It seems that no matter how many times I commit, how many times I resolve to try harder – to be more faithful in my quiet time, to be more intentional with the people around me – soon enough I find myself distracted. I worry about my future, try to satisfy my immediate needs, and get reckless in my words towards others. I get tired, and instead of reminding myself why spiritual growth and focus is important, I rationalize about why it is acceptable for me not to put more effort into my walk with God.
So how do I stick with it? How do I steady my course? Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about a number of ways to stay focused:
- Meditate on the things of God and the Word of God.
- Never let good things become idols.
- Surround ourselves with people who will help us to focus.
- Share our focus with others.
- Make decisions that strengthen our focus.
Will you and I fail? Definitely. Does that mean we don’t try? Not at all! Rather, when we fail, we confess and experience God’s forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 (HCSB)
We cannot stay focused on the task we have been given in our own strength. In our own power, we will never make disciples of all nations like Jesus commands us to in Matthew 28:18-20. We will not be able to do everything for His glory as we are instructed in 1 Corinthians 10:31. We will not have our minds set on heavenly things like Colossians 3:1-2 urges us to. The only way we’ll get anywhere with these is through Christ’s power, as He grows us into His image.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
– John 15:5 (HCSB)
And what we can do, will be hard. Paul guarantees us that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be killed for our faith, but it is a call to realize that this is serious. We don’t get to make God who we want Him to be. We read His word, believe it, and obey it. And walking in Christ, trusting His righteousness – all our hard work is worth it. So let’s steady the course and sail on.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:58 (HCSB)