Determined: Having a settled purpose. Focusing on a decision. Being resolute. Having a firm purpose.
Determination can be good or bad depending on your focus. It also lasts or fades depending on the approach we take in maintaining it. As Christians, our goal is to maintain a God-focused determination. Three individuals in the Bible teach us a lot about this.
- Ezra’s determination teaches us that we must be hearers, doers, and teachers of God’s Word. (Ezra 7:9-10)
- Daniel’s determination shows us that resisting the surrounding culture is not only possible but necessary. (Daniel 1:8)
- Paul’s determination illustrates the need for complete focus on the finish line. (1 Corinthians 9:26)
These men teach us a great deal about staying determined, and they set examples we can and should follow.
Through Ezra’s, Daniel’s, and Paul’s examples, we see that staying determined is possible even amidst great trial. In addition, the Bible clearly indicates where our determination should focus. We are to be determined to:
- Obey God: Simply make up your mind to do it. (1 Samuel 7:3)
- Avoid sin: Know your convictions before you are tested. (Job 31:1)
- Stand firm: Stand in faith, and you will be protected. (Isaiah 7:9)
- Follow Christ: Let him lead you in every area of life. (Mark 8:34-38)
How to Be Determined
How do we obtain and maintain an enduring God-focused determination? Let’s again look to Ezra, Daniel, and Paul for answers.
- Ezra praised God for giving him favor. He also went to the Lord with concerns. (Ezra 7:27-28; Ezra 9)
- Daniel had a habit of prayer that he maintained even when facing death. (Daniel 6:10)
- Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, often included prayers filled with thanksgiving, prayers for others, as well as prayer requests for his ministry.
Habits of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving are keys to constant God-focused determination. Also, never forget that God promises to help us stay determined.
“For the Lord God helps me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7)