Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

“… let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1-2

As the author of Hebrews says, we have a race set before us. That race is called Life.  And if we focus on the teachings of Jesus to guide all that we do and say, we will run the race of Life well.

Unfortunately, life is full of distractions that make us lose our focus on Jesus and on our relationship with God. Our biggest distraction is our earthly desires.  We may desire a nicer car or a bigger house.  Or perhaps we are distracted by personal goals.  We may be overly focused on achieving something impressive.  But things and accomplishments are not what we should be focusing on.

This is a hard pill for many of us to swallow. Many of us are self-improvement junkies.  I am.  I love to focus on the things that I want to do and have.  So when I succumb to these distractions, I have to stop myself.  And then, in humility I have to ask God to once again return my focus to Him.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, your life or your relationships. But if the focus of your life is to serve God, then your desires need to be line with that, or they won’t make sense.  For instance, I may desire a bigger house.  But if I want a bigger house simply to feel important or successful, then I will be uncomfortable with that desire.  Something won’t feel right.  However, if I want a bigger house to entertain people by feeding them and giving them a place to enjoy each other’s company, my desire feels right.  It is in line with God’s mandate that we serve others.

The same holds true if I want a higher paying job. Do I want more money to buy more stuff – cars, furniture, bling?  Or I do I want more money, so that I am able to help friends or family members who are in need from time to time?

When my eyes are focused on Jesus, I don’t stop wanting to improve my circumstances or my relationships. The only difference is that my motivation is God-centered, not me-centered.  When I am God-centered, life suddenly works.  I am seeking the right things for the right reasons.

Like most people, I struggle with this concept. For instance, I am embarrassed to say that there is a house in my neighborhood that I would love to own.  It is just beautiful.  It sits on a lake and has seven bedrooms.  I have one child.  My desire to own that house is in no way aligned with my desire to serve God.  I would have to adopt five orphans to justify living in that house.  So when I think about that house, even though I think it is lovely, my desire for it just doesn’t feel right.

It is hard to keep your mind in focused on God. But every time you have that sinking feeling that you want something that doesn’t make sense, catch yourself.  Ask yourself, am I looking to Jesus at this moment?  Are my desires in line with my service to God?  Once you answer those two questions, you can pursue your dreams and goals for the right purpose.

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