Well, it’s another Sunday morning. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
As I was taking a break from some simple tasks I was doing at the house I started looking at all the pictures and knickknacks that we have scattered around the house. I noticed how the ones we wanted the most attention drawn to would be carefully centered on the walls or the tables they sit on. See, centering them gently draws the Focus of the viewer to that point first, it’s what we want people to see and remember. Everything else around them became less important than the items that are centered. This is the same in casual conversation or in your day-to-day tasks at work. Your focus is drawn to what is centered in that moment. Our faith or lack of faith is the same way.
Here’s the problem, during these crazy times we are living in now, as we are truly being surrounded by sin, it would be easy to have our focus drawn away from our faith. Our focus could easily be placed on the sins that seems to be the center of what is going on in our world right now. It says this very thing in 2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV), “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
See, Faith is in your heart and in your mind whereas sin is visual, it is in the news or on the street corner or in your home. Sin is a smell or a sight or a feel. Sin is all the things we know through our faith that Christ would not do. We can read in Galatians 3:22 (ESV) this truth, “But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
So, what is the center of your life? Think about it for a minute. Where is your focus drawn? Is your focus on being the best at work, Is your focus being able to have the biggest savings account or the fattest wallet, or is your focus on being liked by everyone around you? All of us that are true believers in Jesus would like to say that Christ is where my life is centered. Even then our focus is easily drawn from where we want it to be and placed on that shinny sin being displayed in the center of everything.
Even as I write this Satan has continually tried to draw me from my writings. He has broken my concentration so many times I can’t count. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) helps keep me centered on this though. It says this, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” To beat the enemy we have to center ourselves on Christ Jesus, our LORD and Savior.
So are you living a Christ-centered life? Are you turning the other cheek? Are you following the path God gives you to escape the things that are tempting you? It’s truly very hard to do, I know this for sure. Once you have chosen the path of faith, you can be assured that Satan will attack you at every turn. The really great thing is if you simply say, “Be gone Satan. I belong to Christ Jesus,” and truly mean it when you say it, well, things just get clearer and you feel a peace over you. John 14:6 (ESV) tells us this, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ ”
Being Christ-centered is where we should all strive to be. We should also know that we will be attacked when we choose this Christ-centered walk.
This Bible passage tells us how to prepare ourselves for these battles with Satan. In Ephesians 6: 14-21 (ESV) we read this truth, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.”
Center yourself on Christ alone, try to walk as he walked. You will stumble, we all do on a regular basis. Know that it is through Christ’s love that He bled out for us on the cross that we are forgiven for these stumbles. Know that through Christ all things are possible if we focus and also know this truth, God truly loves each and every one of you and so do I.