Week of: March 21, 2011
Sharing by: Pam Crawford
“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently in to the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” (NIV)
Last week I touched on the importance of understanding that in Christ, we have a beautiful, sound mind. When we fully understand that we have a power source when we’re connected with God’s Spirit, we no longer have to fall prey to the enemies attempts at making us feel as if we’ve lost it. We also looked at some of Satan’s strategies to gain access into our mind in order to destroy it. And, we talked about the importance of being able to recognize the deceitful lies. If you were unable to read that devotion, I encourage you to do so before we move on to another strategy of the enemy – self focus.
Have you ever asked the question “what’s wrong with me?” I certainly have. This usually happens when we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves against someone or something else. Before you know it, you’re swimming in a pool of dissatisfaction and your focus turns to how you can get the thing you feel you don’t have. It becomes all about you. For some it’s the desire to be prettier, more popular, have a better body, or have a hot partner on the arm that keeps the focus. For others it’s the need for prestige, a bigger house, more money, a career, or a hobby that gives a sense of value that ignites the focus. The list goes on and on. I know many people including myself who have fallen into the “it’s all about me” mentality without even realizing it. With all due respect, we might very well have it all wrong. When we fall into the trap of being self-focused, we often take the bait of jealousy, envy and bitterness.
May I ask a few questions? What if you were willing to accept that self-promotion, self-preservation and self-centeredness is not the will of God? What if you came to the place where you understood that the task at hand is to get right with God? What if you understood that being right with God leads to a greater confidence about whom He created you to be. What if you stopped comparing yourself and began celebrating what you could become as a child of The Most High. What if you stopped seeking mans approval?
God used a little book titled It’s Not About Me by Max Lucado to bring these questions alive in me. In his book Max Lucado “turns the greatest lie we’ve believed on its head – and sets our sights on a different goal.” Let’s listen together to the words that I first read when I opened the jacket of this book. Thank You Lord that your voice can be heard through the words of others.
It’s Not About Me
“What would change if we finally found our place – and lived it? For our entire lives we’ve been urged to look out for number one. To find our place in the sun and soak it for all it’s worth. To make a name for ourselves as if we are the headliners in life’s drama. But what happens when the sweet life we imagined proves to be sour? When our expensive toys break and our work is no longer needed and our bodies grow soft?
What’s next when all our efforts to take care of number one leave us feeling unsatisfied and the thrills we were promised turn up empty? What would happen if we all took our place and played our parts? If we started living like “Son” reflectors rather than individual stars and suns? If every person’s priority became a divine pursuit, not a performance?” – Lucado
Well, what would this look like in your life? For me it’s been the pursuit of learning how to apply the truth found in God’s Word. By discovering on my own what God says about me, I now have what I need to battle Satan when he attempts to feed me his lies. God has taught me who I am as His child (Psalm 139) and He has gifted me with love, forgiveness and grace (John 3:16). Now it’s my turn to figure out how I extend this outward. I’m currently working on the “Love for Enemies” passage found in Matthew 5:43-48. I’ll have to let you know how that’s all working out someday.
When we allow God to change us from the inside out, our focus will begin to change and we will be able to do things we never thought possible. Many of us are still in need of open-heart surgery. I am personally still on the operating table; and I imagine God has more repairs scheduled for me. I do hope He continues to use the good anesthetic.
As I have been recovering and working through the sanctification process, I take time to write these devotions. I write them not only for others, but also as a means to reflect on what God has accomplished in my own life thus far. If you have read any of my writings, I do hope I have conveyed my sincere gratitude towards my Savior. If God continues to give me the inspiration for this type of kingdom work, I pray to effectively share His transforming power. By getting our focus on God, and by choosing to obey what He teaches in His Word, we can break free from the enemy’s grip. We don’t have to live according to what we have believed any longer. God is willing to renew our mind and I encourage you to allow Him to do just that.
May I end today by reminding each of you that you have value? You matter to God. He created you, and He sees you as being wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Friends, I encourage you to begin seeing yourself just as God sees you. He sent His One and Only Son to set you free (John 3:16). If you haven’t yet let Him in, please don’t wait another day. Tell God you desire to shift your focus off of yourself. Ask Him to come into your life. Repent of your sins so that you can begin enjoying the life Jesus died for you to have. God will receive you just the way you are and He’ll make you into the person that He created you to be. For those of you that have already taken this step, let’s pray together to welcome new members into the family.
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Sanctification: To make holy, free from sin and purify.
Repentance: A change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness.
“When we come to the end of our self, we find the shelter of The Most High.”
– James Robison