Do you feel like you should be conquering the world for Jesus, and instead you are cowering in a hole feeling defeated by life? I (Alayna) do sometimes.
I know a few things as a Christ follower. I know that the battle is already won. I know that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself - He defeated my sin, bought me back from the grave, and has a spot for me in heaven. I know that I'm an ambassador for Christ to bring His message to a lost and waiting world. I am more than a conquerer.
So why then would I be hiding from life and feeling defeated?
I think many things are a matter of our focus in life. Do you ever stop to think where your focus is?
I can tell you where my focus is, where my mind and thoughts are. My mind is on the day to day, the little problems, the messy rooms and the misbehaving kids. It's focused on the fact that I'm not consistent with my quiet times, I don't pray as much as I'd like, and I'm certainly not as holy as I should be. It's focused on where I feel like I'm trying and failing - fitness and weight loss, discipline and teaching my kids in the teachable moments, and being the best wife ever. And I'm focused on safety, security, and being comfortable.
I probably represent a fraction of the American Christian church - maybe even a large fraction. I represent a part of the church that is being less than effective for Christ, because my mind isn't on the things of Christ. Christ isn't my number one priority.
My mom always said, "Garbage in, garbage out." And this is way too true in our culture that has soo many garbage-like things to fill our minds and time with.
It's so easy in our world of modern conveniences to fill our lives with so many things intentionally and unintentionally. Our lives are unintentionally filled by distractions like unimportant spam mail, a gossipy phone call, an overdue bill, a crisis - big or small. And sometimes we are intentionally filling our lives with things like a less than good and holy tv show, Facebook, YouTube, scrapbooking, and plenty of other things. I heard it said once (wisely, I might add) that to see what's truly important to you, watch where you spend your time.
So where do you spend yours?
Many days, I'm not sure where mine goes with a houseful of chores and two kids, but I can tell you that too much time is wasted on electronic media - my computer, television, and my cell phone. Is what is happening in the social media makebelieve world of Facebook really more important than time spent with Jesus and my bible? Or more important than my kids? I don't actually feel that way, but the way I spend my time says otherwise. ouch. That's a tough pill to swallow. It's embarrassing and - unfortunately - all too true.
When your time is filled with silly or shallow things, and your mind isn't focused on Jesus and the things of heaven, it's easy to be defeated. The battle has been won by Christ, but we've already given up when we aren't filling our time and our minds with the best thing - God. We need to be filling our minds with Scripture and focusing on the timeless truth of God.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:1-2
I think it's time for repentance - at least from me anyway. To let God know that I know I am wrong. That I have let things that simply don't matter to obscure my vision, to steal my focus, to fill my life and to be more important than Him. If this is you too, join me in a prayer of repentance.
I am sorry. I am so very sorry to let things in life to become more important than you. I am sorry to fill my life with things that aren't important, and then make excuses when I don't have time for you. I am sorry to let the distractions of life sneak in and steal my time and focus away from you. Help me. Change my heart and my mind. Help me to put you first. Help me to put my mind on You. Help me to clear out the unimportant distractions in my life. Help me to fill my life with You FIRST. Thank You for your mercies that are new every morning. Help me make tomorrow a new beginning with you.
In Jesus Name, Amen