Let’s face it, one consistent character trait that Jesus modeled throughout His ministry on earth is determination. Determination means you have a firmness of purpose, a tendency to move in a fixed direction. Believe it or not, the behaviors needed to fulfill New Year’s Resolutions typically last 30 days or less before old habits override good intentions for positive behavioral shifts in life.
What about you? What’s your mission statement for the New Year? Have you taken a moment to write that down and think of 3 action steps that you will commit to on a daily basis to fulfill it? It’s worth the determination backed with clarity of focus around what you want to see more of within the New Year. Clarity of focus fueled by determination leads to accuracy of response around desired outcomes. How determined are you to make your mission statement a reality? Do you have a firmness of purpose and a fixed state of mind to do the behaviors needed daily to accomplish your desired outcome?
When I went through cancer, I had a fixed state of mind on choosing life no matter what the doctors told me, this required divine intervention because my body was very weak. When the body is weak, the mind often follows. Increasing my prayer time with God along with declaring the Scriptures over my life (Psalm 91) throughout the day gave me the strength I needed to override the fears, doubts, and sabotaging thoughts.
Jesus was determined to do God’s will no matter what surrounded Him. He was determined to live outside of the confinement of status and the opinions of other people. He was determined to seek and save the children of God who had lost their way. He was determined to heal the sick, lame, blind, deaf, as well as raise the dead. He was determined to preach the Good News to the poor. He was determined to overcome evil with good, love amid hatred, forgiveness amid sin, extend kindness and mercy amid judgment.
Jesus was determined to talk back to the devil using the double-edged sword of the Holy Scriptures. He was determined to speak the truth in love in the midst of condemnation and rejection. He was determined to spend time with His Father in prayer in the midst of a very demanding schedule. He was determined to tune into the needs of those around Him over His own. He was determined to lead people back into the love of God. He was determined to surrender Himself completely in the Garden of Gethsemane, despite any human fear and anxiety, into the will of His Father for the sake of our salvation. Jesus was determined to die for our sins and rise from the dead submitting Himself to God’s good plan. He was determined to carry the cross, scorn its shame to sit down at the right hand of the throne of God. He split the veil in half to give us access into the Holy presence of God through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which He was determined to leave with us to remind us of everything He taught and more. Jesus was and continues to be determined to save souls from the fires of hell. Jesus led and continues to lead with a determination to heal the broken hearted and bind up the wounds in our lives that all too often rob us of the peace of God which transcends all human understanding. One of Satan’s biggest forms of trickery, which he uses in spiritual combat, is to steal our peace. Jesus is determined to get it back.
Because we are created in the image and likeness of God and have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have access to the same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead: “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you” (Romans 8:11).
What does this mean? We have access to the determination that Jesus modeled in the Gospels. Take a moment and reflect on the New Year before you. What behaviors do you discern God is asking you to be determined to do less of in order to make room for the behaviors He is calling you to do more of? Below are a few options of behaviors to do more of:
- Prayerful discernment before making decisions.
- Patient understanding in communication, understanding that not everyone thinks the way you think.
- Listen to understand rather than to be understood.
- Overcome evil with a conscious choice to do good.
- Offer your first fruits of your time, energy and focus to God each day.
- Give more, take less.
Take a moment to write down 3 specific behaviors that you discern in prayer before God that He is moving you to do more of in the New Year. Be determined, with the strength of the Holy Spirit within you, to carry out those behaviors more today than yesterday: “Holy Spirit, I give you permission to resurrect the determination that Jesus had to do God’s will in all aspects of my life, including my mind, will and emotions.”
Be determined to Lead Like Jesus in a world that has been hijacked by fear and confusion. Outshine the darkness.
Transfer your learnings: Reread the different aspects of Jesus’ determination contained in this article (4th and 5th paragraphs). Which ones stand out to you? Write them down. In what ways do you want to transfer these learnings into your behavior with the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit within you? What steps will you take?
Extra Credit: Read through Romans 12 and include the character trait of determination as you turn the Scriptures into a personal prayer before God. For example, Romans 12:1-2: “Lord, I am determined by the power of the Holy Spirit within me today to offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to you. I am determined by your grace alone, to resist the temptation to conform to the pattern of the world. With your determination within me I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I can test and approve what your will is for me, your good, pleasing and perfect will.” Amen.
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