Summary: Life is built upon a series of defining moments, including moment of crisis, failure, sadness, success and joy. Although, it is easy to let emotions dictate our response during a defining moment, how we respond will shape our faith, our personality and determine the direction of our life.
Defining moment is a moment that defines something, such as success, failure, achievement, demise, talent, etc. It is a point at which the glory or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified. Defining moment can be a moment of crisis or a moment of breakthrough that turns a person’s life around. I once read a quote by the former USA presidents, Barrack Obama, which he made during his Presidential victory speech, in November 4, 2008. The quote states:
“It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America”.
In the above quote, President Obama described a defining moment as a time of change. What does defining moment mean to you? Every single life is built upon a series of defining moments. Some of these could be moment of crisis, such as death of a loved one, illness, accident, job losses, divorce, domestic violence, abuse, bad relationship, sin, debt or barrenness. It could also be a moment of joy and celebration like wedding, graduation, promotion, new jobs, new birth, birthday, salvation, sanctification, baptism of the holy spirit or water baptism. It could be a moment of forgiveness, a moment that you allow all the pain, bitterness, hurt and anger to die. These moments are defining because they do not only change the direction of our life, but literally changed our personality.
SOME DEFINING MOMENTS IN THE BIBLE
Our Lord Jesus experienced a defining moment when he performed the miracle of turning water into wine. This was the moment that Jesus was recognised for who He was, the moment that defined Him as a miracle worker, the moment that people began to put their faith in Him .It was the moment that defined His mission on earth, the moment that His glory was revealed (John 2:1-11).
One of the greatest defining moments in the bible is the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, without which there will be no salvation, there will be no forgiveness or remission of sin and we will all perish (John 3:16–18; Hebrews 9:22; Isaiah 53:5; Romans 6:23). Another defining moment in the ministry of our Lord Jesus happened when the disciples were crossing the sea with Him and they encountered a great storm. This was a defining moment for Jesus Christ as He calmed the raging sea and His disciples were able to recognise and acknowledge the awesome power of His mighty act (Mark 4:37-41).This event was also a defining moment for the disciples as Jesus was able to identify their lack of faith.
Job is another person that experienced a defining moment in the bible. Job passed through a moment of crisis that stripped him off his wealth and family and he was tempted to curse God. This was a moment that shaped Job and turned his life around from wealth to poverty (Job 2:7-10).
Another example of defining moment in the bible is the story of a woman who experienced the flow of blood for 12 years. This must have been a demeaning and stressful situation for the woman as she spent lots of money looking for cure and she never found any. The woman experienced a defining moment, a moment that took virtues out of our Lord Jesus Christ, a moment she was made whole (Mark 5:25-34).
In Daniel 3:16-28, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego refused to worship the golden image of king Nebuchadnezzar and they were thrown into the fury furnace, but the fire did not burn them. This was a defining moment that caused the king to recognise the wonder working power of God upon the life of these three men. Similarly, in Daniel 6:12-28, Daniel refused to follow king Darius’s decree that, no one should pray to any other god except him. Daniel continued to pray to his God and the king decided to throw him into the lion’s den. Daniel believed that God would save him, and miraculously, the hungry lion did not hurt him. This amused the king and he made a rule for everyone in the land to serve the God of Daniel. Daniel made history in his land and caused the rule of the land to change. He also prospered and had a new beginning.
HOW DO YOU REACT DURING A DEFINING MOMENT?
As a human, it is easy to let emotions dictate our response during a defining moment and how we respond during such moment will determine the beginning of a journey that will shape our faith , our personality, our walk with God and literarily change the direction of our life. Beloved what situation are you in at the moment? Are you under pressure and have been advised by families and friends to curse God and die like job’s wife said to him? or are you tempted to renounce your identity as a Christian and serve another god like Daniel, or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? are you taking your anger on people around you like your wife, husbands, kids, colleagues, mum, dad , friends and family? or are you planning to harm yourself because you are faced with challenges of life that is beyond your control and you are about to give up? Few week ago, I heard the story of a 28 years old woman that committed suicide because she was abused by her partner. This woman reacted negatively to her defining moment and took her own life.