Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Dedicated to the Cause - Martin Wiles

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. Philippians 3:12 NLT

“They are just testing your determination.”

My friend said it when I kept losing my bait but not catching the fish. On the second night of our camping trip with our friends, the husband invited me to accompany him to the dock for a little fishing. Years had passed since I’d put a cork in the water, but I agreed to go. Casting the line and watching the cork bob was difficult. Biting flies nibbled at my legs and neck. Stinging ants waited for me to lay my hands on the dock railing.

Misery kept me company, but I kept casting the line in various places, hoping to catch a fish. A Johnny-come-lately arrived, cast his line a few times, and began catching small bream. After landing a few, he left and wished us good luck. But luck didn’t come. We cast in the same spot he did, but caught nothing. My cork bobbled and ducked, but never hung a fish.

My friend wouldn’t give up and encouraged me not to either, but after one hour of bites and stings, I’d had enough. I wound my line and headed for the campsite—disappointed I hadn’t caught a fish, but glad to get away from my attackers.

Paul didn’t give up as easily as I did. God gave him an assignment to take the gospel to the Gentiles—to be a fisher of lost people—and he planned to fish for them until the end, even if it meant his death. And eventually, it did.

The believers’ cause—our mission, purpose, and plan—to take up where Paul left off by telling others of God’s love takes a concerted effort. It also involves a heart issue. My friend helped me by giving me the tools I needed to catch fish, but my heart left the endeavor shortly because of biting insects.

Lone-gospel rangers can’t do what Christians together can. Personal trials and persecution from others will attempt to stop our mission or suck the life out of us, but we must press on. Doing so is worth the effort. God gave us an assignment, and we need to keep going regardless of the roadblocks along the way.

God gave Paul the strength to remain dedicated to the cause, and He will do the same for you.

Prayer: Father, keep our eyes focused on the goal and our feet dedicated to Your purpose for us.

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