All throughout history we humans have struggled with what we place first in our hearts. And, I believe that where the mind goes, the heart will follow. The world clamors for our attention, it demands our attention. We have so much noise directed at us each an every moment. Billboards, television, radio, internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and well you get the idea. We have instant communication methods now that we didn’t have 30 years ago. We simply cannot get away from it – it screams at us, and for most, if not all, we cannot tune it out. How the heck are we supposed to get a break? With all that noise, how can we center ourselves? So all this noise occupies our minds, and pretty soon, something or multiple things from that noise, takes over our hearts.
Once in our hearts, we live it, we breathe it, and that’s where we direct our efforts. The enemy has us in his trap and we don’t see a way out. Time and time again the Bible warns us against being in the world, against that horizontal focus that we can hear, see, touch, and taste. Look at the following verses:
Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world.”
John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
James 4:4 “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
So now, do you heed the call of the world? Well, if you’re honest with yourself, I would venture to guess that the answer is yes – and, my answer has to be yes. Do I want to heed the call? No way! But, the present world in it’s physical state is awfully hard to ignore. I get busy, I get wrapped up in what I need to do, when I need to do it, and pretty soon, I’m immersed in the things of this world. And, if I am not vigilant, if I let down my guard, then whammo, I’ve taken my eyes off of God, and I’ve let God down.
Now one of the Disciples that is my favorite is Peter. I can really identify with Peter. He’s got good intentions, he tells Jesus that he Peter will never, ever desert Jesus, even if the others do. Peter is brash, Peter is impulsive, Peter says and does the wrong things. Peter gets the one opportunity that another common person never ever gets – the opportunity to walk on water, he gets that experience, and in the midst of that experience what happens? Peter loses his focus, he takes his eyes off of our Lord and he sinks. He has to call out to Jesus to save him. I’m just like Peter. I often don’t think before I speak, and sometimes don’t think before I act. I’m Peter all the way. But after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter becomes a mighty man of God. He’s strong in his faith and he doesn’t waiver. I want to be like Peter after the resurrection, because his transformation is amazing, and if you think about it you’ll understand that only God can do that. Who wouldn’t want to be like that?
I truly want to give my full allegiance to God, I want to serve Him, and experience all of his blessings. I really want to do it. But time after time I see myself fail, I fall down, perhaps for a few minutes or even days, I wallow in the mud. Then I have to turn my face to Jesus, and hopefully it’s not the middle of a disaster that brings my focus back 180 degrees. So then how do I accomplish what I want? Well I’ve tried to take steps that help me to keep my focus. The first thing in the morning, while my husband is still sleeping, I like to open up my Bible on my iPad, read my chapter for my First 5 Bible study app, and then I do this. I reflect, I research wherever God directs my mind, and I write in my journal. I’ve found that it sets my day, it centers me. I notice a difference for sure, I’m happier, and perhaps I have a little bit more patience (and the Lord knows that I need extra large helpings of patience). And, even better, my husband notices the difference. Now, this morning we were interrupted early on, earlier that we expected and my Bible study and reflection time had to be pushed back, and man, oh man, could I ever feel the difference. It has taken every ounce of my self will to not be crabby and impatient. So, for me, I know I need to meet my Lord in the Bible first thing each and everyday, and then perhaps I can be a little more like Peter, as he was after the resurrection of our Lord that is.