Originally published Thursday, 21 July 2016.
I came home from a prayer meeting all full of Jesus and with new plans to let his love flow.
Sitting down at the computer, I knew three things:
1. God was using me to roll-out his glory.
2. I am encouraging others with words that only God could ordain. He is bringing unity.
3. Jesus' pulse was beating in my heart.
I pressed into my work with fervor. But, as time passed, my mind strayed. It wondered what people were up to? It pondered, what am I missing online? It called me to Facebook, then to my emails. God's work will be waiting when I return...I figured.
But, as I did, three things captured me:
1. The face of someone from the past. They brought me straight back into a bad memory.
2. Images from the Dallas catastrophe. It tried to rip the idea of unity apart in my heart.
3. An email from my husband, reminding me we have no idea where we are going to live or what our plans are.
What God established,
distraction was determined to demolish.
Like a perfectly organized shelf, my heart was arranged just right. It was oriented towards God, only to all be knocked down, at a moment's notice, by my own carelessness in keeping my heart set straight.
This kind of thing happens subtly. This toppling of God. It happens somewhere between morning devotion and child carpool. It shows up in a day somewhere between worship and workers with paint cans who never show up. It arrives through the voice of a boss who sounds like he hates you.
How do we stay devoted to God
when distractions get stuck to us?
"Only God knows," I thought. And he did.
What God put on my heart was two words: Purpose and Protection.
1. Purpose: If we don't purposely pursue his plans, our plans will fail.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Ps. 127:1
This means, no matter how blaring the noise, no matter how worthy its notability, we don't welcome it in for coffee. Sure, this alert, notification or ding can arrive at the doorstep of our heart, saying, "Hey look at me. Look at me! I need your attention."
But, we can act differently by saying, "I see you, but right now, I am on a mission from - and with - God. I need to focus on his face; he has plans for me that I cannot be deterred from."
2. Protection: If we don't guard against discouragement, we will swim in it.
What good are we to spread love, if we walk in defeat? We must consider what sends our heart astray and then, like we are holding a leash to a dog that is biting us, break the leash and send that yapping dog astray.
We need to let go of the leash that has actually kept us captive.
What is it? Facebook? Comparing? Jealousy? Performance numbers? Words from a friend that really is not even a friend?
Cut the leash.
Friends, I don't know about you, but I don't want to be beholden to the world, pinned down by it. I want to be a running and raging fire, releasing the love of Christ.
To do this, I must protect the sanctity and the sacred connection to my King. You must too.
For as we target our focus,
what will come in focus,
is the very focus of all our affections,
the King of Glory,
the Hope of Nations,
the drink of living water,
the way through all our existing questions.
There he is enthroned,
empowering his people,
pleading on our behalf,
equipping us with what we need.
And we will feel it,
we become certain,
heart pulsing, we want to move.
And we do,
we rise into his purpose.
Unbelievably effective for his cause.
We find ourselves.