October 10, 2011

How to stop being buddies with sins IV: Focus on God

After church service, I felt like screaming Eureka! I felt my struggles are over! Well at least, that is how I felt as I left church.

God opened my eyes to the reason for the ups and downs I have been experiencing as a Christian. Indeed the journey should not be a struggle.

The pastor spoke about our significance and the meat of the sermon was identity revelation. I understood that the reason we struggle in our relationship with God is that we focus on behaviour modification and not identity revelation. Well, that is what we have been taught in church for long and so we have been programmed to focus on changing our behaviour.

But you know what? We can’t on our own, change our behaviour. That would be working out our salvation the wrong way. Focusing on behaviour modification makes us focus on ourselves and that is not what Jesus taught. He encourages us to forget about ourselves and look to him. He said when we do this, we shall find both ourselves (our child-of-God selves) and him (Matthew 10:39; The Message – paraphrased).

It made sense as I reflected on my life. When I focus on avoiding sin; that is when I commit it. Yes, what I fear will come upon me! For instance, yesterday I was having a headache which persisted. I decided to lie down for a while. Initially I wanted to read but I did not think the headache would allow me. At the same time, I could not sleep and then I started worrying that my mind was idle and that could precipitate unholy thoughts. This is a typical case of me worrying about committing sin rather than focusing on Jesus.

The sermon confirmed what I sensed God has been trying to tell me. When I focus on him and continually gaze on him, with time I shall observe that my sinful habits are no more. He would do the pruning as I remain connected to him. Anything that will prevent us from being who he has called us to be will be removed as we continue to develop our relationship with him.

As I studied John 15 (The Message) today, I realized I should focus on my relationship with God being intimate and organic; to please him and obey his word. What does it mean to be organic? Organic in this context means to develop naturally. The relationship should be seen and applied as an essential part of my existence; a constituent necessary for my completeness.

When our relationship with God is intimate and organic, we shall bear bountiful fruit (multi-faceted; multi-component and multi-dimensional) naturally with no struggles.

When I focus consistently on him and not on my sinful habits, with time sin will become foreign, wither and fall off. He will do the work.

As I behold him, I become his splitting image. Yes, we are who we behold. God is without sin and so we shall be without sin. Remember it is not an event but a process.

Lets us not pause the process by going on a break or sabbatical for it will prolong the process. Rather, let us be consistent in gazing on him. Remember, as long as Peter looked at Jesus, he walked on water, but as he removed his eyes from Jesus, he began to sink.

Do you want to stop being buddies with sins? Focus on God consistently and persistently!

Image by Vanell @ stockfreeimages.com


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