How to focus your life on Jesus.
We’ve read the instruction to lead a Christ-centered life, but what exactly does that mean? I do think about Jesus at times during the day, but I cannot say that I feel I am leading a Christ-centered life. I still struggle with the same un-Christlike behaviors I’ve always had. What I long for is that awareness, that sensation of closeness, that impactful clarity of knowing and achieving what God wants me to do. My wife says she is reminded of God in nature, keeping His presence as a guiding source for her throughout the day.
I have come upon some things that may lend a helping hand. They are within the gentle practice of spiritual discipline.
Did you know we were designed to know Jesus Christ and to make Him the center of our lives? Know him as if he was one of your close friends. One thing that helps this, deciding that God is more important than anything else you have in your life. Sounds simple, but we know it is not. We are bombarded by so many temptations of our world. Mainstream media wants you to know that you are an oddball if God is important to you. The Holy Spirit will help you, once you decide this is what you want, focus your motivations, thoughts, and actions on a more righteous path.
God wants you to focus on Him, but He wants you to recognize your past. Nothing lays a better foundation in your relationship with God than confessing your short-comings and sins. He is desirous that we take responsibility for what we have done and the consequences. This puts us in the frame of mind of sinners, in need of Grace. We need God’s Grace and His forgiveness. When we know we are forgiven, we can dwell on God’s blessing and His wonders. That focus highlights God’s presence and His influence on our everyday lives.
Logically following our renewed attention on God, comes the desire to learn more about Him. His Bible holds all the necessary information needed about Him. More importantly, using the Bible as your foundation, He wants you to understand and work toward the relationship He has always wanted with you. In the Old Testament God created covenants to have a relationship with man. In the New Testament He sent His Son as our covenant, that is, Jesus Christ is our connection and facilitator in this relationship with God.
Study of the Bible can sometimes seem daunting. The language used, even with “modern”-language versions, is not always clear. Jesus Christ’s church supplies valuable help to those studying His Word. Use the church. They want to be of help to you either within their church or the neighborhood study group.
The underpinning of all efforts to develop a relationship with God is prayer. The beauty of prayer…anyone can do it! Prayer is you talking to your friend, God. There are things to make your prayers more effective. For example, it is best to approach God with a contrite heart. God knows you and your situation, approaching God haughtily or with pride, does not help your relationship. Just think about your other friends, they aren’t too pleased if you approach them with great pride and hyperbole. Since God does know you, honest and humble communication is most effective. Let God direct you in His agenda, don’t try to force Him into yours.
As you progress toward a “closer walk with thee” discipleship will include the desire to fast. I know, I don’t like the thought of it, but Jesus talked as if it was a given…not if you fast but as you fast. Fasting is not meant to be punishment (although that was my first thought) nor do you have to fast from all food and drink. Its purpose is to show that you can exist without giving in to all the demands of your body, intensifying your focus upon God.
Giving. God wants us to know that all we have has been a gift from Him. He wants us to know that we can depend on Him for everything. He wants us to show Him that we understand this by giving our resources away. Once you have begun a more focused life upon God, your vision increases, and you can see the need in your community better than ever. God’s vision becomes yours and you feel the needs of others. You also feel God’s care and know He will provide you everything you need to support others.
As you embrace the above actions and attitudes one result will stick out. You will want to worship God. Continually. Guaranteed, the more you focus your thoughts, motivations, and actions on God, worshipping God takes on an urgency and becomes a blanket of blessings.
We know life is hard. Practicing spiritual discipline can be hard, however, as you remain diligent the peace of being in God’s Will begins to flow as a balm throughout your spirit, lifting you above your daily struggles focusing on the love from Jesus Christ. The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will use His love to direct you, little-by-little. Soon, you will begin to notice your new focus and you will rejoice!
(Please comment, help me become a better writer.)