A significant distinction among people compares those who passenger through life and those who step up and take action or take hold of opportunities, or even make opportunities in life.
One comparison would be those who sit around waiting for someone to offer them a job and those who go out every day, all day, asking for work, or who find something to do and start their own business.
You could think the distinction is between being lazy and being diligent, but I suspect it is more than that. There is something happening in the heart of some people that prompts them to take hold of life, while others don’t seem to get a grip on things.
Some might say there are ‘achievers’ and ‘non-achievers’. Yet achieving things is also a matter of capacity to be productive, apart from my focus here. Maybe what I am talking about should be called the ‘desire and motivation to take hold of things’.
A prime example is the Apostle Paul, who was grabbed by God, unexpectedly, and given a life mission of preaching to the people of the world. Paul grabbed that calling with real commitment and pressed on with it, despite great opposition, attempts to kill him, and all manner of obstacles. When writing to one of the churches he planted Paul explained his attitude.
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Philippians 3:12
This looks like diligence, pressing on, and it looks like Paul is a real ‘achiever’, getting things done, but more than that Paul wanted to take hold of something. He wanted to have in his hands something that was available to him.
I have often found Christians who are quite casual about their lives. When they realise they need more of God, and that there is more blessing and grace available for them they seem to shrug off that news. They don’t have an internal desire to take hold of what God has for them.
Compare that with Abraham’s grandson Jacob, who was desperately keen to have the family birthright. He took opportunities that came his way. When his older brother, Esau, was hungry and asked Jacob for food, Jacob made Esau trade the birthright for a bowl of stew. Esau, on the other hand, didn’t care for the birthright and readily traded it off.
I have had sore arm muscles at times and found it hard to grip things with my hand until my muscles recovered. It seems some people have weak internal muscles for taking hold of life and the things God offers.
There are people who hear about God’s offer of forgiveness for their sins, but who can’t be bothered to accept the offer. They seem to float in a state of apathy, unable to take seriously the things they need to deal with.
This can happen with the everyday things of life too. People can drift into a careless state of just letting life pass them by. They are dulled by routine, living without any real hope or expectation, and letting life and opportunity slip through their fingers.
Such a state is made worse when people are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if they have been numbed by some severe experience or by depression, but it can come on ordinary people as well.
The Bible reveals that God has much for us, but wants us to be proactive, stepping up to the call and facing up to the challenge. There is an engagement of our will and a rising on the inside of us that moves us forward spiritually.
If you are getting on with life perfectly well, let me point out that God has prepared spiritual graces for you and He wants you to step up and take hold of them, as Paul did. Metaphorically you can climb the mountain of spiritual graces, getting closer to God and becoming richer in spiritual blessing for yourself and others.
If you are struggling with life, or stuck in a pit you can’t seem to get out of, then it is time to start taking hold. You won’t feel like you can, but the first step may be simply to choose that you want to move forward. Praying to God that He break your current state of being stuck in the mud of your life is a great start.
When it comes to spiritual things we can’t manufacture God’s blessings. They come from Him. But we can decide that we want them, and that we will do what we can to receive them from God. We can cry out to God, calling on Him to do for us and through us things that are currently outside our capacity. That’s taking hold.
We can see various blessings and promises in the Bible and call out to God to deliver those things to us, such as peace, healing, rescue, wisdom, forgiveness, victory over the enemy, joy, provision and so on.
From that start you can build faith and eventually get to the place of stepping out in confidence in God’s Word, assured that God will see you through.
But it all starts with changing our heart from being like Esau, who really didn’t care about anything than his present situation, to being like Jacob, who knew where the blessing was and was determined to take hold of it.
I assure you God has more blessings, grace and wonders for you to enjoy than you could imagine. That’s in the Bible.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9
So friends, it’s time to pull yourself together, see what God has for you, call out to Him and start to Take Hold.