Friday, August 26, 2011
"WHERE'S YOUR FOCUS?"
Good Evening to All!
F O C U S
God is not about dangling a carrot in front of your face that you can never reach. However, sometimes the dreams that we have are really not God-given or in God's Will, so they may not come into being at that time, or even at all. People are so misguided when they read certain scriptures. Maybe not intentionally, for I know, as I am guilty at times of "seeing what I want to see, or skipping over parts that I don't want to acknowledge. At least I used to be guilty of that last part. Now, not so much. I finally went back and read the WHOLE SCRIPTURES, such as "instead of anything we ask in Jesus' name will be give unto us, I now read the whole scripture of "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. The Key being the first eleven words, 'if ye abide in me and my words abide in you.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." We need to pray for discernment to know whether our dreams are from Him and are His will, or our flesh's and are not of His desires for us. Even if our dreams include doing God's Work, if we don't ask the Lord first, or wait for His own timing, then these dreams will not accomplish anything. I have heard a saying for a long time. "If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him YOUR plans!" He has plans already set in motion for us, and when we take it upon ourselves to do things under our own power in our own time, it will mess us up every time.
Jesus let us know in John 16:33 that we would have trials: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Our natural tendency when we go through hard times is to lose focus. Our mind runs away with us, and we start blaming everything and everybody for our problems. We start concentrating on What if . . . , or the If only I would have done this, or if only this would have happened, rather than focusing on positive aspects such as it could be a lot worse than what it is. There is always someone in worse shape than me.
When this type of thinking takes over, we lose our joy. The Bible tells us that for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. I like what Ms. Melton said in her book. "Loving God with All Five Senses". she said that when she was a child she learned an acrostic for "joy" in children's church:
I have also learned to do this, but it was never associated with the "word" joy. I just learned God first, family and others second and everything else last. Granted, it's definitely not as easy to remember that way, and I never put it together with joy except for the fact that the more you make God happy, the happier you will be.
Our focus should always be in this order:
Jesus has always been and always will be. Now to understand this we must remember
that Jesus was God incarnate, meaning that God's "name" is Jesus. Jesus was a mortal man who had God's Spirit within Him. When the fleshly body died, God's Spirit went back to heaven, then returned to us as the Holy Ghost. One of the Scriptures to back that up is: "In the beginning was the Word, (Jesus) and the Word was with God, (the plan of Jesus) and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (Jesus is the light of the world - John 8:12). And the light shines in the darkness, and darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
God is Faithful!
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
We must remember, that with every trial comes the temptation to lose your focus. We may be tempted to do many things: give up, turn to alcohol or tobacco, show our tempers and on and on. The main thing about these temptations is that Satan wants us to lose our focus on God. He wants us to fall into his trap and sin so that we will start heading down the wrong path by forgetting what a merciful and forgiving God we have if we will just ask.
The Next Focus is on Others
We need to remember that we are not the only ones affected by our trials. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our trials that we forget and lose focus that other people beside ourselves are affected by our trial. Our children pick up on when we are worried, stressed, or hurting. This fact should be enough to bring us out of our "woe is me"attitude.
Also, Forgiveness is Vitally important
I a lot of cases, the trial will also involve another person whom we need to forgive, or ask forgiveness from. Many trials are caused because people hurt each other--intentionally or unintentionally.
The Bible tells us to be "Christlike". Lets look at how He handled His trials. He was despised and rejected of men, like a lamb led to the slaughter, but He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:3,7). Peter also reminds us in 1 Peter 2:21-23, "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously."
Even after Jesus had been crucified, He prayed in Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" We need to remember two things that make forgiveness easier and show us that forgiving is not an option, but a command.
1. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)
If we remember this, we will understand that it is not the person who we should be upset with, but the spirit which has attacked them. They are not the enemy.
2. Since God has forgiven us for so much, we are required by God to forgive others.
Matthew 6:15 states: "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Focus on You
Remember, it's NOT about you! It's ALL about HIM! The minute we start to think about ourselves and about the negative things in our lives, our bad marriages, losses of jobs, financial problems and other circumstances, we forget who has been there for us in the past, who has rescued us from the fire time and time again. Also, the more we dwell on our problems, the bigger they become until they overshadow God in our eyes. We need to remember that He is bigger than ANY problem which we may encounter.
We do not have to understand everything to be able to trust God. As a matter of fact, we are not suppose to. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If you embrace the suffering you are going through, you will develop ;intimacy with God and get to know Him better. I say this because it will help you increase your faith in Him if you will remember the passage above.
When it comes right down to it, we can say we believe in Christ, we can confess our sins and be baptized every day in Jesus' Name, we can say we're sorry for sinning. BUT if we don't LIVE FOR GOD, Trust in Him, Show our Faith in Him, then all that other means nothing. It ALL GOES HAND IN HAND.
According to Acts 2:38, Peter says to be saved we are to Repent, Be Baptized in Jesus' Name for the remission of our sins, and we Shall receive the Holy Ghost. That is the beginning. Doing all these other things are the "rest of the journey" .
The more you live for God, the closer you become, and the easier it becomes.
If we all plan to be in Heaven for eternity, we need to start taking this seriously. We need to realize it is just as important to study God's Word and live the way He expects us to as it is to study for your college degree so that you can make a good life for your family. I say this not just for your soul, but for your spouse's and children's souls also. The children learn by example. If they see their mom and/or dad drinking and partying that's what they'll learn. If they see their mom and /or dad reading their Bible and going to church that's what they will learn.
Keep your FOCUS on what matters, and set a GOOD example for your spouse and children.
Take God SERIOUSLY and develop an intimate relationship with Him. Don't just be an acquaintance.
The colors are not being used as links. They are for emphasis.