Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday's with Jesus #105

#105 "Flaky Focus"
July 17, 2007
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2: 2)

Nothing that is valuable is achieved without effort. Fritz Kreisler, the famous violinist, testified to this point when he said, "Narrow is the road that leads to the life of a violinist. Hour after hour, day after day and week after week, for years, I lived with my violin. There were so many things that I wanted to do that I had to leave undone; there were so many places I wanted to go that I had to miss if I was to master the violin. The road that I traveled was a narrow road and the way was hard."

Someone else once said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Jesus in Matthew 7: 13-14) Only a few...reminds me of when Esther won the heart of the king of Persia and gained access into his throne room and his intimate chambers. Like an episode of "Mega-Bachelor", a thousand something women were vying for the role of Queen of Persia. But only one "got the rose." Few would ever gain that kind of access to his presence because the deeper you go into the palace, the fewer the people. But the greater the provision! Esther gained access because she placed more value on being with the king himself than on seeking a favor or a decree from his hand. 

Nothing that is valuable is achieved without effort. Without focus. Without directed attention and concentration. Just think back to your day so far. Or if it's early, think back to yesterday. Where was your focus? Where was your attention given? What were you concentrating on? Maybe it was on your child who is causing you heartache as you wet your pillow with tears at night. Maybe it was your husband who has left you for a younger model. Perhaps you were out there chasing the American dream of wealth and comfort and keeping up with the Jones' or the Smiths'. Were you focusing on your problems, your checkbook, your meetings, your appearance or any other type of "flaky focus"? Yes, I say "flaky". The reality is that those things are the stuff of which life is made of. You face problems and situations and responsibilities every day. But is that where your focus lies? Do you look to those things as the source of your happiness and peace? If those situations would just work out, life would be grand, right? Wrong!

Do you notice that the road is filled with people these days chasing those things? The perfect husband or wife. The ideal family. Perfect, well behaved kids. Money in the bank...two cars in the garage and a mortgage. Maybe a cottage or a boat. But my Bible tells me to seek God's face. To seek is to look early or eagerly for something, like looking for the dawn. Psalm 27: 8 says, "To you, O my heart he has said, "Seek my face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek." Like Esther, we are told to seek the King, not just what He can do for us. 

The Psalmist knew this truth when he said, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42: 1-2) He displays his yearning for God. His passion for the Almighty. David knew this secret as well when he said, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." (Psalm 27: 4) We are not to seek joy. We are not to seek peace. Dare I say that we are not to seek His blessings? We are to seek the King himself. We are to dig and search for Him as we would seek for hidden treasure. He is our treasure and He is all that we need. 

Jesus said that if we would seek first His kingdom and His way of doing things, that all else would be given to us besides. He knows our needs, our pain, our desires and our problems. But He specifically tells us to seek Him. He'll take care of the rest. That's a promise! He is your Shepherd. He is your Provider. He is your Healer. He is your Deliverer. He is your All in All. You haven't thought of anything that He has forgotten. He doesn't need your advice. He doesn't need you to remind Him. He doesn't need you to tell Him how things ought to get done. He knows, He cares and He will work it all out. Seek Him!

I know that it's lonely on that road. Everyone else seems to be chasing their dreams and their desires and the solutions to their problems. They want to know why you're not running frantically, doing the same. But you have a greater mission. Seeking to touch the heart of the one true God. The King of Heaven and earth. When you have access to the King's heart, all that He has becomes yours, because you are His. You will lack no good thing. You will have complete and genuine and perfect peace, when your mind is staid on Him. (Isaiah 26: 3)  Sometimes really wealthy folk hide their identity so that they can find people who will want to be their friends for who they are, not for what they have. In like manner, God wants you to want Him. Not what He has for you. Not what He can do for you. He wants you to want HIM! Because He wants YOU! 

This isn't a vain pursuit. God promises that if you seek Him, you will find Him. Before you know it, the crowds will get thinner, the space will get wider and you will walk past the gates, the outer courts and even the inner courts. You will find yourself in the bed chamber of the King. Where the conversation will be intimate. Where the secrets are revealed to you. Where all provision is presented to you. Because you are His and He is yours. He just wants you to love Him for who He is. Get rid of your flaky focus. Focus on the King.   

Donna Schultz                                                                             

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