POWER IN PERSEVERANCE
As the time approached for him to be taken up
to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
It’s easy to become distracted or discouraged in the Christian life. The moment you understand what God wants you to do, it will seem as though everyone around you requires your time and attention.
When the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, He “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” so that nothing would prevent Him from accomplishing His Father’s will. So obvious was His resolve to go to Jerusalem that the Samaritans, who hated the Jews, rejected Him because they recognized that He was a Jew traveling through their village to the hated city of Jerusalem (see Luke 9:52-53).
Jesus determined not to digress from His mission, but He took time to minister to many people along His way. He sent out 72 disciples into the surrounding towns (see 10:1). He healed lepers (see 17:11-19). He cured a man of dropsy (see 14:1-4). He brought salvation to the home of Zacchaeus (see 19:1-10). He continued to teach His disciples (see 15). Jesus didn’t refuse to minister to others as He went to Calvary, but ultimately, He refused to be deterred from His Father’s will.
If you know what God wants you to do, resolutely set your sights toward that goal with full determination to accomplish it (see Prov. 4:25). Beware of becoming so sidetracked by the opportunities around you that you lose sight of God’s ultimate goal for you. Don’t succumb to the temptation to delay your obedience or to discard it altogether. Once you’ve received a clear assignment from God, your response should be unwavering focus and obedience.
What you choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in your life. You may be a Christian, but if your focus is always on your problems, your problems will determine the direction of your life. If your focus is on people, then people will determine what you think and do. When you choose to focus on Christ, you naturally move closer to Him. You experience His power.
Christ is at your right hand (see Ps. 16:8). In biblical times the right hand was the most distinguished position, reserved for someone’s chief adviser and supporter. Every time you face a new experience, you should turn to Christ for His strength. When people insult you and mistreat you, you should seek direction from your Counselor about the right response. When you face a crisis, you should receive strength from the One at your right hand. When you experience need, you should consult your Counselor before you react. When you face a fearful situation, you should take courage from the Advocate at your right hand. Everything you do is in the context of your relationship with Christ.
What an incredible act of God’s grace that Christ stands beside you to guide you, counsel you, and defend you! How could you ever become dismayed over your situation with Christ at your right hand? What confidence this should give you! Don’t give up. Stay focused on Christ. Determine to follow Him.
In what areas of your walk with Jesus are you tired, discouraged, or distracted?
What do you know God wants you to do?
How will you persevere toward that goal? What practical steps will you take to continually rely on the Lord’s power and wisdom?
What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?
Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]