I'm excited to greet you once again here on preachingwoman.com. It's always a blessing to share with you. Now that school has started, I think the beginning of a new school year also presents an opportunity for adults to get a fresh new start on the things that are important to them as well.
As such, I'm reminded of Paul's words to the church at Philippi in Philippians 3:14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." We know that Paul's ultimate goal is to become so close to Jesus that he can empathize with what our savior felt in the process of going to Calvary. At the same time, his words offer encouragement as we press toward our destiny. This month, I'd like to offer three nuggets that will help us press for success: Press up, press in and press on.
We press up when we acknowledge that God is our source. We should never be so confident in ourselves, our accomplishments, our credentials, our network, etc. that we forget that it is through God that we live, move, and have our very being. God will never share His glory with anyone, and He is a jealous God. He wants us to trust in Him with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways we should acknowledge Him, and He will direct our path.
Have you ever wondered how, regardless of how hard he fell, David always managed to get back in the good graces of God? I truly believe it was because of his ability to get in the presence of God and humble himself enough to sincerely acknowledge God for who He is. But David didn't mind letting God know how much He needed Him. Remember the words to the Ricky Dillard classic: "Without God I could do nothing. Without Him I would fail. Without Him my life would be rugged. Like a ship without a sail."
Paul often used imagery of a runner. And when preparing to run any race, there's no doubt that the body has to be conditioned. In the same manner, as we prepare ourselves to run this race called life, we must also be conditioned through focus and determination. But more importantly, we must also press in through the Word and through prayer. These are two essentials that can never be overlooked.
We need the Word of God because it is our blueprint for living. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Whenever we need the answer to a question, we need to remember that the Word of God offers wisdom and instruction for everything we could possibly need.
Also, we can never forget to pray. Pray about everything and worry about nothing is wonderful advice. In fact, the Word of God reminds us to pray without ceasing. There's nothing too small to pray about and nothing too big. There's nothing at all too hard for God. But when we don't pray, we close the lines of communication with Him. We must always keep in mind that these lines of communication are a two-way street: we talk to Him, He talks to us. God is good!
I wish I could say that life would be easy, that everything will work out fine with little or no effort and that there will never be barriers in life. But we know that's not the case. Life will bring a number of circumstances that will easily cause one to want to throw in the towel. Doing so should never be an option.
When I was growing up, there was a song that we sang at my home church: "I believe I'll run on and see what the end will be. There's something at the end that's waiting for me." That's the same approach we should take in life. Look at the likes of Gabby Douglas, Tyler Perry and President Obama. Do you think they would have made it where they are today if they had given up? Same thing for Abraham, Joseph and Jeremiah. Each of them had their own unique set of life's challenges. Nevertheless, they pressed on.
And the greatest one who could have ever pressed on is Jesus. He pressed through persecution, humiliation, disappointments, frustrations, lies, deception, and the list goes on. But had He not pressed His way to Calvary, we would not have access to eternal life, which was promised to all who receive Him as their personal lord and savior.
Today, I'm so grateful for all that God has done, is doing and shall do in all of our lives. Let us continue to press up, press in and press on.