Saturday, January 17, 2009

Focus Frees

“I thrive on spontaneity.”I’m not messy, just creative.” I've used all of these statements to explain myself. Now, I am committed to focus my life on what pleases God. No more excuses; time is valuable and it's focus time. In The Message, I read... 1 Timothy 4:8 says, “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”

I so appreciate Chatty Kelly commenting here in the last few days on her struggles as a type A person that suffers sometimes from her need to complete plans to the point she injures herself with lack of sleep, etc.

As a Christian I always look in the Bible for my direction. Jesus is the Man I look to as a model and Teacher. In Luke 10:42 I see where two sisters demonstrate the complexity of us Christians deciding on using our time, energy and resources: "...but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her." (LUKE 10:42).


NOW...let me be perfectly clear: I never want to live in a world of only Mary type folk!!! I've heard sermons on this passage for years and early on I thanked God for the industrious "Martha's" and I knew that the responsibility they assume makes the world work. But I sense we all have a bit of both of these bents (Mary and Martha), and we express the extreme of that bent in different areas of our lives.

But I see in this Scripture that the Lord is calling us to focus on
the necessary thing according to Him. The good part which Mary had chosen was to listen to the Lord's teaching.


"The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass of illness. Without this housecleaning, we cannot begin to see." p. 107

"We can become lost in the hurly-burly of modern life. We can submerge ourselves in a pool of chatter and small talk. We can hide from ourselves and from God by allowing ourselves to become busier and busier. The prayer of attending is about finding moments in the midst of our hectic, noisy existence to connect with God and God's redemptive love." P. 116
Neil Pembroke, Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity: Psychological, Contemplative, and Moral Challenges in Christian Living, Haworth Pastoral Press, 2007

Focus Frees: As I sacrifice to make the time to be quiet with the Lord and listen to Him before I begin my day I am coming to understand this truth of focusing on Jesus: Listening first; then throughout the day choosing to say no to what is good and yes to what is better. Is this not following Mary’s pattern of self-discipline doing what’s better even when it’s not easy? It’s being with Jesus, no matter what.

My focus: invest my all pleasing the Lord — not myself, not others. This means taking time to quiet down so I can hear what He is saying to me. Who knows...one day He may tell me that it would please Him if I’d balance my checkbook weekly, clean out my attic, make a list for everything, and memorize a Bible verse a day.

"It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13).

God is the one who does the work, but I'm involved. I can resist His work, or I can submit myself to cooperating with it.

Obedience expresses faith in His wisdom and love. Obedience is what He made me for (Eph. 2:10), and life works better if I'm in tune with the way I am made.

Some of you younger readers must be wondering, "Kay's a mature woman in her sixties; why is she still wrestling with these issues?" Oh, I'm convinced we're in process our entire lives on earth. Again I see in Scripture Apostle Paul... "Not that I ... have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Phil. 3:12). Christ has taken hold of us for His purpose, which is that we are to be conformed into His image. So we press onward, confident in Him, striving to do His will.

My Focus Frees me from all other noises, voices or distractions:

"One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (vv. 13-14).

1 comment:

David Rupert said...

kay

I love your exhortation on focus. I'm not so much a hurry around person who wants everything perfect, but i do like things done MY WAY. And that is just is wrong, becasue my way isnt always HIS WAY.

Go ahead. keep it up. You're changing me with this blog!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.