When Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God,” the very word seek implies a strong-minded pursuit (see Matthew 6:33). J. B. Phillips paraphrases the idea with “set your heart on.”
The Amplified Bible says, “Aim at and strive after.”
The Greek text of Matthew’s gospel states a continual command: “Keep on continually seeking.” The dominating thought is determination, which I define as “deciding to hang tough, regardless.”
All of this urges us to keep in mind the difference between natural sight and supernatural vision.
Sight and Insight
When we look at life with vision, we perceive events and circumstances with God’s thoughts.
And because His thoughts are higher and more profound than everyday horizontal thinking, they have a way of softening the blows of calamity and giving us hope through tragedy and loss.
They also enable us to handle times of popularity and prosperity with wisdom.
I’ll be frank with you. I know of no more valuable technique in the pursuit of successful living than sheer, dogged determination.
Nothing works in ministry better than these four traits:
- Persistence—persistence in godliness
- Determination to stay diligent in study
- Perseverance in the priorities of ministry
- Commitment in working with people
I often remind myself of those familiar words in 2 Timothy 4:2,
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.
That’s a nice way of saying:
Hang tough! Do it when it comes naturally and when it is hard to come by. Do it when you’re up; do it when you’re down. Do it when you feel like it; do it (more often) when you don’t feel like it. Do it when it’s hot; do it when it’s cold. Keep on doing it. Don’t give up.
That is persistence and determination in seeking the kingdom of God. That is hanging tough with dogged discipline.
Take it from one who has been in the ministry for over fifty years. In times when you get whipped, or even when you win, the secret is staying at it.
What do you think? What helps you hang tough when you’d like to hang it up? You can tell me by clicking here.