Esther 8:11, 14- “Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey…So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.”
Luke 16:16- “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
Philippians 3:14- “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
What do you do when life isn’t turning out the way you thought? What do you do when dark clouds gather and the sun seems hidden from sight for days? YOU PRESS ON! Our enemy has a carefully crafted strategy to disconnect us from our source of strength and life. We read in Esther an example of one of our enemy’s attempts when the decree was set for the Jews to be destroyed. Although that command was irreversible, the king set forth a second decree that the Jewish people would be allowed to fight back against their adversary. The messengers went forth immediately to put out posts that informed the Jews of this new decree…the message was urgent so they did not stop…they pressed on until all the land was up-to-date. Jesus has empowered us with that same command. When Satan fights against us we are not supposed to give in! We have been given power and authority to resist him. Even in the darkest night, the gospel will give you the strength to keep going. This truth, that God is for you and His Word is true, has to be settled in your heart.
As Christians, we can look at the headlines in our world and see the urgency of the hour. There are battles raging on all fronts and if we are not careful it can cause an emotional deficit in our spirit. We must learn to gain a spirit of urgency without fretting. There has to be balance. Yes, the battle is on, but we have such a HUGE advantage because the Lord is on our side! We need to learn to focus our sight from a Godly perspective. Just like the servants of Elisha had their eyes opened to the angel army surrounding them in Dothan, we need to have our eyes opened. Storms will come into our lives, but we have to change the way we think about them. It is in those moments when we are backed up against a wall that we see the power of God come to light in our lives. Chaos has never hindered Jesus from operating in the midst of His Church.
We need an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for what you do have and don’t give into the fear of what you might lose. We are blessed with the Word of God at our fingertips! The material things in life will come and go; but the assurance of everlasting life, if we press on, should never be taken for granted and dismissed. We all have the choice to accentuate the positive or dwell on the negative reality, but choosing a grateful spirit will pay tremendous dividends in your spiritual investment. It will allow others around us to witness a Divine Optimism that is forged in the fire of hope.
Gratitude cannot be formed though unless we learn the art of selective hearing. We cannot deny the obvious. Bad news is inevitable and part of our present reality. We have to learn to unplug from negative voices that drain us of energy and press on, making the courageous decision to move forward through the adversity. As John Lubbock said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” I challenge everyone to join together as God gives us a great revival of truth! Yes, we recognize the difficulties of the times, but let us let the Word order our perspective. We need to understand the higher calling God has given us—and the opportune time we live in.
Just as individuals go through seasons, so do churches. There is a time of “seed planting” and a time of harvest. I believe that we have only tasted of what God has for us! We know God has more…and we want it! A harvest is coming and every hand must be on deck, every part of the body functioning properly, if we are to reap the “full harvest”. It will be worth whatever we must face to see the kingdom of God expand, and for us to experience the kind of revival that God has for us.
The final words: PRESS ON! Many times we maybe be tempted to quit. However, if you persevere we will be rewarded in the end with a Divine that will lift our Spirit and give us hope for the future. Persistence has always been rewarded by the King and today is no different for the King’s commandment has been given; now press your way into it!