My friend and guest on the Counselor Thoughts blog today Heather Dixon is a true overcomer. As I walk beside women in my counseling office thriving while battling chronic illness, they always remind me that anything is possible with God. Heather is an example of a woman who has not let physical issues deter her from embracing life and her calling. I’m so grateful for her example as she is a resource to many of the teens and their families that I counsel when they first hear a diagnosis and feel like their future is no longer possible. She’s also filled with a zest for life and contagious joy and super fun to hang out with the conferences.
May her words bring encouragement to all of us today.
This was my prayer after receiving a diagnosis of Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Living with a condition that threatens the spontaneous rupture of blood vessels, arteries, and organs has taught me that life is precious. Every choice matters. A yes to one thing now means a no to something else later. And none of our yeses will make any difference at all if they are not grounded in God’s will for our life.
It was this prayer that drew me to study the gospel of Luke. And here’s what God taught me there about determined living: Jesus did it first. His is the only example we need to follow. One of the questions I asked of God as I considered the choices that Jesus made on His way to the cross was this: Is there a sustainable template for daily living that would produce the maximum impact for His kingdom?
I wanted to make a difference for God’s kingdom, but I needed a tangible example of how to go about it. I found it in the first few chapters of Luke as these truths were revealed:
- Anna was determined to worship. (Luke 2)
- We can find the wisdom of Jesus in God’s Word. (Luke 2)
- A commitment to prayer increases intimacy with our heavenly Father. (Luke 3)
- Jesus thwarts the enemy’s attempts to separate Him from God by obeying God’s will. (Luke 4)
From these truths, a simple pattern for daily living emerges that you and I can replicate today.
Worship. Word. Pray. Obey. These are our habits for success. This is our sustainable template for daily, determined living. If we want to live like Jesus, we will seek to engage in these actions every day.
If you had asked me a year ago to define my God-given purpose in life, I would have responded to that question by telling you that God has called me to women’s ministry as a Bible study writer and teacher. But I am telling you today that my response isn’t exactly accurate. What God has called me to is this: to glorify His name by spending time with Him, reading His Word, talking to Him in prayer, and worshiping His faithfulness. And out of the overflow of that obedience comes the fulfillment of God’s will for my life. The details may vary from season to season, but the ultimate goal of glorifying God remains. The same is true for you.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10
God isn’t looking for perfect people who know how to do everything right. He’s looking for people who are willing to choose habits of faithfulness. He will direct the outpouring of our time spent with Him to spill over where it needs to. But if we want to emulate Jesus, we can start with these simple steps: Worship. Word. Pray. Obey. We will fulfill our purpose on earth when we routinely display these patterns of determined faithfulness.
Tangible tip for determined living:
What is one area where you can deepen your determination to live like Jesus today? How do you or how can you:
Study His Word?
Pray to Him?
Obey what He says?
The tasks of spending time in worship, in the Word, in prayer, and in obedience may seem like simple tips to incorporate into our daily lives, but they yield powerful results for making a difference in the world around us. Live determined. Live like Jesus.
I’m rooting for you, always.
Adapted from Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment by Heather M. Dixon, © 2019 by Abingdon Press. All rights reserved.
Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment is a six-week Bible study on Luke. This study is for the woman who wants to intimately connect with a Savior who remained laser-focused on His mission to love the world. She also wants to know exactly how to spend her time to be a force for God’s good. She wants to live intentionally to embrace abundant life because she wants to live, determined. Just like Jesus.
Heather M. Dixon is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher who understands living with a story that is not easy. Diagnosed with an incurable and terminal genetic disorder that she inherited from her mother, she is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and live with hope, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances. When she is not blogging at The Rescued Letters or speaking at women’s conferences and events, Heather loves to make the most of everyday moments such as cooking for her husband and son, brainstorming all the possible ways to organize Legos and superheroes, checking out way too many library books, or unashamedly indulging in her love for all things Disney. Heather is a regular contributor to Journey magazine and the author of Ready: Finding the Courage to Face the Unknown and Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment.
Heather’s Website: http://therescuedletters.com/
More info about the Determined Study: https://therescuedletters.com/determined/
The Determined Bible Study on Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501878867/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_JfXoDbWJ8963J
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