We know its true. We know its a fact. We know that God never tells us it will be easy, as a matter of fact, He says that the moment we give our heart to Jesus that we will come under attack. So we supposedly know all of this yet scream WHY WHY WHY when life does get hard.
You have lived a good clean life, you have followed the laws dictated by God, you have done your best to not sin. Yet Life has hit you with a super punch and your left wondering why. Don’t get me wrong, I am not coming down on you or criticizing you. I’m right there with you. I have not lived the pure life. I have had a life full of sin, just like I do now. Wait your thinking what?? Your saved how can that be. The difference is not that I a don’t sin. The difference is in my heart. My sins now come under God’s divine eye in my heart. Before I didn’t know what I was doing was sin. It never bothered me it never affected me. Now when they happen they weigh on me. The fact that I did something or thought something that is not God honoring hurts my heart and thats a good thing. Its called conviction.
You might be asking, what does this have to do with the image above and the word determination. Well I’m going to be honest. We can be passive in our faith and say all the kind peaceful Christian phrases and still be stuck in life. We can be on a faith based treadmill running over the same ground not growing and not advancing in our faith. Determination is a vital part of a mans faith. It has to be and here is why. I know that 100% of the time we do not feel very faithful all the time. Times you do not feel like God gives 2 cents about you. Why do I say that? Because life and the opposition we face is so large in front of us, that our focus moves from God to a looming fear. Everyone has a Goliath, everyone has a giant in their lives. We tend to look outward for him so we can easily identify our opponent. As a man you can tell me who I have to beat and I can look it over and plan an attack to take it down. The fact is most of our giants lie inside of our own person. You see, most of the sins in our lives are not the problem, porn, greed, laziness, ego, pride and more, are not the problem. They are just a symptom of the problem. There is another cause deeper inside. Your giant is you. In the Mens class I have been going through, they talk about digging into yourself to unravel the root cause. You have to be determined to get to the bottom of it. To unleash the Godly man inside, you must be determined to root out the ugly parts you do not like to admit that you have.
For a man to love God, love his wife and family unconditionally, a man must be determined to do it God’s way, as He instructs us in His word. Be determined to read His word even when you don’t feel like it. Be determined to love your wife even if she isn’t engaged in the marriage or during that season of diffuculty, could be kids or work has filled her schedule up. Be determined to shine Gods light in your life each day. Be determined to overcome all the things thrown in your way to act with integrity and good character. Follow the psalms and not be envious of the wicked that seem to prosper. Be determined to trust God in all circumstances. Be determined to live out your faith even when your mind is having trouble believing it. Believing God, when all the things in our face is saying the opposite, is the very definition of determination. When your standing up to one of your biggest fears I have an image in my head. One of a father and small child standing at his side facing his fear. The father is holding his hand and telling him its ok he will be with him the whole time. The child maybe shaking in fear but he knows is dad is there and he moves forward because of that, not because he knows he can do it himself. A determination to believe. Thats what its all about. Determination to live your life according to Him and not the obstacles I am currently seeing.
Probably one of the hardest parts of truly living out our faith is putting the verses we know like Proverbs 3:5,6 into practice.
Really doing what we need to do in life that speak truth and God are what’s important. God never asks us to just lay down and give up. Our faith is not a passive thing but should be an active thing in our life and the hard times are those testing seasons.
People think that determination is taking charge of our own plan and rushing head long without God, thats wrong. Our faith demands a sense of determination but not for ourselves. We can fight for and be determined to live for God, the fact is its hard, its really hard at times and to really live a faith thats based on a true relationship with Jesus you have got to be determined to do it. Just as determined as it took for me to run the Tough Mudder (which is a 12.5 mile obstacle run) in the image. Or crawl under water and pull myself along that chain linked fence with just an inch or 2 to breath between the water and the fence. Different motivation but still determination. He always will call us to places we are not comfortable an we must show a level or trust in Him and not our own ability. Its the learning to trust part that seems the most difficult for most of us.