Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hoopes I did it again.

"I'm delivered, but it doesn't seem right
unless I keep my eyes focused on the savior who gave his life"

devotion by Hillsong United

It's hard to remember that you have been delivered, redeemed, and forgiven when you struggle everyday and fail consistently. But though it is difficult, it is not impossible. 

I know firsthand how easy it to fall and keep falling. To feel that you're stuck. That no matter what you seem to do you can't seem to progress or grow. That feeling of every time you take a step forward you take two steps backwards. It stinks, actually it's terrible. And what I think the worst part of it all is that you can't understand it. You don't want to be in it, but you can't helped but get sucked in deeper. It's like quicksand; the more you move and try, the more you sink. You want to get back but you can't. You feel yourself losing grip and slipping away, and it just makes no sense to you.

Well, allow me to explain and clarify a bit as to why we get these struggles. It all comes down to our focus. We consume ourselves with these struggles because our focus is on us and the current struggles, which will only lead you to more struggles. When we struggle, we can't focus on ourselves and the struggles. We need to focus on the One who can get us out of the struggle. We need to adjust that focus on Him and keep it there. I have found this helpful to me lately, many times. When I notice myself stuck, rather than pouting, I question myself as to what am I doing. And I quickly realize I am being selfish keeping my focus on myself and those problems. My Dad deserves my focus, and it is selfish of me not to give it to Him. When I understand that, and make adjustments, I begin to realize that I am also conquering my struggles through Him. When I shift my focus back to God, I remember that I am redeemed. I remember that I am no longer bound to sin, but freed and strengthen in Him to overcome it. He is greater than our afflictions. His glory is greater than our struggles. He overcame this world and His love needs to overwhelm are selfishness so we can too.

It's all easier said than done though right? Yeah unfortunately, but don't quit. Keep striving, remain steadfast to push through. Let Him be the fuel to the engine that gets us through the strife. I think that is a perfect depiction of what needs to be the case of our lives. We are like engines, or vessels better yet. How we move is affected by what we inject ourselves with to get us going. If our focus is on things of this world, or the problems we face striving after those things, then we have the answer why we aren't getting very far. Now if our strive is after Him first, how far are we going to go? The answer is found in Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." When He is our central focus, when our lives revolve around seeking Him, then everything we need will be given to us. That includes all the strength, courage, wisdom, and love to get through the things going on. It is a must to remind ourselves all day and every day to do this. So we are constantly being reminded to keep Him first, and constantly dying to self. They go hand in hand. In order to seek Him first, we need to die to ourselves and our selfishness. This is possible, very possible. Life and it's problems are hard. We are going to fall at times, but understand that we are stronger than we think when we adjust our focus to where it belongs. I hope this helps some that are stuck in constant failings and feel discouraged. I encourage you, you can do it through him. Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."

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