11.17.2010

Major Dose of Spiritual Focus Today

It's one of those days when God has showed me that I need a major dose of spiritual focus. Much like the disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galilee when the waves began to over take them. They became more fearful of the storm than having faith in the Savior who was in the boat with them. I'm sure that everyday has "troubles" of it's own but Wednesdays for me seem to be the day when the temptation is greater to focus on waves rather than the ministry.. I cannot speak for other pastors but for me, when I prepare to preach Satan always tries to remind me of my past failures and preset stress in order to paralyze me. Non-Urgent things become seemingly urgent and past failures out weigh blessings. God simply reminded me of a few things today:


1. Look Up!: My help comes from the Lord
  • Psalm 121 - 1 I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! 3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. 4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. 5 The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. 6 The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. 7 The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. 8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
2. Don't Look Around - FEAR MISPLACES FAITH
  • Mark 4:35-41 35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
3. Don't Look Behind - Stay focused on the Goal
  • Hebrews 12:1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
  • Philippians 3:12-14 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
I hear God telling me these things much like coach Franks used to antagonize us linemen while driving the sled all over God's creation.  I am grateful for God's word and His unrelenting belief in me.