Friday, May 13, 2011

Keeping Focus

This was written last night, May 12, 2011:

A photo I took last night, because I've been wanting to include more photos so I figured I'd just take one. :)

It’s been a while, but in the past most of my posts were inspired by the verse of the day thing on the side of my blog. Well it’s happened again.

"Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Matthew 16:23

Like a lot of Christians, I read the Bible and sometimes while I am reading it, I don’t see something new in it but reflect more on memories of the verse than seeing it fresh. I think, in the past, this verse was one of those for me. Because though I am familiar with it and with the context, which if you don’t know it is this: Jesus told the disciples he must die and rise again and Peter ‘rebukes’ Jesus, saying “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” and this is Jesus’s reaction to Peter and his words.

Tonight what hit me was not Jesus’ strong reaction, but that Jesus says “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” That is what makes Jesus call Peter ‘Satan’! (Or perhaps he’s responding to Satan himself, who may have whispered the words to Peter and Peter just parroted them to Jesus. That stuff happens.) Regardless, apparently the thought process of Satan is to having in mind ‘the things of men’.

That really convicted me. I’d written out a blog post which I am just going to delete now. See, blogger is having errors and so I’d written out a post in Word and was going to copy and paste it when blogger starts working again (and indeed, that’s what I’m doing with this post too) but in the meantime, I read that verse.

The never-to-be-posted entry is not particularly bad. But it is totally focused on the ‘things of men’, in this case paperwork and bureaucracy and my struggles therein. Such things fill me with anxiety and irritation even typing the words. Yet I know God is God, and I should not worry, that He’s got it covered. And so while I really didn’t forget that, I think my thought process was “Well, I know God will work it out in the end. But in the meantime I’ll just focus on what I’m struggling with in the process now and share it with the blog readers.”

You notice the word that I think would make my Jesus yell at me like he did at Peter?


Hebrews 12:1-2 says:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do you see the contrast there? Let us ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’, and let us ‘throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. Like ‘the things of men’.

As Colossions 3:1-3 says:

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.

I pray for you guys, my blog readers, whether you read regularly, this is your first time, or something in between. I hope some of you might pray for me, that my focus might remain on my Lord and the things of God.

Another photo of me from last night.

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