Focus. I am really trying to reorient our focus right now. As I have said many times before, we came with great plans to serve God. We even put it into a bullet list and once it’s written down and people have seen it, you have to stick to the list, right?
As I was reading this morning, John 20:21 stuck out to me. Jesus said, “Just as the Father has sent Me, so I am sending You.” You might notice missing from this statement that Jesus came because He had a plan to carry out. It’s missing because Jesus didn’t come to earth to carry out His plan. He came because the Father sent Him to carry out the Father’s plan. Big difference.
Genesis 12-25 chronicles a beautiful story of Abraham, his obedience, his walk with God, his life… doesn’t it? Or is the focus wrong when I glean those things from the story? Should not the focus really be on the record of God accomplishing His purposes through Abraham? It’s a small, yet monumental difference in perspective.
Henry Blackaby says, “The essence of sin is a shift from God-centeredness to a self-centeredness. The essence of salvation is a return to centering our lives on God. Then God has us where He can accomplish through us purposes He had before He created the world.” Stop. Think about this with me.
Do I want to do great things for God? Sure I do. But the focus is wrong. It’s not about what I (and my family) will do for God. It’s about what God will accomplish through my family. It sounds like an insignificant difference. However, it’s an eternal difference. In Hebrews 3:7-19, we read a brief account of the children of Israel’s plight and their inability to enter into the promised land. They were refused entrance because the didn’t listen to God, but went their own way. This equates to disobedience. Which at a base level equates to unbelief. Is God Who He says He is, or not? Is it about me or is it about Him?
So I sit here with a list of ways that I am currently self-centered. I’ll share it with you. At some level I am fighting these right now in my life—but if it’s true at all, it’s still true.
- life focussed on self and what I want to do for God
- depending on self and my own abilities and creativity
- obsessed with failures
- seeking to be acceptable to the world (friends, family, supporters) and basing success on man’s idea of success
- looking at circumstances from an ordinary, human perspective
- ordinary living to an extent — i.e. comfortable
So I sit here with a blank sheet of paper with a bullet list with no entries in it telling my Father that I am here to serve Him and it’s about Him and HIS plans and purposes and goals. I’m telling Him that I want to die more to myself today (completely really) so that He can live through my whole being. The problem is—or maybe the blessing is—that I have to daily die to myself and submit to God. John 12:23-25 reminds us that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will remain a kernel. Yet, when it dies, it becomes a whole field.
It’s about God’s purposes, not our plans. It’s always been about God’s purposes, not my plans.