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Monday, January 22, 2024

Is That Really the Best Option?

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

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to be selective. There will always be a lot of options and opportunities. But the key to effectiveness is being selective.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “Someone may say, ‘I’m allowed to do anything,’ but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth” (GW).

In other words, some things aren’t necessarily wrongthey’re just not necessary. Once we figure this out, we’re going to be able to better withstand the hard times in life. We’re going to become resilient!

When I know where I’m headed and I focus in that direction, the less likely I will be distracted by less important things. I’ll set priorities that have an eternal focus. I’ll realize what matters most in life, and I’ll choose not just good things but the most important things.

I’m being reminded in many different ways that what I want to become, needs to be clearly visualized and valued for what I want my life to look like. (i.e. Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret” - We become what we think about, “A goal is something we come from, not goto” - Rich Litvin, “If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your systems instead” - James Clear “Atomic Habits”.)

Jesus was a master of concentration. He lived a selective life, and it allowed him to give his life for God’s kingdom and do what pleased his Father.

Luke 9:51 says, “As the time drew near for his return to heaven, [Jesus] moved steadily onward toward Jerusalem with an iron will” (TLB).

Jesus modeled an iron will and fulfilled his purpose—even though he knew it would lead to his death. His focus helped him endure the pain and stress and persecution. Paul was the same way. He said, “This one thing I do,” not “these 40 things I dabble in.” He did one thing with his life—the most important thing.

I have incredible potential to be used by God, but the barrier is often that I haven’t settled what’s most important. If I think I don’t have time to serve God, then I’m not focused. If I spend more time on social media than I do getting to know God, then I’m not focused. If I have to do something else before I follow Jesus, then I’m not focused.

The Bible is clear: “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 TLB).

One day I’m going to stand before God. How will I answer him when he asks what I did with what I was given?

In summary, what does Jesus want from me? Total dedication, 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 remember that the enemy will find ways to distract me, to keep me from doing God's work. So I must consider today what are the most important things in my life. I can then ask God to help me remain focused on what's most important.