"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

"I Am Determined" . . .

By Lois J. Stucky

    "I am determined; I’ve made up my mind! I’ll serve the Lord!..." Maybe you are familiar with this line from a chorus which Christian young people sang enthusiastically some years ago. It is likely no longer in the repertoire of choruses young people sing today, but thank the Lord for young people anywhere in the world who hear the call of God and respond with purpose of heart and mind and declare with their lips that, "Yes! I will serve the Lord!"

    How tenderly and with what joy God must look upon them! He knows the zeal of youth and the warmth of first love for Him, as well as their lack of experience and wisdom to comprehend the full meaning of what their hearts sincerely desire and declare. He knows also the weakness of the flesh to live that out in the years ahead, and what it means to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow in the footsteps of His beloved Son Jesus. God who sees into the future knows the prayers, the tears, the struggles, the failures, the repentance, the renewal, the mountaintops, the fruit that will remain, and all that lies before the last step on earth is taken. And God also knows the fury and the evil intent of the forces of darkness that will set snares to waylay all dedicated people from their godly purpose.

    God knows well that determination alone is insufficient, but oh, the grace and power God is willing to add to that to see them fulfill His purpose in their lives! Young people so greatly need our encouragement and help to keep them on their course to serve the Lord with unfaltering determination. The Apostle Paul gives younger Timothy good advice, as recorded in his letters to him. Above all, Paul constantly remembered Timothy in his prayers (1 Tim. 1:3). He also reminded Timothy not to forget it was God who had caught him up in His purposes. He should not be ashamed nor timid because of his youth. He should be aware that he had been put in trust with the Gospel, even as Paul had been. He must guard what God had given him, not keeping it under lock and key, but stirring it into a flame. When God puts His hand on those who purpose to serve Him, they are no longer their own. When God moves one beyond what he or she would ever envision or attempt in himself or herself, that one must move on in faith with God, depending on Him and the Holy Spirit to anoint and enable him to fulfill that calling.

    Some of us reading this look back over many years to the days of youth. Are we not brought to worship and adore anew our God for the way He has kept us serving Him through "life’s uneven way"? Our call may not be to the pulpit or to a foreign field. It may be our call is to serve Him as parents, teachers or other professional people, perhaps in the home or on the farm or in business or industry. Wherever or however, we constantly have need of God’s provision and anointing to serve Him acceptably.

    So vital is Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s article concerning the anointing. It takes determination, "resolute persistence," to pursue the anointing to fulfill what God has given us to do. Think of Elisha’s persistence. He was determined to have the double portion of the Spirit in his ministry, and he got it because he stuck right with Elijah until the latter was taken up from the earth (2 Kgs. 2:9-12). No one surpasses our blessed Redeemer, of whom it is said in the Messianic passage in Isaiah 50: "…I set My face like a flint…" (v. 7), to endure the indescribable shame and suffering of Calvary that bought for us the priceless redemption from sin and hell. What glory is due His Name!

    The intercession to which God is calling us and of which the front page article speaks, is possible only by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That is obtained by persistence in asking: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). And what diligence is called for against the wily foe Satan, who would cut off our effectiveness by sins allowed in the secret place of our heart, of which William Gurnall so aptly warns us.

    Please join us in prayer that the messages of this issue will have God’s anointing to be very helpful to the readers. This late hour calls for serious heart searching. We invite you to write us for copies to share with others who have a determination to serve the Lord and who would benefit from the messages.