“let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
In following the Rugby World Cup, I am impressed with the determination and intense focus these athletes display on the field. But additional determination is often the secret recipe or weapon that propels a team forward to win. This extra dose of determination is clearly evident in the South African team at the moment. They need this, especially after suffering a humiliating defeat in the first round against Japan. All this is to say, determination is a necessary discipline to win in any sports event.
But my question is, do we need determination as Christians? I can say on the authority of Scripture – definitely yes!
Born again believers are on a spiritual battlefield every single day. Satan is our foe and he uses enticing pleasures, culture’s morals and ethics, and so many other seemingly innocent eases to attack, in order to win us over (Eph. 6:12)
The apostle Paul knew about this ongoing battle to be holy in a sinful world. He uses many images of how we must be determined to win these battles.
He speaks to the Colossian believers in Col. 1:29 “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Paul also commands believers to have this same determination in directing us to“fight the good fight of faith” in 1 Tim. Then Paul uses that same determination image by giving witness at the end of his life in 2Tim. 4:7 - “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;” Determination is necessary!
We need to look at our lives and ask “how determined am I in standing firm in the faith and winning the battles against the world, the flesh and the Devil every day?” D.A Carson once said, People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort,[determination] people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith.…” (Grace Quotes)