It’s an odd paradox, coming to the realization of a massive stronghold or failure.
On the one hand, it is a sweet sort of relief to know what stands in your way; to see clearly what is blocking your progression. Once you understand what the obstacle is, you can more effectively and efficiently manuever around it.
On the other hand (for me at least) is always brings about disappointment in myself. I am quickly and easily discouraged when I realize that, yet again, I have been distracted or deterred from my ultimate goal, which is more of Jesus. I think I have spiritual ADD. My mind is an endlessly wandering thing, and while all my thoughts begin with the best of intentions, they end up somewhere very different. Then I wonder how I got there, to this place where suddenly nothing is familiar and I feel a little claustrophobic.
Today, thanks to an email I got from my friend, I think I discovered just why I get so easily distracted and as it turns out it’s really quite simple.
Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Trust. It keeps coming back to trust.
Do I trust God with my whole heart? Do I trust God with my physical and mental well-being? Do I trust Him with the things that I cherish now? Do I trust Him with the things that I desire for the future? Do I trust Him to be enough when I have nothing else to hold onto or hope in?
Do I really trust Him to be who He says He is? If I claim to be a Christian (i.e. saved by grace through faith in one perfect and sovereign Being) then technically and theoretically, I should answer all of the above questions with a loud and resounding “Yes!”
But I can’t. And I know why now.
I have, albeit unintentionally, mistaken other Christians for little gods, placing hopes and trust in their faith, their abilities, their prayers, thinking that because they love Jesus too, they wouldn’t/couldn’t let me down.
Ever heard of Oswald Chambers? He’s a giant of the faith, and coincidentally, one of my favorite writers. I read the following entry the other morning:
Put God First in Trust. “Jesus did not commit Himself unto them . . . for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25
Our Lord trusted no man; yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man, because He put God first in trust; He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for any man. If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man ever can be – absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.
Put God’s Needs First. “Lo, I come to do Thy will, 0 God.” Hebrews 10:9
A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The cry to-day is – “We must get some work to do; the heathen are dying without God; we must go and tell them of Him.” We have to see first of all that God’s needs in us personally are being met. “Tarry ye until. . . .” The purpose of this College is to get us rightly related to the needs of God. When God’s needs in us have been met, then He will open the way for us to realize His needs elsewhere.
Put God’s Trust First. “And whoso receiveth one such little child in my name receiveth Me.” Matthew 18:5
God’s trust is that He gives me Himself as a babe. God expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be manifested in my mortal flesh.
*blank stare* So… that’s heavy.
If He keeps my mind in perfect peace so long as it is stayed on Him, then what might be the first step in making sure my mind stays where it ought?
Personally, I think I’ll start with gratitude– being thankful for everything He is to me and all that He has done for me.
That should keep my busy.
Where would you start? How would you keep your mind fixed on Him?