“There is nothing more frustrating than to keep someone’s attention. I went through that game as an immature teenager desperately seeking the Captain of the football team from our neighboring high school.” She went on to say that, “God’s love doesn’t vacillate according to how many victories you have over sin or how many times you used his name in your prayers. His love for you goes deeper than mere affection or surface infatuation. Let the matchless love of God sweep away your doubt and fears. You already have God’s attention and you will never lose it.”Joni Erickson Tada
Have you ever noticed that this year 2020, we are forced to focus on something greater than ourselves? I don’t know about you but this year after the Covid-19 was announced. During the lockdown, we were actually forced to put our attention greater than ourselves. Whatever people call it, the High power. But I call it the God of the universe who created heaven and earth. Who was and is and is to come.
Keeping Our Priorities
We are forced to put our priorities straight and which things matter in our lives. And it made me realized how life is truly fragile, and how life is vulnerable and too short. It forces me to keep my focus and my attention on the One who is greater.
Colossians 2, "Set your mind on the things that are above, and not things on the earth."
Not to say that we shouldn’t take good care of the resources and the people that we love that God had entrusted us. But at the same time, we shouldn’t lose focus on what really matters most which are our eternal destination. I don’t know what you are going through. But sometimes in our lives, we get caught up by the world’s agenda and on our own agenda by being busy and we get so caught in ten different goals in a year that we want to achieve. But as I’ve contemplated, in my own life, that this year, I’ve realized that without God in my journey and without God in my dreams everything means nothing.
We came into this world empty-handed. What good is a man to gain the whole world but he loses his soul? What this means is, you can have all the accolades and accumulate wealth, but none of that really matters when you die. Because not a penny will you ever take with you when you die. When you stand in front of God being judged, you will stand in front of him naked. You will be assessed on what kind of things you have done on the earth either good or bad things. In every decision and the choices we’ve made, there are consequences to our behavior.
We will reap what we sow. As I’ve always said here on this podcast. It isn’t only about faith but as well as living life with integrity. I know that none of us are perfect but we must take the time to evaluate ourselves whether or not our conscience is clear. I’ve borrowed this phrase which I don’t remember who said, “It is rather to have a clear conscience than being happy.”
“It is rather to have a clear conscience than being happy.”Uknown
I know that happiness is what the world wants you to have. I know that happiness is a transient, temporary emotion that we all feel. Yes, we are happy when we buy new clothes, new shoes, and new bags. But that state of mind and this state of emotion will flee away. It is temporary. However, if we have a clear conscience, and if we know that we are doing in our hearts what is true with integrity, we are better off and we are a better person because of it. We can sleep better at night without tossing and turning. Because we are living with integrity and with the most honesty we could ever be in this life.
Where Does Your Peace Come From?
If our attention is not on God alone and we keep our attention on the world, most likely we are not going to have the peace of mind and heart we desire. Because as you look around us, disaster, chaos, famines, and riots, there are so many things that are happening in this world right now, and if you don’t fix your eyes on the author and the finisher of your faith. You will get so bogged down and disheartened because of bad news and tragedies that surround us. I guarantee you, you will get depressed and sad and you will get afraid. But if you keep your eyes focus on the One who is the beginning and the end. And who knows the beginning and the end, for He is the alpha and omega. He is the author of your faith.
Jesus said, “that in this life, you will face tribulation, and we will suffer for it is just part of life.”JC
And I will remind you today that we have to keep our focus on the sovereign God who knows exactly the beginning and the end. I know that we don’t have a future guarantee. We don’t know what the future holds, and this country that we are living in. I don’t know where this goes. But we can all trust and believe that God is in control. He will always have the best interests in mind that no matter what the devil meant to harm His children, God will always turn it around for good.
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains from when shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord." - Psalm 121:1-2
Our help is not dependent upon ourselves or from other people, but on God alone. Because blessed is the man who trusts in God, but a curse is a man who trusts in the flesh. There’s nothing a flesh can do without God. And truly just a reminder that each one of us has a part to do. If you are suffering right now. If you lost someone or you have lost your job. I have no idea what you are going through, but I know that there is the One who truly cares about you. There’s the One who truly understands your pain and your heartache. I may not understand what you are going through right now. I may not know what you are going through right now, but God knows. He understands and he is near to the broken-hearted. He knows your pain and suffering.
Jesus wept on this earth when he lost a loved one when Lazarus died. And it’s just natural for people to feel sad like Jesus did. It’s okay that when there are times when you just want to cry out to God. He is there waiting for you. He is ready to listen and he has open arms and ready to meet you. He isn’t a God that is so far and hard to find. But God is near to the broken-hearted. He knows our pain, he knows our deepest thoughts. He is a God of love, and He loves you very much.
Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?
God wants to remind us that He is the sovereign and He wants us to ask Him for help and not be independent from him. He wants us to depend on Him with all our hearts and with all our souls. And if we find Him and search him with all our hearts and souls, we will find him.
We are living in this fallen world. This isn’t the kingdom of Jesus. This is the satanic, demonic that Lucifer is still ruling. If you remembered what Jesus said, “I do not belong in this kingdom, this kingdom doesn’t belong to me. Because if this kingdom belongs to Jesus, He wouldn’t have been crucified.” He would have been welcomed on this planet earth. The fact of the matter is, Satan, as you look around us. The things that are happening around us, perversion, demonic activities, death and suffering, killings and murders are the devil’s job.
Jesus will come back and will take what’s rightful his. Because He will reign forever. Therefore, we shouldn’t be afraid. This is why our focus shouldn’t only be on these temporal things, but we keep our eyes on the prize which is to have eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way we can get through any hardships in life. As I’ve said before, in my own life, if it wasn’t for God, I probably wouldn’t be here.
I am not going to being ashamed of emphasizing that because only through Him He gives us strength. For God has not given us the power of fear and timidity, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. So, keep your attention to the Almighty God who is an all-knowing, ever-present God, a loving Father who understands you and who cares about you. Even if people may not understand or disapprove of you. Even if people may walk away from you there is the One who will stick with you forever. His name is Jesus. He is closer than a brother, he is closer than a father. He is the father to the fatherless. He is the comforter to the widows.
I am not referring to the small god. But He is God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We believe in One God in three persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us no matter what happens in this life. Even if we leave our body but we are present in the Lord.
God is a gentleman, and He doesn’t force you to believe in Him. God is gracious. He invites and he woos people. He captivates people through His love, through His tender loving-kindness, and through His mercies. He gives people many chances. I have proven Him time and time again because, in my own life, I have always been stubborn. I ran away from him many times, I wanted to do my own way, I didn’t want to follow his ways because I wanted to do it my way. I was a rebellious child just like the prodigal son in the bible. We wanted to do our own thing, but when we come to our senses, and we’ve realized apart from Jesus. He said we are known by the fruit. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We will not bear good fruits. If you think you can do it on your own, you are wrong. You can have it your way,
He isn’t going to force you. This is a beautiful thing about Christianity, it is a relationship and not a religion. It is not a ritual. It is like your relationship with your children that the will be times they will disobey you. But you love them anyway.