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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The focus of my life: Me or God?

Too often I find myself looking at life from a "me-focused" perspective:
"What should I do?"
"What can I do?"
"What should I not have done?"

This tends to make me frustrated and worried, because it's a law-based perspective. I'm constantly putting myself down from not living up to my own expectations.

Obviously, living with this perspective is not the way to be content and joyful in life. Rather, I need to keep my focus on Christ:
What has he done for me?
What is he doing in my life right now?
What has he promised for my future?

In terms of my eternal state ("What has God promised for my future?"), that's something for which I fully rely on God, not on myself. I have been made of a child of God by his grace and saved through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, which is a gift of God. My eternal salvation is not in question, and it is secure in Christ.

It's the day-to-day life that's a struggle, not my hope for the future. Satan tries to tear me (all of us) down: "You're such a terrible person. You never get anything right. God is so disappointed in you."

To counter this, we get to live in the knowledge that we are forgiven. God gladly and willingly forgives all our mistakes--even the ones we might think are unforgivable--and helps us turn away from our sins, repent, and turn back to him.

When I feel like I'm a "terrible person" or a "bad Christian," I remind myself that God sometimes works in and through me despite me! The Holy Spirit, living within us, enables us to live a life that's obedient to God and that reflects his love to those around us.

The ability to live a "good Christian life" is not something we find within ourselves. It's something God gives us freely, as a father gives good gifts to his children.

We cannot trust our feelings in this. Whether I "feel" like I'm a terrible person or not, that doesn't change what God has done for me. Our forgiveness is not based on our feelings. Neither is our salvation. We are saved and forgiven because of God's great love for us, shown in Christ's death and resurrection.

This is what I want to be the focus of my life!

Not me. Not my actions.

God--and his great love for me.

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