Put your foot down.
There are some goals we set for ourselves that we determine to stick to, no matter what happens. We become prudent and unwavering when our decisions impact our lives. Once our mind is made up about what we want, we are able to hold firm to our convictions. Christians have daily choices to make that have a direct impact on their relationship with God and others. We have to shun any distractions that would steer us off course. No matter what, we must strive to live according to godly standards.
3 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on (Proverbs 4).
Godly instruction from The Word of God keeps us grounded on doing what is right. If you want to lose weight, you have to follow a diet and exercise regimen. If we want to be effective and productive Christians, we have to know what is good and righteous. Esteem God’s Word as essential, for every area of your life. When we know what is good from what is evil, we will be able to make informed decisions. Stay clear of any path that leads to sin. Avoid all possible contact with works of darkness that would defile your character. Be steadfast and earnest to use God’s Word as your wisdom. Turn away from what is contrary to God’s Ways. Take firm hold of instruction and walk in it; apply it to your life.
22 For I have kept the Ways of The Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 23 For all His judgments were before me; and as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. 24 I was also blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity (2 Samuel 22).
When we have God in our minds, we are conscious of His Presence. If we think about what God would have us do in the situations we face, we will reflect back on His instructions in Scripture. We can put aside how we feel, what we would prefer to do, and instead do what God commands us to. No one is perfect, but to be blameless before God is to do what honors Him. Keeping ourselves from sin shows that we have been trained by His Word, to implement what we know and understand. Ensure that you are not departing from God, by departing from His Ways. Strive to keep God at the forefront of your desires. Apply yourself to obedience, with diligence.
8 “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” 9 And The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and indeed they are stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make you a great nation.”
11 Then Moses pleaded with The Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with Great Power and with a Mighty Hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the Earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of Heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” 14 So The Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people (Exodus 32).
The Israelites had dishonored God by making images of their own gods and bowing to them. God was inflamed with wrath preparing to destroy them. God was even considering creating a new nation through Moses His servant, by eliminating Abraham’s descendants. Moses was determined to placate God by reminding Him of the Covenant He had made with Abraham. God is bound by His Covenant to His people. He relented from consuming the Israelites, when Moses prevailed upon His Faithfulness.
If God can do for Moses what He asked, He can do for us as well. We can approach God with His Own Promises and compel Him to change the course of events. He is Faithful to do as He has said. Importune God to do as He has spoken before. Prod Him by His Goodness, Faithfulness and Mercy. Be persistent in prayer until God answers. Remind Him of what He has done or said in the past, and pray with expectancy.
24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.”
28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there (Genesis 32).
Jacob wrestled with a Man who represented God. Jacob would not let Him go until he was blessed by Him. Jacob was headstrong about what he wanted, and He received it. Like Jacob, cling to God until you receive His Blessing. Don’t give up on what God might be able to do for you. Bring your case before Him and be relentless. Jacob struggled with God and man, and succeeded. He would not take no for an answer. Wrestle in prayer, tears, fasting and worship. Keep knocking on the doors of Heaven, and plead like your life depends on it. God will not turn you away. He will not ignore the prayer of one who clings and refuses to let go.
12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up these people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your Way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the Earth.” 17 So The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name (Exodus 33).”
Moses knew how to get God’s attention while asking for what He needed. Moses would not lead the people to the promised land in his own strength or wisdom. He implored God to go with them. Moses declined to go forward without God. He didn’t want God to send him with just anyone, He only wanted to go with God. God knew Moses by name; so intimately that He knew his frailties. Moses didn’t want the Israelites to be like everyone else around them. He wanted God to be known and recognized by others, as being in their midst. Moses used God’s Glory as leverage to convince God to go with them.
There may be some insurmountable challenges to overcome. Find grace in God’s sight by humbling yourself. Even with all the resources, talents, knowledge and experience, it’s prudent to depend on God. Ask God to show you the way and to take you through what you have to face. Don’t embark on an undertaking without God. Ensure that He gets the honor and recognition for every accomplishment.
O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. 2 Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken at dawn. 3 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. 4 For Your Mercy is great above the Heavens, and Your Truth reaches to the clouds. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the Heavens, and Your Glory be above all the Earth; 6 that Your beloved may be delivered. Save with Your right hand, and hear me (Psalm 108).
Let God alone receive the praise for all your talents, knowledge, accomplishments and every good thing. Praise God with music, words of adoration and with gladness. He is exalted above all the Heavens and the Earth. Do not usurp the glory that belongs to God. Praise Him in the midst of others, with all your heart. Even in your moments of glorying in your success, be resolved to honor God. He will also deliver and save you, when you depend on His Mercy and Truth. When you are determined to glorify God above everything else, He will hear when you call.
22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May The Lord your God accept you.”
24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to The Lord my God with that which costs me nothing ( 2 Samuel 24).”
David was offered animals, tools and material at no cost, to make an offering to God. David had angered God, and caused Him to send a plague upon the Israelites, so he needed to appease Him. He would not offer God what was someone else’s sacrifice, in this case Araunah’s. David paid Araunah the full price, even though Araunah wanted to honor the king. David would not offer God what cost him nothing. After he made the sacrifice, God heard David’s prayer and stopped the plague.
The sacrifice we are willing to make to please God shows our reverence for Him. What are you willing to offer God for His forgiveness? Offer God a propitiation befitting His Majesty. It has to cost you something to give willingly to God. It also has to bring significant value to give God what costs you something. He will hear the prayers of those who approach Him in with their best offering.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist, until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 12).
Are you hell-bent on attaining what Christ has for you? From the days of John the Baptist, Christ says, the violent take the Kingdom of Heaven by force. Those who yearn for Christ’s Kingdom suffer violence, persecution and trials. They have a firm hold on Eternal Life in Christ; they will not relinquish it at any cost. Those who want what Christ has secured for them are willing to suffer to gain it. They have received the gospel, believed, surrendered their lives in exchange for everything Christ offers, and are kept by The Power of The Holy Spirit. Endeavor to inherit the Kingdom of Christ with gusto, resilience and force. Contend for what is most valuable and don’t give it up.
Be resolved to keep your garments clean from the corruption of worldly darkness. Know God’s Word and live by His Ways. Keep God in mind and your desires will not lead you astray. Pray according to God’s Promises and persist until He comes through for you; cling to Him and don’t let go. Seek His Presence at every turn, while you embark on meeting all obligations. He will go with you and you will find grace in His sight. He knows your name and knows your weaknesses. As you make strides and achieve your goals, give Him the glory and honor He deserves. Praise Him and acknowledge Him before the presence of others. Worship Him with your best substance, and give to Him willingly. Don’t offer Him what costs you nothing; He is exalted above the Heavens and Earth. Seize Eternal Life and strive to attain your rewards in Heaven. Be willing to suffer and fight for what is already yours in Christ. Resolve everyday to live with purpose and for His Glory.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15).