Monday, April 9, 2012

Heavenly Focused Mind

James 1:14-15  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 

Now most of you would say, "duh" to the fact that the more you focus on one thing the less you will focus on other things. Yet you realize it so much more when you actually experience it. In the past few weeks I have been realizing the importance of focusing on Christ continually. The more I focused on my work and the problems in my life the less I focused on Christ and the more frustrated and depressed I became. Yet the more I focused on God, his grace, his forgiveness, and heavenly things the more I became happy I was alive and thankful for the small things in life. Focusing on Christ continually will leave little time for other things to dominate your thoughts. James makes this very clear in the above passage. He points out the importance of focusing on Christ by showing you the opposite affect. The more you focus on the things of this world and of sinful desires the more likely you will be to act on those thoughts and desires. How do 100% of all sins start? With a thought, that thought carries into a desire then finally into action. 

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

Now what would happen in you focused all your thoughts on Christ and heavenly things? I think its safe to assume you would be less likely to think of things of this world. This is what James is trying to say. He is trying to show you that the thoughts of man will direct his path. The devil is always trying to plant evil thoughts in our minds to cause us to sin, however; God gives us the strength to fight those thoughts. If you are continually keeping your mind on Christ and heavenly things your perspective will likely change on many parts of your life. Since thoughts direct your actions with your thoughts on Christ you will begin to put into action things God would want you to do. Prayer ties into this. Praying causes us to focus not on ourselves but on Christ. This focus will cause us to think on things of God and hopefully spurn us onto following God more in whatever form that may come in. So in your prayer life a great thing to pray for is for God to give you the strength to fight evil thoughts and help you focus on things of God. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It All Starts With Prayer (Part 2)

Prayer is a powerful thing. Its is probably the most powerful thing you will ever encounter in you life. Yet how many people actually view it as powerful? What does your prayer life look like? Does your prayer time start good but after a little bit you get distracted then you end up feeling guilty that you got distracted. Then after feeling guilty you give up because you aren't getting anywhere? Prayer is the basis for our Christian faith, the main way you should build a relationship with someone is to talk to them. You need to communicate with them and if there are things in your life that are hindering you from that you won't have a good relationship. Your relationship with God needs to start with God at the center.

Listen if you don't feel close to God or you feel like your prayer life is extremely lacking Pray! Stop your life and pray. Don't let your life continue to go on without God at the center because if you don't stop your life you will find yourself drifting away from God at an alarming rate. Clear away all the distractions, give God as much of your time as you can, and talk to him. Seriously consider how your prayer life with God is and be willing to listen to what God wants you to change. God listens! Tell him exactly what your feeling. If you don't feel close to Him or you want to have a better prayer life tell him. If you feel depressed all the time and worn out tell him! If you want something to change in your life that you know needs to change tell him. God loves to listen to what you have to say to him. He wants to help you, he is always there for you. Come to him as you are. God already loves you as you are so why try and make yourself look better? Come to him with all your problems and believe that he will begin a good work in you. Your relationship starts with prayer, with communication with a Holy and Amazing God! Don't let the distractions of life pull you off your walk with God. With that said now might be a great time to stop and pray.