Thursday 25 April 2013


Being so focused and determined that we have one objective in mind. Once Jesus and Paul knew for certain what God wanted them to do, nothing on earth could make them change their minds. They set their faces like flint towards Jerusalem.


“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). He was clear in His mind concerning His mission in life. He was born to die for the sins of humanity. Deep down He knew what He had to do and where He had to head towards.

This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 50:7: “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like flint”. Flint is a very hard stone. Jesus set His face like flint to go to Jerusalem with unflinching purpose and steely determination, undaunted by any opposition or suffering that lay ahead. As Jesus set His face towards Jerusalem, His feet followed the direction of His gaze.

Similarly, the apostle Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem despite conflicting advice from well-meaning believers: “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:22-24).

Not even a stern warning could stop him from fulfilling his mission. The prophet Agabus, took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles’’’ (Acts 21:11).

No matter what, Paul was absolutely determined to go to Jerusalem because he lived by this motto – obedience to the heavenly vision God had given him.

“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:19-20).

Many things can cause us to deviate from the path God has set for us: Our own incessant inner chatter, well-meaning counsel from others, trials and tribulations, worldly cares and concerns. This may sound strange but sometimes what derails God’s plan for us is success – to be exact, pride and complacency which come with success. This happens when success gets to our head.

Once Jesus and Paul knew for certain what God wanted them to do, nothing on earth could make them change their minds. They set their faces like flint towards Jerusalem.

Are we clear in our minds God’s vision for our lives?

If so, are we advancing – slowly but surely – towards the intended goal?

Are we focused on finishing the course?

 “Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:25-27).

“Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.” – Josh Billings, American humorist.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau.

And what is success from a biblical viewpoint? There are many diverse views as to what constitutes success but, to me, it is simply the progressive realisation of God-inspired goals. It is not necessarily the notion of success of the world – fame, power, money and comfort.



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