<<resolute, strong willed>>
Being serious in following God will involve the sacrifice of time, money and effort. Look beyond the many things that would clamour for your attention, giving up what is not important and striving for the best – see what will be gained as a result (Mk 10:29,30). Mary was determined to spend time listening to the words of Jesus (Lk 10:39-42). Determination requires ongoing action on our part with obedience to His word and patience to run the race, not being distracted by other things, having second thoughts, or giving up when the going gets difficult (Mt 13:20,21; Lk 9:62; Heb 12:1). Jesus, when the time was nearing for His arrest and crucifixion was fully determined to follow through and would not be persuaded otherwise, knowing it was God’s will that by His death and resurrection salvation would be available to mankind if they chose (Lk 9:51).
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” was the confession of Israel’s leader (Josh 24:15). This was a definite choice, followed by deliberate action not just good intentions. Daniel and his fellow Jewish companions resolved not to defile themselves, having worked out an alternative proposal, and were blessed by God because of their stand (Dan 1:8-17). Be determined to make your life count for God and fulfill your destiny in Him. Determination involves consistent motivation, setting priorities, maintaining self-discipline and enduring hope through periods of discouragement to achieve its goals.
Paul said, “I am determined to only speak of Jesus” (1 Cor 2:2). “I keep working to become all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be...straining... I press on” (Phil 3:12-14). He didn’t just sit back waiting for it to happen, with a ‘whatever will be will be’ attitude.
Willpower and the desire to obtain or accomplish must become a stimulating, compelling factor greater than the negative spiritual opposition that will come. Be like the wall re-builders who were not put off by the threats and ridicule “but we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” (Neh 4:9). They enlisted God’s help as well as doing their part to ensure the desired outcome.
Be prepared to pay the price to attain the goal
(Deut 7:22; Josh 11:15-23); expending whatever energy is necessary to complete a project (Neh 4:6, 7:1); rejecting any distraction which could hinder the completion of a task (Neh 6:2-4; Gal 5:7); not allowing negative comments, insults or intimidation to deter (Neh 4:1-4, 6:9-13); praying, “Lord strengthen me according to your word” knowing what God requires of us will be far beyond our capablility yet achievable as we rely on Him, besides often receiving assistance from others (Ps 119:28; Zech 4:6; Lk 14:28-32; Phil 4:13).
Be focused on the goal that you desire to achieve and pay the price to see it come into reality. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (Heb 10:36). The prize is not given out before the race! A determined person is not sidetracked by temptations, discouragement or giving in to peer pressure but remains loyal, not giving up – unless clearly indicated by God that the desired goal is not His will. There will be obstacles and setbacks that will test your resolve but explore all the options and by faith in Christ walk into the blessing.