Some people make resolutions based on changes they want to make in the new year. These resolutions are often made to curtail habits or to achieve something significant. What happens most times is that these resolutions are most often than not broken within the first few weeks into the new year.
One thing I notice in the gym where I work out regularly, is that at the beginning of the year, the attendance increases significantly. This is often because people had made resolutions about exercising regularly and improving their fitness. From experience, I have noticed that this lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks by which time 90% of new gym signups would have given up. It is likely that the 10% remaining would be the ones who will keep on exercising throughout the year.
As I looked forward to 2014, my focus shifted from my usual pattern of drawing up a list of things I wanted God to do for me in 2014. I began to pray that God would reveal to me what He wants me to do for Him in 2014. Most of the time as Christians, we get so caught up in asking God what we want Him to do for us in the new year that we pay little attention to what He wants us to do for Him.
One thing that was impressed in my Spirit is that God wants us to press forward and I was reffered to the scripture;
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13, 14 KJV
If there was anyone who should feel confident about his achievements, it was Paul. He was highly educated, learned as well as religious. He was connected in high places and had the future cut out for him. However, when he had an encounter with Jesus, His life changed and all those things he depended on as his mainstay, gave way to the new life he found in Jesus Christ.
This new life gave Paul a new goal and a new direction. As we see in the above scripture, he said, ‘I press forward…’
I found out that the word ‘press’ as used in this passage comes from the greek word, ‘dioko’ which among other things means, ‘to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing’ or ‘to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal’. We see in this definition the idea of pressure, violent movement, pursuit and impassionate running.
Paul, more than anyone else understood what it means to ‘press’ toward a goal. He previously pressed towards the goal of eliminating the church of Christ but after his encounter with Jesus, his focused changed and he began to press forward towards the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
He recognized this calling as the ultimate goal and he pressed towards it with all his might. What is God calling you to do? Are you ready to press forward towards the goal of God’s calling in your life?
Jack Hayford, former Senior Pastor of Church on the Way, wrote about when he was a fourteen-year old boy. An evangelist visited his church and told the story of how she had gone hiking in California’s mountain terrain with a group of young people.
They had settled into their sleeping bags for the night in a dry riverbed when they heard a terrifying rumbling sound.
With no time to make it to the river’s bank, the leader yelled, “Quickly! Grab hands, hold tight and press into the flood!”
When the water came, it hit them hard but they were able to resist the flow because they held together and pressed against the tide.
As we begin a new year, let us ‘press’ on. Let us not be satisfied with our achievements of the previous year or by discouraged by our past failures. God wants to do something new in our lives but are we ready to enter into that new experience?
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org