What Is Your Life Focus?
Are you pleasing God?
What is your life focus? Our life focus as Christians should be to please God. Webster defines honor as: merited respect: social courtesies or civilities extended by a host. Glory: to rejoice proudly; a ring or spot of light or a state of great exaltation. God is truly worthy of all the honor, glory and praise. We can never please people but we can sincerely attempt to live a life pleasing to GOD.
We must commence transforming our internal thought process. We must erect a spiritual edifice that exudes God is my focus. Saying giving honor to God, is not really giving honor. God wants us to honor Him by living out His principles within our daily lives. We must retreat from the classical conditioning of the world and truly embrace the principle of "let this mind be in you that is also in CHRIST JESUS." Does this mean we become flawless? No, of course not! But we can become "perfect" in Him! "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5. Perfect meaning "complete!" The flesh is weak. Christ Jesus has imputed His righteousness to us. Through His power we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. Self control is a God given virtue. The victory is always through Christ Jesus our Lord!
We must strive to please God rather than man. This is why we all need Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord! The spiritual things of God simply can not be understood from a carnal perspective. Don't expect to be understood when you truly desire to live for the Lord. The Pharisees were great examples. They totally missed the point! Knowing about God is not knowing God. Christ said to truly love Him is to keep His commandments. Not in a rigid legalistic way. He even told Peter three times to "feed HIS sheep!" Jesus was clear that the sheep belonged to HIM. The charge to the clergy is to feed God's sheep. Not to take ownership over their lives. In the end He will separate the sheep from the goats, the WHEAT from the tares; the righteous from the wicked. He said He will write His laws into our hearts. His Holy Spirt will lead us to all Truth! There is Liberty in Christ Jesus; but He said not to ever use that liberty for a cloak of maliciousness. Truly, "the LORD is My SHEPHERD!"
After many decades in Ministry and being in His Church I am grateful and thankful to know the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Know that absolutely nothing gets by the Lord. At some point we will all have to answer to Him. I have witnessed many antics played out in the Name of the Lord. There are some who seek to gain control by any means possible. They will even go so far to ban together and network like Pilate and Herod in an attempt to discredit you. They will use whoever is willing to go along with their strategic plans.The Omniscience of the Lord is not always taken seriously. God is infinite and knows everything about everyone, everywhere and absolutely everything! Many do not really understand that they will have to answer to God for their folly. It is time out for foolishness.
Trust God and Trust God some more! There is Victory in Jesus when you do what is right. Your FAITH and TRUST in the LORD will be FORTIFIED! GOD can and will make a difference in your life at any age. But He never uses manipulation to do so. Nor does He ever compromise His principles.
There is a plethora of examples in the Bible that demonstrates God's dominion over His earth He created as well as its inhabitants. It was all spoken into existence through His son Christ Jesus. Everything consists for Him and by Him. God continues to give mankind the opportunity to choose Him as Lord and Savior. The Lord is patient, gracious kind and omnipotent. One thousand years to us is but a day to HIM.
Take some time and study the Old Testament. Take notice of all the intricacies that went into their preparation for worship and praise. Look how some days they honored God all day long. Look how the Lord led them. How He took care of them in spite of... Notice what they sung, what they wore. How they lived. How they were instructed to respect worship. He gave many candid vivid instructions. Not in a dismal legalistic fashion but in a disciplined respectful manner. God is not the Author of confusion. Take note of what they did and did not do. Look how the Lord delivered them. In this day an age worship is often geared to put most at ease and make everyone comfortable. Or to the extreme; "let it rip" and do however you please.
It is often said; "come as you are." But yet we all should strive to continually improve. Is worshiping God more a priority than being accepted by the people? What we need to focus more on is God and all He has done, will do and is doing.
The Church is not supposed to take its instructions from the ways of the world. Today much of the world has nested itself among the Church. They pattern many of their activities after the world. In some congregations there are some extreme situations taking place. People will step over you. Talk over you. Bump into you, snicker around you and step on your feet and keep going... Often on their way to the altar. Just waiting for you to say something so they can go off on you... I am not talking about the children here. If you say something you are being judgmental. If you don't say something you are being judgmental and arrogant? Notice that there is a void of sacredness.
There is nothing new under the sun. The Corinthian Church was a very carnal congregation. There was much division that plagued the Church and created chaos among them. The Apostle Paul teaches on immorality, marriage, singleness. family life, spiritual gifts, food offered to idols, cultural differences in worship, the Lord's Supper and more. These are some of the same issues that persist today. He passionately instructs, chastises, encourages and confronts many issues. Today when you bring up these issues it is considered negative.
Now the trend in many sermons have become more about personal testimonies rather than the Word itself. Or there is an unspoken coded message. We all know who I am talking about; but I won't mention their name. After all it is our church... People are drawn not because of Christ Jesus but because they identify with one another's issues. They are free to talk and say whatever because it is an inside joke. Think and ponder a moment or two... God's Holy Spirit brings about a heightened awareness.
What a difference it would make if the people were made more aware of the Word. What if they learned more about all the other no named people in the Word? The Word is what feeds our souls and quickens our spirit. This is what strengthens character rather than an increased dependency. Well if we do this, they might stay home or go to another activity. The fear of people not showing up for worship or not giving is often the reason it is geared to appease the majority rather than allow the Word to speak for itself. Lord Help Us!
It is good to know and be aware that there are some interesting dynamics within some congregations. Notice the extent of disrespect for the House of the Lord in some places. It is more their house than God's house. For some it is more of a fellowship hall, a place to network or a place to find a mate. Too many cliques. Many will say and do some of everything. Be careful whatever you say or how you respond because anything but Truth will be received. It is a matter of perspective. For instance; they are glaring at you but somehow they see it as you looking down on them? Go figure? If you look at them then who are you looking at? This is always because there are preset misconceptions. By the time the conversation gets back to you, it will be completely different from what was said or actually took place. so its often better not to say a word.
Beware, for this is a good indication that a lot of garbage is on the line. Once you join and are initiated into their belief system you become and insider. Proceed with caution. No wonder the children are experiencing so much turmoil. Too often the adults are conforming to the standards of the world rather than being transformed by the Word of God. It is not always wise to confront uncanny behavior. After all none of us are perfect? We don't really seek to be complete in the Lord? Right! It is always important to take your commitment to the Lord seriously. What is interesting about the Lord is He has no grandchildren so the age really does not matter. Don't allow others to place you in a box that they want you to operate in...
God is omnipresent. God can impact any life at any time. We must simply sincerely invite HIS presence all around us.
Worship is a good time to stay focused upon the Lord and "Pray without ceasing!" We are living in some interesting times. This above is not indicative of all places of worship or all people. But know it is happening. We have worshiped all over the world. There have been many more favorable worship experiences than I could possibly share than contentious. Let your comfort come from knowing that God is omnipresent. Don't follow the crowd. There is nothing I enjoy more than a dedicated Spirit filled worship service. Due to unbelief there were some places that Jesus went where He was not welcomed. Today you often hear people say; "Go where you are celebrated!" This is not what God says; Wherever the Lord has you for a long or short season always be aware of what is happening around you. In these "latter days" you can expect some of everything to happen at any moment. Don't fret or fear. Know that God really is with you wherever you are! Therefore wherever and whenever you worship, be led by the Spirit of the Lord and; "Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
Daily seek the Lord's direction. Time is winding up and the spiritual warfare has heightened. This is why so much is going on in and around God's Church. Don't fret or get distressed. Sometimes you just have to show a contrast. Pray and keep your focus upon the Lord! Always remember to;"Be still and know that I AM GOD!" The Lord wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives. It is always good to put yourself in check. It is so important to know God and His Word for yourself. No need to be alarmed; let Him strengthen you in the midst of any adversity. Pray for Discernment! God wants us to daily grow in His Grace. He wants us all to have abundant lives in everyway.
In fact as God's Church we are supposed to uphold and live out His principles daily.
There is much going on in this world about us. The scriptures are being fulfilled. God will not leave you ignorant nor abandon you. You must learn to TRUST GOD! His Word is alive! God will not put more on us than we can bear; but man will try to. Neither does He ever tempt us. When you are tempted know it is not of God. "Yield not to temptation." Learn to respond rather than react. Christ Jesus has said; "that His yoke is easy and His burdens are light." We must learn to give Him any and all burdens. God is a Spirit of Truth and we must embrace the truth however painful in order to really grasp Freedom.
The trials we face in life should be viewed as character building lessons. On the other side of any pain is hope to gain. When our hope is in the Lord we can begin to release the reigns of worry that only serve to hinder us We can rejoice! We don’t have to manipulate anything or anybody. Nor should we allow anyone to manipulate us. This is why it is important to take praise and worship seriously. All we really have to do is TRUST GOD and be patient! When you have no doubts that your life is entrusted to Him, He will always make a path for;"His Will and Way" in your life. We just have to allow His Holy Spirit to guide us "in the path of righteousness" and follow His lead. God is always speaking! We just have to get better at listening! God really does have it all under control. If we “TRUST in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to our own understanding in All our ways acknowledge HIM, and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3
Sometimes we must really just learn to let go and allow God to intervene. Some situations are complex because so much has been said that is not true. Some have lived in so much confusion they seek to disrupt your peace because tension is all that they know. Don't let others pull you into their chaos. Lull them into your calm. Be patient for in time the Lord will move on your behalf. Keep your focus upon the Lord. Just make sure you are being led by His Holy Spirit. Continue in prayer, stop playing tug-a war (giving Him the problem and taking it back). Just lay low momentarily and step aside is necessary. We must sometime learn to pull back and retreat when the spiritual warfare becomes complicated. Don't fear; instead trust God! He is able to keep you from falling.
We must ask, pray and seek whatever His will is for us in all situations. There are times when we go to great lengths to help others when no on else will. They come to you because they have nowhere else to turn. They are burdened down... Once they are back on their feet they will often forget. All is not lost because God knows what you have done. They in turn choose to have selective memories. There are times when we must simply say "NO!" when you know that your helping is not really helping. Know that the Lord knows how much you care. Care enough to break cycles of dysfunction. Always seek the Lord's direction for "His Will & His Way!"
Do not allow yourself to be manipulated for the sake of being accepted. Make it your agenda to live to please God above all else. Embrace God's Word fervently! This way you will still have the abiding Fruit of HIS Spirit. God never leaves us alone. This way HE gets the credit for whatever Good is accomplished within our lives. Remember during spiritual warfare He tells us; “when you have done all you can do STAND!” God really will take care of you! It is important to remember that God really does know what we think, why we do what we do or do not do. He truly is Omniscient!!! When you know your heart is aligned with Him it will bring much Peace. GOD'S JOY will sustain you and give you strength in any & every situation. God deserves the glory in our lives. It is when things seem hopeless His miraculous power always shines through. He really is able to Keep You on the Narrow Path.
We must learn to become objective and ask ourselves is God pleased? Don't support what goes against what GOD has said don't do! “Don’t be conformed to this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If you know your motives are right it really doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. Continue to seek God's will for resolve. When they don’t understand; He Does. Remember His Peace surpasses the understanding of man. This tells you some will not understand. The more you try to explain the less they will understand. So hold your peace. Stay focused!
The spiritual adjustment has to be internal. As you allow the Lord to work internally it will manifest outwardly. In the midst of spiritual warfare there is quite often much distortion of Truth. Sometimes its better to just be silent. Don't respond impulsively. To experience inner peace we must learn to “hide His WORD in our hearts that we might not sin against HIM”
You must begin to reprogram your mind to respond spiritually rather than carnally. Just remember when we speak softly or not at all people will see it as a weakness. When we speak boldly people will see it as pompous or even arrogant. If you do not cower or bend when they throw everything at you including the kitchen sink they will think that you are "nuts!" When they attempt to provoke You? Always "STAND" for what is right! Begin to break cycles of dysfunction. When you disengage from a seemingly endless merry-go round of fight-fuss-makeup-breakup they will feel abandoned. Quite often how they feel will be projected upon you. When you don’t give them what they want you will appear selfish. When you allow them to feel the consequences of their behavior you will appear unloving. Keep focused!
Still waters run deep. Know that God really knows why you do what you do. It is He who we must live to please. I always say : “Some things will just not be understood on this side of Heaven!” Don’t procrastinate begin now. Press forward and let it become your daily goal to please the Lord. You will be a lot happier. You can rest assured that those who seek the truth, delight themselves in Him will receive the desires of their hearts. Heaven will be our eternal place of rest! Hallelujah anyhow!
I must say again in general we can’t please people. But we certainly can make a sincere effort to please Him. God is our Creator and He has created us to worship, praise and honor Him. He is the Giver and Sustainer of lie. He did not make us all the same nor does He want us to be mechanical robots. We must learn to nourish ourselves with HIS WORD. Apply its principles to our lives and allow the fruits of His divine and Holy Spirit to permeate our being. He will give you discernment and He will allow us to soar. We are to let our lights shine. Jesus died for us to live better lives! Jesus was persecuted, mistreated, misunderstood and disliked. He was called everything but a Child of GOD! Yet He never sinned or did ANYTHING WRONG. Yet, “All have sinned and fallen short of His glory."
I truly believe God has a plan for the life of each one of His children. But in order to discover that purpose we must develop an ongoing intimate personal relationship with Him. Through the power of His Holy Spirit we can become spiritually whole. We must step out on faith. Please whatever you do don't compromise HIS principles to be accepted by the majority! What is your life focus? Are you living to please God? There is victory through Christ Jesus! Keep God as your focus. Live everyday; TO GOD BE THE GLORY!