Life can be refreshing when we lay our burdens down. There are so many things to stress about from the moment we strike the floor with our feet while getting out of bed. Striving to reach Utopia, our days are filled with chasing after the wind.
At the end of the day, look back at all of the time restraints you had in your personal life and/or at work. Think of all the demands that were placed upon you. I have so many that I never get to accomplish in a day all I had hoped. By the time I get to bed, my head is so happy to reach the pillow.
For a lot of us, our bodies can’t physically keep up the pace that we demand of it day after day, especially if we are not refueling our bodies properly. We don’t have time to stop and consider how to make changes to simplify our lives, either. The problem is, we have progressed so much that our standards have changed and the younger generation is obsessed with technology they are tricked into thinking they need.
They can’t even sit at the dinner table and engage in a conversation for 30 minutes without touching their mobile phones. Years ago my computer engineering, program-developing friend said it would be this way. I refused to believe him.
As I write this, Hebrews 12:1-2 comes to mind, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”
It sounds like good advice, but how do we accomplish this?
We fix our eyes of Jesus.
It is a two-way street. If we take our eyes off ourselves, off our problems, and we focus on Christ, our problems diminish in size. This response is similar to the ones we might have while traveling or taking a long hike somewhere inspirational. When we are so fixated by the beauty of our surroundings or are in awe of God’s immense creation, we aren’t looking at anything else.
This helps our faith increase.
Also, when we have our eyes on Jesus, we can’t give our attention to anything else. Satan can’t deceive us; he is shut out. No distractions.
So, as the bad thoughts are driven away from us, coming from the other lane, the right thoughts can flow in our direction. And they won’t be coming alone. Coming with them will be faith.
This text in Hebrews teaches us that Jesus is both the author and perfecter of faith.
When we mirror Him, we are changed into His likeness.
Did you know it takes faith to come to God? The proof of faith actually is the very act of coming before God. If you back up to chapter eleven in Hebrews, you will see the author tell us that if you are going to approach God in prayer, you must first believe there is a God.
I need to have my faith perfected daily. Daily! Sometimes, I feel like I had more faith when I first walked with God than I do today.
But in reading the Old Testament books, I see the same seems true of the greats like Solomon and Joash. If you read their accounts in Kings and Chronicles, they started out well and then their faith fell away.
How is this possible?
Because they grew rich and accomplished. They were powerful. They no longer called upon God to make their decisions. This is one of the great obvious differences if you read the written accounts of these men versus King David. King David, over and over, inquired of God about everything. The times he didn’t, like committing adultery with Bathsheba, killing her husband, taking a census, these were great failures of David. They began with compromise.
But David got it right in the end.
Solomon and Joash did not. They let their compromises live. God removed Solomon’s kingdom and gave most of it to his servant. Solomon lost his faith.
I do not want to lose mine.
After self-examination, I have seen what lies in the way of my spiritual success. I have seen a glimpse of the things so easily entangling me. I have repented and handed them over to God.
I haven’t defeated them all at once. But I do see little improvements. Time and time again throughout the day, I keep looking up and whispering, “I give this to you, Lord. Let the negative thinking roll off me. Don’t let it absorb! I trust You with this.”
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…