Andrew Juby - Williams and Perth Special Meetings - May, 2006

Hymn 292

Luke 16:16, “The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it.” Jesus was speaking about the kingdom being preached and that every man, every soul was pressing into it. It’s a marvellous thing when we see souls coming and listening to the gospel and there’s every indication that they are pressing into it.

Thinking back of the time I made a start. We think of our start. It wasn’t something we felt that we were doing much, but somehow or another we found ourselves making a stand for what’s right and beginning to press into the kingdom. It’s nice to read of different ones where people pressed in to touch a hem of Jesus’ garment. That woman who was diseased: she pressed in and touched the hem of his garment. She was doing what she could, using the strength that she had to press in.

We read of others who pressed in. There would have been a throng about Jesus: but one thing we are conscious of if we do what we can to press in, to bring ourselves to the place where Jesus is, God will help us and open up a way for us to be able to touch the hem of His garment. That woman might not have had much strength but she did what she could to press in and we are sure that God would have helped her to reach that place. As we do what we can God will grant us his strength to be able to reach that place.

That verse in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” It’s a natural illustration. It’s not the strong winning every natural battle. Even a strong person can stumble and slip. Perhaps it’s the way of it but it’s not always the strongest person who wins or the fastest person that wins.

I remember hearing of an ice skating race where someone fell and it had a cascading affect and the one who won wasn’t in the front to win that race. Thinking of this race we are in, the battle is not to the strong, in their own strength and own ability; but to people who are strong in love and in faith. That’s why God is wanting to help us to press in and have a deeper love and deeper faith.

We speak of faith that comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This is that which comes from God like precious faith. It appealed when thinking of what Jesus said of having faith to move mountains, it comes by prayer and fasting. It comes as we press on in the place of prayer and fasting. Making the sacrifice to put aside good things so we can press in to get nearer to God. The battle is not always to the strong but our battle is won by those who keep pressing on.

Where it speaks of Gideon: those 300 men were faint yet pursuing. They had already fought a battle and they had slain the princes of the Midianites; but there were further victories to be won that day – faint yet pursuing but pressing on. They went to slay the king of the Midianites and there was greater victory. Isn’t that what we need to be doing? Pressing on ever more pressing on.

I enjoyed some other parts: in Philemon 3:13, it speaks of Paul, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” That’s what Paul was doing: putting the things of the past behind whatever they were; disappointments, defeats or victories. This was the one thing he was doing, pressing on forward to gain the prize of his high calling. That’s what we long to be doing.

“So struggling soul press onward and keep the goal in view.” At the end of Isaiah 53 there’s a picture of Jesus (verse 12) dividing the spoil with the strong. That’s the goal in view.  Jesus will be dividing the spoil: the victory that He had on Calvary’s cross – strength in faith, strength in life. May God help us all in our place just to keep struggling on.