The reality is that we lose sight of God when we get caught up in ourselves.
Selina Thacker once asked, “What happened to having joy in the simplicity of being still in God’s presence?”
Set your priorities
Lately, I try to picture the life I live and contrast it with what I consider to be the life that I want. Much more, I lay this parallel with what I think God intends for me. I see a wide gap and it calls me to remember that I need to set my priorities right. For me, it is God first, my family next and the rest can find its place, but often times, I twist things in the other direction. I reaffirm my priorities and remind myself that God is first in all things, else I am doomed to fail.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). This should a constant reminder to us that we set our heart on God, not on earthly matters. As spiritual as this might sound, we need to find that time to set our eyes on God. Hebrews 12:2 summarises the need to focus, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
This morning I learnt from Matthew 26: 57-58 on the importance of following Jesus closely. “But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome.” Even though, I go to church regularly, I often find myself following Jesus from afar off. I forget to study the bible or get too busy to pray. This is so shameful but it is as a result of all the above. We must not follow Jesus from afar like Peter. We become uncertain or lose confidence. This might be because we are afraid of what others might think about us, or because we just want to blend in without being noticed. The only safety is in following fully.
Be in the right company
Psalms 1:1-6 - Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. This summarises a lot of things. Peter was in the wrong company and that made his faith unsure. He was in a company that was hostile to Jesus. The journey begins with staying afar off from Jesus and keeping the wrong company. It progresses to taking a wrong position and establishing wrong opinions. Here, we listen to what others say or think is right. It informs our judgement and influences our decisions. Evil communications indeed corrupt good manners.
Deny yourself daily
Matthew 16:24 NLT: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” We must learn to deny ourselves and the time we spend on pleasures, sleep etc. If Jesus is enough and that important, somethings will need to give way.
“When something or someone is important to us what do we do? We make time. Not only do we make time, but we have the integrity to follow through with our commitments. When we make the commitment to follow Jesus, it is a commitment to be obedient to Him and to grow with Him. How can we do that when we are not in communion with him? It is like a relationship. How can we be on the same page when there is no communication? God speaks to us in many different ways and I have come to realize that you cannot have one without the other; a relationship cannot exist without time and communication. Spending time with Him can be done in prayer, reading the Bible, communing with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and even simply conversing with our Lord.”
Reflect and Respond:
Was there a time in your life when you felt you walked afar from Jesus that others readily could not associate you with Him? When was it? Why did this happen? What factors do you feel contributed to this? What is one action step you can take to start to walk more closely to the Lord when it comes to reading, studying or memorizing the Bible? Write it out. Now, what can enable you to follow through with that commitment?