13 Jun Focus on God
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” – Colossians 3 (NIV)
I tend to get very distracted. As a creative, I am always seeking the next project once I get bored with the one I am currently on. I know that I can get very obsessed with hobbies, projects, and even ministry. I run run run until I eventually get tired, bored or simply burnt out. I found that when I would go through this cycle, there was no peace or joy in my home. I would seek joy and comfort from things. I would look for affirmation to make me feel better about myself. My focus was on everything else, except God. Well. He was there, in my life… Somewhere. My focus just wasn’t on Him. He was in the peripherals of my life.
The Apostle Paul presents to us a few key instructions on living in holiness. If you read on in Colossians chapter 3, you will find that Paul breaks it all down in 17 simple verses. So if it’s so “simple”, why is it all so difficult?
Spirituality is such a key part of holy living. It’s a part of our lives that we tend to ignore. Again, we see Paul telling us, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 NIV) It’s hard to ignore that there is spiritual warfare always going on. Whether in our lives, homes and even church, there is always a battle going on. That’s why everywhere we go we need to have the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Instead, many of us want to go into this world with our knowledge and take it all on with our strength. In the end, we just get beat up.
For a second, picture God’s armor: the silver appears white from the gleam of light that emits from it. It is laced with jewels and brass. It’s very strong and impenetrable, with proper maintenance. The shield and sword are made from the finest and strongest metals.
I rocked none of that. As a matter of fact I walked in with my own armor. My armor had everything the Bible says to have on. I was ready to fight! The only problem is that it looked a lot like this picture: an armor made of cardboard. I didn’t have the resources to create such a majestic defense. I could only build with what I could find. It’s equivalent to building a fort from what you can get in the basement vs getting a loan and getting the equipment needed to build a proper citadel. In a war, the fort would not stand a chance.
By reading Colossians chapter 3, I found that a lot of the things he listed all had to do with our earthly nature. Everything pointed to the matters of the heart and mind. Whenever I would focus on earthly things, I found that there was chaos in my life. Things around me fell apart. Peace in my home could not be found. And here is the moment where I would say, “The devil is a liar!” I would fabricate my stories to a point where I gave more credit to the devil rather than acknowledge the doings of my own sinful nature. It’s not very common that I will have an authoritative voice in blog entries, but as I write this, I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to tell you to stop blaming the enemy for your own doings. If there is chaos in your life, it is not a matter of Satan robbing your joy or controlling your life. Instead, it just might be you’re not prioritizing things in your life. Blaming the devil is the easy way out because we don’t have to focus on ourselves. It’s not easy, because all that junk that we sweep under the bed overtime has turned into a monster and that monster looks a lot like us.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
The solution is so simple, but I understand that it’s also difficult. God isn’t looking for perfection. It’s reserved only for Him. He just wants you to do your absolute best to keep the focus on Him. I am learning now that all those things I like are not bad things, but focusing on them is a form of idolatry. My priority list is super simple now. God, wife, children, everything else. I learned that when I keep my focus on God, all of His blessings will cascade into everything else I put time into. This is not to say that troubles still don’t come my way, but I sure do have a better handle on those situations.
Focus on God.