Pursuing God in the Midst of Distractions

Focus

Image by ::Prad Prathivi @ Amodica:: via Flickr

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! (Philippians 3:1-2)

Don’t get distracted… You are pursuing the life that Jesus provided for you.  Jesus said I have come that they might have life and life more abundant (John 10:10) There are however enemies to this life and you must contend with them, just as the devil did in the life of Christ, the devil is out to tempt you and to attempt to move you away from God’s purpose in your life. Remember Satan was attempting to get Him to lose sight of the reason He was here. He will do the same with you.

First – Here are some things you can do that can help you get a hold of the Life that Jesus provides.   1. Pursue the voice of God (The Word of God). Read or meditate on the Bible daily.  2. Build a close relationship with Jesus (get to know God)    3. Get involved with a  group of fellow believers – Jesus poured his life into the twelve apostles. In our church we have neighborhood groups that meet weekly.    4. Pursue eternal life opposed to the temporal world.

This will help you stay focused on that fact that you are a Christian and your citizenship in heaven, not in this world. We are only strangers and aliens.

Here are the distractions that Paul mentions in Philippians chapter 3.

1. Our culture – Paul mentions the church’s battle was with Judaism.  We live in a world that highly honors tolerance and diversity. Please take special note of this. If we don’t accept the values and beliefs of the world and others, then we can be accused of a hate crime. Who says you can’t legislate morality. Here are some things that are part of our culture that we can note as distractions: a. Cultural views that are other than Christian views are accepted and adopted. For example evolution, alterative life styles and abortion, just to mention a few. b. Separation of church and state used to silence the church from main stream America, the church has found that prayer at graduations, the ten commandments are removed from our public building (go to Washington DC, our nation’s capital and read the inscriptions carved on the buildings and you will realize the heritage of our forefathers was indeed Christian) and the limited use of public buildings are all tensions that the Christian faces. c. Teachings of origin in the public schools (creationism / evolution) are in heated debt today, d. Alternative life style taught as natural, etc. The Christian need to understand there is a cultural war going on.

The first time I was told that I should not speak about other religions in church was when I realized the effectiveness of the teachings of tolerance and diversity. How then can I speak the truth when tolerance is the value that Christians have adopted?  How can I warn people if they don’t want to hear truth in the name of tolerance and yes, they left the church because of this.  There is a battle going on between truth and tolerance. To tell someone they are a sinner is to judge them and not accept them like they are. Are we really hate mongers?

2. Our pursuits in life – Paul mentioned all he accomplished in life and gave it all up for the sake of Christ.  Materialism, consumerism are great distractions in the life of new Christians. Christians will trade-off the benefits of Christianity for these, much like Esau did for a bowl of soup. a. People have given up the pursuit of God for the pursuit of mindless entertainment. Many have given up going to church, altogether.  b. Many have sold themselves to pursue money, prestige, power and the privileges that the world has to offer. Christians are giving up their relationship with the creator in pursuit of the things of the world.  We are warned not to love the things of the world and its lusts, thereof.  (1 John 2:15-17)  

We validate our lives by the degrees we’ve earned, with the cars we drive, racism, the social status we have achieved, if these things validate our lives then what happens when they are taken away from us? You can’t put your hope in money.

3. Our past – Our past can distract us, too. If you continually look at your failures and the sin you did in the past, then you are letting the sin become your identity. Your past sin does not identify you, becoming a new person through faith in Jesus is now your new identity.  Some people don’t want to let go of past experiences and hardships to let the life of Christ  come through in their lives. This is a whole area of distraction, that must be dealt with. The mercy and forgiveness of God is endless and will clean your conscience from sin. (See Hebrews 10:22)

4. Enemies to the Cross of Christ – a cross-less gospel, a sanitized  Jesus. There is a movement in the Christian world that is easy, the goal is to think positive and everything will be alright. Where then is the cross of Jesu? Jesus said we must deny ourselves take up the cross and follow him. This message will separate those who really want to pursue the kingdom and give up everything  if necessary. 

The life in Christ is not an easy thing to pursue if you understand the teachings of Jesus and that of the Holy Spirit. However to put the effort in to “seek first the kingdom of God” you will find a peace that passes all understanding and a purpose in life that goes beyond this life. You will be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain the Kingdom of God.  Attending church will you keep the fires of the Spirit burning in  your life along with other seekers. It is not the building as much as the people who Jesus has forgiven and are seekers as well.  Commit to joining with others in the pursuit of  Jesus. See you on Sunday.

I am a Christian I speak Christianees.

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