychiatrist was significant. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as determined to be a pro baseball player although I did play at Duke. My downfall was not staying focused in my mind and being intentional and disciplined with my activities. Other self-centered needs leading to distracting activities intruded on my dreams.
In Philippians 1:20 Paul seems to be saying; “My determined purpose is to be my best for His glory.…whether by life or death”, Paul was determined to let nothing stand in his way from doing exactly what God wanted.
What will it take to for you to choose to follow God’s will? We all start off our days with the idea, resolve, and attitude that we will do the right thing. Regardless of the temptations, we will make the right decision. But somewhere during the day, we get sidetracked, our determination gets undermined. Petty and self-centered needs and agenda items start to outrank our calling and our choices become faulty. We stray from following God’s will.
I believe that many times a crisis must develop in our lives before we make the decision to have determined purpose to follow God’s will. This is often how He gets our attention to help us focus on Him more acutely. We need these crises because we are so unresponsive to God’s numerous gentle nudges. Once we arrive at that place where He asks us to be the best for His glory and our maximal fulfillment, the debate within us begins. And when the crisis hits we must decide…for or against? For there is no middle ground. That moment, the moment of deciding for or against, is the greatest crossroads we face in our daily walk.
Today, when adversity comes into your life…on any front…surrender your will to God and you will find peace and freedom. This happens by asking, “what need of mine is out-trumping or competing with God’s instruction, will, promises, or character?” Then make a willful decision to follow His will and put yours on hold. This glorifies Him, and is the actually the best for you as you will actually renew your mind spiritually, psychologically, and even physiologically when you make this Godly decision. Believe it or not, your brain chemistry actually gets stronger.
Dear Father God, I pray to You that Your Holy Spirit reveal Your message to me in a way that I understand and can live out daily. I feel very much ashamed that I have not yielded those areas of my life that You have asked me to. I want to live a life so that in no way will I be ashamed. Help me, Lord, shut out everything that keeps me from doing my very best for Your glory. I actually find my limitations liberating when my strongest desire is to do my best for Your glory. Thank You, Lord, for the freedom this provides, for Your word tells me that where Your Spirit is, there is freedom. In Christ’s determined name; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.