(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
Life can get cluttered. Amidst dreams, responsibilities, relationships, lifestyles and opportunities, how do we distinguish what is God, and what is distraction?
My husband and I were recently reflecting on the last decade on our lives; all the changes, experiences and things we had learnt. There were so many testimonies of how much grace God had given to us, so many reasons to praise Him for how He saw us through every season and prepared us for the next ones, so much joy to celebrate in how He turned difficulties into victories.
As we talked about these things, we came back to the point of focus – Jesus, at the centre of our lives, the centre of our world.
. . .
Where is our focus?
The story of Mary and Martha reminds us that one thing is necessary; to sit at the feet of Jesus.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke chapter 10, verses 41-42)
This is something we need to be constantly aware of. It is so easy to get caught up in ministry, fellowship, even in vision, but these are not the most important things. Wisdom and success in these things come from an underpinning purpose; they are outworkings of a life lived in the love of Christ.
Ministry, fellowship, vision and all their associated tasks were not meant to be our primary focus. We were created to know and chase after one thing, to experience Jesus.
. . .
God in the everyday
I believe we can see God in all the aspects of life, whether big or small. Speaking with some friends over dessert one night, we shared stories of how nothing is too small to ask God for, how nothing is too small to thank Him for.
There is nothing in our lives that God does not see, and I never want to lose the wonder of seeing God in the everyday. I realise that wonder is cultivated by worship because as we worship God in the everyday, our eyes are opened to see Him more.
“Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done…”
(Psalm chapter 40, verse 5)
. . .
God, and not opinions
Sometimes, it seems life is a barrage of opinions. People think all sorts of things and it can get confusing. However, there is one constant, undeniable truth; we find that in our timeless, eternal God. If God loves us, we are loved. If He has forgiven us, we are forgiven. If He says He will be with us through all things, we have nothing to fear.
God also speaks through people and that is a process of discernment. We want to be teachable and sharpened in both faith and truth, so we need to test all things against the infallible word and promises of God.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 23)
. . .
God, and not flaws
One of the most wonderful things to watch in this world is the way God transforms human weakness in His strength. It perplexes and amazes me to see how God can cause His glory and His purposes to be seen despite the inevitability of human flaws. We cannot stand in God’s way even if we try, and by His grace He makes testimonies even through our imperfections.
God worked His purposes through people like David, who despite his failings always turned towards God. He also worked His purposes through those who did not honour Him; Balaam and King Nebuchadnezzar for example. Seeing this same pattern of God’s unthwartable purposes in my life and in the lives of those around me, I am reminded again of that “one thing” focus.
. . .
In the busy cacophony of life, there is always one clear sound worth listening to. It is not the sound of ministry opportunities, not the chattering of opinions, not the dreariness of failure or flaws. That one beautiful sound worth tuning into every day is the constant, life-giving breath and voice of our living God.
“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple…”
(Psalm chapter 27, verse 4)