A few nights ago, I had a very strange yet enlightening experience. I may be as weird as weird can get being the dirty little freak that I am (see previous article To Thine Own Faith Be True), but this feeling, this aha moment took the cake.
I started to think about the deaths in my family this year. When death that close happens to us, it always make us temporarily re-examine our lives. I began to think about mine. I thought about what I have done and not done, my plans, my accomplishments and my failures. The things that I am most proud of and known for made me smile. Then came to cloud of recent actions and I cried. Suddenly, I had the overwhelming need and desire to just cry. I didn’t know why. I just suddenly felt overwhelmed and needed to let it out. I called one of my best friends and kept him up for hours just spilling my guts (thanks BJ). Afterward, I felt better having given my confession and received care. But there was still work to do. I realized that I have been living a lie. My lie had manifested into a barrier between me and my Father.
Have you ever met someone who seemed to have it all together? They seemed to have all of the answers, no real issues and just content. How did you feel about that person? Did you envy them? Despise them? Did you just have no care at all?
We all know that people who seem to have it together hardly do. These are the people who are good at wearing the mask of deception. And most of the time, the only person they ever truly deceive, is themselves.
I don’t mind confessing my sins to you. I’m an open book. You only have to ask. This information, however, I share freely with you. I hope it helps someone. As it is beginning to help me.
My strange and enlightening experience was the realization that in my efforts to wear my pretty little mask of deceitful perfection, I had begun to loose focus of what is important and what is true.
Now I am content in most areas of my life. I know my salvation is secure (Ephesian 2:8-9). I have no fear of death aside from the pain that may accompany it. I am confident that I am good at what I do professionally. I’m a great mom. I’m a great friend. I’m the one who is there for everybody. I’m the one who tells her secrets and her fears to no one. That is my mask. I need no one. I am content. Keep in mind this mask serves its purpose. It hides and conceals. We all know that nothing concealed can be healed.
This mask of mine had begun to suffocate me. So I searched for a means to get air without of course revealing my true self. And my quest led me down paths that I did not belong. My journey was sidetracked and I lost sight of my true goal in life: spreading the gospel.
Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
My Bible study begin to decrease. My daily reminder to read my Bible App went ignored often. Instead, I turned to texting friends and chatting on the phone. My outreach efforts were replaced with work and social gathering. Rarely was there a true discussion about the Lord. I replaced my relationship with God with desires of my flesh, desire that I denied for so long because hey, I was wearing the mask. I was content and didn’t need anything or anyone. Or so I wanted everyone to believe. But not only did most people did not buy it more importantly, the enemy did not buy it. And he took that weakness of mine and capitalized on it. My desire became my god. Yes, god with a little ‘g”. Anything that comes before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ becomes just that. Amen?
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
So, I had lost focus. But I had not realized it yet. That my brothers and sisters is a dangerous state. Anything could happen because your connection with the Father is limited.
So my crying and nashing of teeth session with my friend was my wake up call. Hello! To ignore the Holy Spirit is to place yourself in such danger.
When we loose focus, we turn from God. When we turn from God, we turn to other gods. The new “god” could be your job, your property or even a person. Anything that fills your desire more than the Lord Jesus Christ, is your new god.
How do we regain our focus? How do we get back on track? Personally, I remind myself of the unthinkable sacrifice that was made for me. I remind myself that it is selfish to take such a sacrifice for granted.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
We do not take those we love for granted. If we truly love God, we accept and cherish all He has done. We only need to look around to see that this present and cruel world will not be around much longer. Time, as the recent deaths in my family reminded me, is not on our side. It is imperative that we try to stay focus on our charge. We have the most important job, teaching the gospel that Christ died for our sins and nothing can be done to earn this free gift. Our faith is important. Our faith must be strong.
Col. 2:6-8 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Instead of focusing on the spoils of this present world (and I know it is a daily struggle), we try to keep our minds and hearts on the promise that one day very soon, we will be home in heaven.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
With our minds on heavenly places, we focus on our mission, we pursue our goal to increase our family. Sure its easy to become distracted. This world is filed with distractions. Several semi-sweet temptations have come my way. Some I have been able to evade, others not so much. But these detractors make us loose sight of why we’re her in the first place. Loosing focus ultimately separates us from God. Now this has nothing to do with salvation. We are sealed. But it does not mean that we are not capable of falling short or getting off track. In fact, I would say that as members of the body of Christ, we are more often provoked into falling into the trap of temptation. What better audience for the enemy to target than those who know the truth, those who faith is strong and those who have been given the power and the charge to bring others too the Father.