“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)
Did you know that just because God gives you a promise that does not mean it is automatically yours? Nope, you have to believe it and take hold of it to make it yours …
Paul wrote: “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” In order to experience a thriving faith — the “abundant life to the full” type of faith; we must take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of for us and placed in us. I love how the Amplified bible translates today’s truth: “I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.” Did you catch that? I press on to lay hold of .… to grasp.… to make my own. It requires an action, and any action requires some form of obedience …..
After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, that first generation of slaves set free were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Their grumbling and unbelief kept ‘life to the full’ at arms’ length. But when the next generation came along, they believed God would do what He said He would do. They moved forward to take hold of the promises, and lived bold to claim what their parents never saw. What made the difference? Well, let’s take a look …..
After the death of Moses, God said to Joshua, Moses’ aide, “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them — to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:2-3, 5-7)
It is that sentence “I will give you every place where you set your foot,” that stops me in my tracks every time I read it. God had given the Israelites the land, but they still had to take it. They had to put their foot down. They had to take hold of the promise. Do you see that?
I just love miracles. Don’t you? I love reading about times when God mysteriously and supernaturally intervenes in someone’s life; times when what was impossible with man became a reality with God. But almost every time, God performed a miracle in the Bible, He required men and women to participate — to put their foot down, often simply by faith. He said ….
- Build an ark.
- Lift your staff.
- Fill your jug.
- Gather jars.
- Make a cake.
- Blow a trumpet.
- Give a shout.
Jesus echoed His Father’s cadence in the New Testament ….
- Take up your pallet.
- Cast your nets.
- Stretch out your hand.
- Wash off the mud.
- Look in the fish’s mouth.
- Roll away the stone.
- Stand up straight.
- Go and tell.
Yes, God does miracles. And in every one of the above mentioned marvels; God’s power followed someone’s obedience. The key to experiencing the abundant life of relationship with Christ is obedience, and most people don’t even like the word. But it is the pathway to the faith you long for. I have learned this well and it has become one of my most favorite words ….
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Even the smallest bit of obedience opens heaven, and the deepest truths of God immediately become yours. Yet God will never reveal more truth about Himself to you, until you have obeyed what you know already.”
So in summary; it’s time, my friends to put your foot down. It’s time to take hold of the promises of God! I challenge you to pick just three of the following stories and note what Jesus told the person to do. Read the surrounding verses though to put the command in context. Note what happened when the person did what Jesus told him/her to do, and what would have happened if he/she didn’t.
1.) Take up your pallet. (Matthew 9:6)
2.) Cast your nets. (Luke 5:4)
3.) Stretch out your hand. (Matthew 12:13)
4.) Wash off the mud. (John 9:11)
5.) Look in the fish’s mouth. (Matthew 17:27)
What is God calling you to do or believe today? Are you standing on His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you? If you can answer yes to that, then you know that whatever issues you are facing right now, He is with you. Rise up in your faith and rest in His Word ….
Heavenly Father, I have been so wishy-washy when it comes to taking hold of Your promises and making them mine. But today, I’m putting my foot down! I will not allow my human reason to talk me out of my spiritual inheritance. I will set my foot down on every promise that You have given me today. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen ….