Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Focus

I have recently been struggling with making Christ my main purpose in life, but I was reminded again this week--both by Pastor Viars talking about "The Prayer of Dependence" on Sunday and by Pastor Aucoin talking about Samson's lack of purpose in life in high school chapel on Monday--how I need to be actively striving to make my main goal in life to glorify God. (One sidelight about Samson; I re-read the story in Judges last night, and the point that Brent made is accurate: according to Scripture, even though the angel told Samson's mother that his purpose was to bring judgment on the Philistines, no one ever told Samson what his purpose was--his mother never even told his father! It seems as if he knew he was a Nazarite but knew no purpose as to why.)

How is this "fleshed out" in my life, though? What can I do differently to be focusing on glorifying God? The most obvious answer, and the thing I have failed in lately, is taking time for private time alone with God. So yesterday I finally made it a priority to open up God's Word and devote time to listen to God "speak." I also pulled out my copy of "Loving God with All Your Mind" by Elizabeth George that I had started to read at the beginning of the year but had also fallen away from. Wouldn't you know it? The chapter my bookmark was in was on "Keeping On Keeping On" and persevering "toward the goal of the high calling of God." (Phil. 3:14) It was just what I needed to hear. I have been so overbooked with practices, lessons, and teaching times that I have not allowed myself to be empowered with the Holy Spirit's strength. I have been struggling to get it all done and have been so tired.

It is true that God gives "strength to the weary, and to them that have no might he increases strength." (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Even in the busy times of life, when I have to schedule things on top of each other and hope that someone doesn't show up or something works out, I cannot do it in my own strength. I need to acknowledge that I am utterly dependent on God, which I realize more the more time I spend with God.

But when I try to work things out on my own, I tend to forget about God and lack purpose in life. Yes, I can "maintain" for a little while on my own, but I will not see true joy or spiritual growth (in fact, I will tend to slide backward) the longer I think I can go without God.

So this has been my reminder to myself that, no matter the busy-ness of life, I need to schedule into each day the reminder that God is my true source of strength.

Oh, and incidentally, God gave me plenty of time to get things done today because after I arrived at school this morning I remembered I had 2 piano students out because they were gone on a field trip, and then I heard that I had a family of 3 students all home with the flu. So I finally have time to blog! :)


jonhaynie said...

Nice entry. It's refreshing to hear people talk about their spiritual life every once in a while and not just stuff they do.

seminarybeachbum said...

Thanks for the good reminder, Sis. How easy it is to let our focus slip and function in self-sufficiency mode.

I recently received a helpful tip to aid in my Word intake: mark the Bible as you read. I've never really been one to underline, circle, and write in my Bible, but I've found that it aids in meditating on the Word. (In fact, Pastor Dan says that meditation is reading with a pen in hand.) You'll find yourself dwelling more on the Word, which then enables the Spirit to help you DO the Word.

Another way to flesh out glory to God--love the body of Christ. That's been pretty huge for me lately. If I don't love my Christian brother or sister, how can I love God? (I John 4:19-21) So I have to ask myself if I really love the body of Christ. A good test is What is my reaction to another believer who stumbles? Is my response to shake my head and say "I'm not surprised"? Do I inwardly say, "Aha, I knew it!"? Or am I broken and grieved at my brother's fall?

Anyway, didn't mean to supplement your blog. Still trying to flesh things out over here, too. But making Christ central is a worthy fight! Keep pressing on!

Sarah said...

So true. I know I struggle with my personal walk with God. It's so easy to try to live life by yourself and do things your way without leaning on God and focusing on HIS plan!