How does it work that someone so close to God . . . so “filled with the Spirit” . . . so fired up and full of love . . . ends up distraught, angry and alone – all in a matter of days? Puzzling isn’t it?
Sarah Young, from April 6th Jesus Calling
“When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers and the countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is ‘fixed’.”
It’s that fixation on the negative that gets us off track. It’s what drew Eve to the one thing she didn’t have, the thing that needed to be ‘fixed’. We focus on the obstacle that robs us of joy and fall into “If only I could . . . If I just had . . . As soon as I . . . Whenever she finally . . . then I’ll be happy and everything will be okay.” Without thinking, we create ‘little gods’ that stand between us and the real One. Between us and joy. Worship means “assign value and worth to.” We accidentally ‘worship’ little things that don’t really matter in the bigger picture.
“But didn’t Jesus tell us to ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7)?”
This verse and the ones around it have always bugged me. I’ve heard so many ‘prosperity gospel’ people twist this into “Make Jesus your choice and get a Rolls Royce.” You can read these verses and think they promise ‘name it and claim it’. You can come away questioning your faith . . . whether you have enough . . . or if you have any at all.
But when I read these verses the other day (Matthew 7:7-12), it hit me like a ton of bricks. “He’s talking about answers. Not things. Answers.” Jesus is assuring us that if we seek answers in Him . . . in the context of the Kingdom of God, we’ll find them. They may not be what we want them to be, but we’ll get answers. Jesus always points us to matters of the heart, rarely material things or easy circumstances.
What if we switch our focus from what we don’t have to what we do? Since gratitude is the only sure cure for anxiety, thinking about things we’re grateful for can lift our spirits and turn our heart backs to the Lord who is the source of every blessing we have.
Next time you get off track, ask God to help you see the “thing” you want or want ‘fixed’. Instead of asking Him for that ‘thing’, ask Him to show you who and where He wants your focus. Ask “Who do you want me to ‘love on’ right now?” You might be amazed at how quickly you get back ‘on track’ with Him and maybe with other key people in your life.
Question: Will you pray this prayer: “Lord, please fill me with thanksgiving today, with the joy of Your Presence in my heart. Turn my attention to what you’ve given me and to who you want me to show your love to right now.”
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