‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 31. Press on!
Phil 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.”
That was Paul declaring his long-term goal that would continue into eternity. For a month we have been considering a long-term goal in respect of our loved ones, prodigals, friends etc. Merely because in the next month I will move on to a new theme – YOU stick with your goal until you see it happen (if you haven’t already).
In this month we have merely been considering establishing a way of thinking, praying, and acting, as we purpose to reach out to our loved ones, and it doesn’t stop at the end of the month. Let’s aim to continue seeking to cause much joy in heaven (Lk 15:7,10) and pleasure in Jesus’ heart as he is able continue his ministry (Lk 19:10) through you and me as he reaches through us to our loved ones, prodigals, friends etc. Amen? Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, enough of the frivolity, let’s bed this thinking down a little more clearly and firmly and reflect back over where we’ve been in this month.
Vision: First of all, we sought to re-establish within us this possibility that the Lord wants to draw to Himself our loved no-yet-believers, our prodigals, our occasionally interested friends, colleagues, work-mates etc. We challenged the unbelief that years of seeing no change cause in us and stirred the thought that we can positively establish an ongoing strategy that believes that God can bring change in us and through us that results in this group of people turning to Him.
We are at a point of history where many of us are sensing the Lord’s yearning – and maybe the Lord’s preparation – to come either in revival (His powerful impact on society at large) or renewal (His powerful impact on and through the Church) and are sensing a call to get ready and ‘prepare the way of the Lord’. These studies have been that but in particular respect of those closest to us. Establishing the vision was an initial primary part of these studies. If you have caught something of that, don’t let go of it, pray it daily.
Godly: But then there was the recognition that this had to be a work of God, for the work of drawing others to Christ can involve us but ultimately it has to be a work of the Holy Spirit, and for that we have to have our eyes constantly on Him and daily call for Him to come and work, being open, available and obedient to His leading.
Involvement: That led us to consider various ways we can be involved in this ‘project’, establishing new levels of faith in us, preparing our testimony, doing all we can to create a loving environment into which we can speak as the Lord moves and we see responses in those near us. We thought about the opportunities that arise around us, when good things happen, and bad. We saw there were specific attitudes and actions that could guide us to be instruments in the Lord’s hands in such a project.
Perseverance: But we also recognized that this may be a long-term project (it may not!) and if it is, then it calls for patience and perseverance in us, to keep on praying and acting, day after day, trusting that little bit by little bit, the Lord is speaking into the lives of these people. When Paul declared, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me,” it was no doubt the call to heaven, but why don’t you and I make this our warfare slogan for this project to help keep us going. We don’t stop simply because, coming to the end of the month, I change the theme of the next studies. No, we continue, we “press on”. The Message version puts it, “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Imagine the end goal – see Jesus standing alongside your loved one, now-a-believer, your prodigal, now returned, see him standing with them and them glowing with his love and life. Hold on to that picture and keep praying for it to come, keep working for it to come, don’t let other things distract you. There may be other goals in your life as well but keep this one up front and personal. Hold on to it and get ready to join in with the joy and rejoicing of heaven when your loved one stands there with a big smile on their face and they say, “OK, I’m in, I’m back” and tears of joy run down your face. Hold on to that picture and don’t let it go! Bless you!