"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking." Ephesians 4:17
I had a rather strange dream last night. In this dream, my family and I were driving on a vacation somewhere when we ran into someone we knew at a gas station. This person was lost, they were running away from things in their life, and searching for answers and truth. We counseled as best we could, and suggested places that they could turn to for help. Our suggestions were not well received, and in the end, we did what we could. We filled that person's vehicle with gas and then drove on to our destination. While we were concerned for this person, we did what we could, and the time had come for us to move on.
Isn't our walk through this earth kind of like that sometimes? I've been thinking on Facebook as of late. It's become quite the tool for me for communicating with groups and with people in various organizations. I really like using it in that regard. But what I'm really not a fan of is the whole "connecting with your past" thing that they've got going on. I'm just not interested in connecting with little Susie that I went to elementary school with. And yet, there she is popping up from time to time in my sidebar, with a suggestion that we be friends.
I honestly and truly think that way too many people are caught up and stuck in the past. I can't even imagine wanting to think in that regard- every day that we get to be here is another wonderful day- I love my today's, I look forward to my tomorrows, but I almost always am happy to move beyond what has already happened. I know that a lot of Christians have all these friends on Facebook with the idea that they can reach out to the unsaved through Facebook. And I have no doubt that God can use that tool in just that way, but I think that sometimes, you do what you can, you plant the seeds you can, but then you've got to move on.
Because what happens if you don't move on is that you can have your focus distracted or broken. Samson was a great man of God with supernatural strength. His focus was on doing what God asked of him- which included keeping his hair unshaven. Look what happened to Samson when his focus was broken.
"Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, 17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been
a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my
strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” Judges 16:15-17
Samson's focus on God was broken by his focus on this woman who was trying to do her best to weaken him and steal his strength. And she succeeded.
she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him
shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are
upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out
as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know
that the Lord had departed from him." Judges 16:19-20
When we allow ourselves to get tangled up in the unbelief of others, it can cause our focus on Him to be broken. We can become consumed with trying to sway the minds of others that it becomes almost an obsession- and not something that comes from God. Oh, I have no doubt that if we see something in error, that God would want us to say something, but He doesn't want our focus to shift from doing His Will to doing our will- to focus completely on the issue that's bothering us. In my dream last night, we realized that nothing we could say or do was going to sway this person. We had an original focus of getting to our vacation destination. While we took the time for an aside, to try and offer assistance, when we realized that our assistance was not going to be taken without considerable effort on our part, we refused to be swayed from our focus of getting to our destination. We did not allow our focus to be broken.
Our focus should be on Him. All the time. When we are focused oh God, and what He would have us do, He will guide us correctly every single time. We don't need to make it our personal mission to badger all of our Facebook friends over and over about going to church and getting saved. By focusing oh Him, He will guide us as to when we should be planting those seeds. He will let us know when the moment is right- when the soil is properly prepared to receive our seed. We do not need to chip away at the boulders that may be blocking the soil- instead, maybe that's an opportunity to simply commit that person to prayer. It's not the moment to allow ourselves to get all worked up, because it's not even our issue to get worked up over.
The thing is, the devil will use absolutely anything and everything to try and break our focus off of doing what God would have us do. And if the devil can use another person, under the guise of "that person needs to be saved" he'll do it. Any time we allow our focus to be shifted away from God and what He has for us, the devil rejoices. I myself have been quite guilty as of late about worrying about what other people are saying or doing that goes against my faith. I've decided to just move on and stop thinking on it. Oh, I'll still shake my head from time to time when I see something that causes me to pause- but my task at that moment is simply to put the issue to prayer. To lift it to God and then continue to keep my eyes on Him, and not let them be shifted to this new distraction. Sometimes, we can try to do what we can, but then we have to move on, we have to keep on striving for the prize, because that's the point.
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it." 1 Corinthians 9:24
Focus on the prize. When a runner runs a race, they do not get distracted by the runners and the goings on around them. Their eyes are on one thing, and one thing only. The finish line. Do not allow the things of this world to cause such a distraction that it would take your eyes of the prize. The finish line that Jesus Christ is preparing for us.