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Monday, October 1, 2018

Learning to Stay Focused on God’s Plan for My Life

In review of Luke 9:62 it says, ”Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God” (TLB).

Today’s verse comes from the last part of Luke 9:51-62, where Jesus teaches about the cost of following Him. As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Although Jesus knew he would face persecution and death in Jerusalem, he was determined to go there. He tells me, If I’m going to follow him, then move forward and follow. Don't wait for the conditions to be right or things to all come together first. When I follow I can't get too comfortable in my situation or keep looking back at my old life or ways. Truly following brings new things, adventures and even troubles. I am called to follow and not look back. Jesus tells me that anyone who starts to follow, but keeps looking back at his past and former ways, isn't worth anything to God's kingdom.

Jesus example of resolve should characterize my life as well. When God give me a course of action, I must move steadily toward my destination, regardless of the potential hazards or troubles that await me there.

True discipleship requires instant action. I am not to forsake my responsibilities, but I need to be careful of my motives. Following Jesus has a cost, and I must be ready to serve, even when it requires sacrifice.

Jesus wants total dedication and not a half hearted commitment. I can’t pick and choose among Jesus' ideas and follow him selectively; I have to accept the cross along with the crown. I must count the cost and be willing to abandon everything else that has given me security without looking back. With my focus on Jesus, I should not allow anything to distract me from following him.

I need to be careful that I’m too busy with my own plans, work or ambitions, that I don’t have any time. For in the midst of busyness, I can’t just try to carve out a little sliver from the pie of life and say, “I’ll give this to God.” It doesn’t work that way.

If I want to be serious about being used by God, I have to say, “Lord, what do I need to let go of? What do I need to cut out? What barriers are holding me back and keeping me from running the race you have for me?”

Lots of different barriers will hold me back from God’s plan for my life. One of the biggest categories: distractions. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God” (TLB).

Here are a few of the many things that are likely distracting me from my life's mission:

The expectations of others. I’ve got to decide whom I’m going to please first in life. I can only have one number one.

Hobbies. There’s nothing wrong with these things. But if they distract you from the most important things, then I need to let go of them.

My past. Maybe you refuse to let go of your past—whether it’s guilt or resentment or grief. If I’m stuck in the past, I cannot get on with the present, and I certainly can’t get on with God’s future for me. My past is past. It’s over! I need to let it go.

What do I need to let go of? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is helpful” (HCSB). This means: A lot of things aren’t necessarily wrong; they’re just not necessary. Life often means choosing either “Am I going to do something good?” or “Am I going to do what’s best?”

If the Enemy can’t make me bad, he’ll make me busy. He’ll get me so busy that I don’t have time for the important stuff—time alone with God, ministry, and mission.

I need to simplify my life and eliminate distractions so God can use me. Don’t try to do it all. Do what matters most!

Bottom Line:
If you allow yourself to get distracted from the work He has planned for you, you are not fit for the Kingdom of God.

What this means to me:
If I start to follow, but keep looking back at my past or former ways of life, or get distracted with this world I will not be fit for the kingdom or the work he has planned for me.

In summary, If I"m going to follow him, then move forward and really follow. Don't wait for things to come together. I can't start and then keep looking back or get distracted. Jesus example of resolve should also characterize my life. I must move steadily toward my destination, regardless of the hazards or troubles that await me. True discipleship requires instant action. I must be ready to serve, even when it requires sacrifice. Jesus wants my dedication. I need to be careful that I'm not so busy that I don't have time for anything else. I need to consider today what needs to be cut out or reduced. Don't allow distractions from getting me off the course to really following and serving him. I need to simplify and eliminate distractions, and not try to do it all. Do what matter most.

Father I pray for your wisdom and guidance for the work items and tasks i have in front of me. Allow me to lead others and interact in a loving and caring manner. Help me to live with integrity, humility, generosity and purpose today. In your son Jesus name, Amen!

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