By Dr. Ronald L. Taylor
"For my determined purpose is that I may know Him."
Christian maturity is more than years of experience. Mature
Christians set goals, but depend upon the Lord. In the natural,
a baby's ultimate goal is independence. As Christians, the
opposite is true.
If we have no destination, then any road will do. I enjoy
sailing. When I put my boat in the water, I catch the best
wind. Usually, it does not matter where I go, but when it
is time to come home it is a different situation. I locate
the dock, and focus my best efforts on getting there.
Prayer is like that. It is difficult to get up early. During
the day there are interruptions. There are always obstacles
to our goal to spend more time in prayer. Therefore, it takes
a consecrated effort to set apart and maintain time for quality
"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is
the one who loves Me." John 14:21.
There is a big difference between what we say, and what we
In 1970, the Lord said to me, "Go back to school."
If I had not sought a school, and applied for admission, I
would still be saying, "The Lord has called me to go
back to school, and someday I will." Or perhaps I would
reason, if the Lord wants me to go back to school, some school
will write to me."
In Pinecrest's Chapel a sign reads, "Occupy Until I
Come." In other words, "We will be busy doing our
part, until the Lord comes." We are not likely to experience
Him doing His part, until we show ourselves faithful.
Jesus said - "Whoever has My commands and obeys them."
This is the "determined purpose."
Each one of us should consider, "What has the Lord set
before us?" Then we should commit ourselves to move toward
it. We must then recognize that without the enabling grace
of the Lord, we will fail to attain.
The thirsty seek for water. He has a calling and purpose
for each one of us. The stronger our sense of need, the more
we know that the Lord is drawing us.
Paul said, "Not that I have already attained all this
. . . but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ
took hold of me" Phil 3:12. It is in the "pressing
on" part where we usually fail. We must abandon our own
agendas. It is a sign of immaturity if we think the world
revolves around us. We need to pray, "Not my will, but
Isaiah 55:11 tells us,
"My Word will accomplish what I desire, and achieve
the purpose for which I sent it." Isa 55:11.
If what we hear is positive, uplifting, and edifying, then
we can respond as hearing the word of the Lord to us. We must
cancel negative thoughts by displacing them. The devil's purpose
is to "kill, steal, and destroy." If what we hear
is negative, it probably is from the deceiver.
Athletes need a coach who will push them to do more than
they intended. We need those who will challenge and encourage
us spiritually. We may say, "Lord, bless this plan and
we will accomplish great things for you.” Rather, we
should ask, "Lord, what is Your plan?" As we do
this, we are leaning upon the Lord, and He will reveal His
purpose to us.
The Lord will probably not give us more information until
we obey what we already know.
In Phil 3:16, Paul said,
"Let us hold true to what we have already attained."
We should not minimize what the Lord has already told us.
Mountains are behind us which we have conquered, but the molehill
in front may seem insurmountable.
Note Luke 16:10,
"Whoever can be trusted with very little, can
also be trusted with much."
We say, "Trivia doesn't matter; when the really important
thing comes I will be ready." Jesus said that if we are
not faithful with little, He will not give us the opportunity
to be faithful with much. If we walk in the light which we
have, He will equip us for each succeeding step.
The three principles for Christian growth are:
First, be aware of the goal, and then press toward it.
Second, recognize our need, knowing we cannot do it in ourselves.
Third, be willing to do what is right with what we have.
Then, as we press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will make Himself known