Inwardly Focused on God’s Promises
I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Who knows what tomorrow may bring, or if it will come at all for us, thus be mindful of the present time, because lost time never returns? We can never go back and amend our life choices. Without care and diligence, virtue may slip through our fingers. If we grow cold spiritually, things may begin to turn evil for us. Our Lord even pointed out that even turning “lukewarm” in our life is a dangerous state for our lives. (Rev. 3:16) However, if we strive to remain spiritually focused, we will experience inner peace and have endure fewer hardships in our life, because our love of virtue and God’s grace is the focus of our lives. Certainly an inwardly focused and diligent person is prepared for all things.
Consider these thoughts offered by Thomas a’ Kempis 500 years ago, which are still relevant:
- It is harder to resist vices and passions in this life than to perform hard work.
- A person who does not get rid of small faults will gradually fall into greater ones.
- You will always rejoice in the evening if you spend your day profitably.
- Watch over yourself, wake yourself up, warn yourself, and whatever may become to others, do not neglect yourself.
- The stricter you are with yourself, the more spiritual progress you will make.
Therefore, consider this for pursuing spiritual progress pleasing to God: His kingdom is within us, says the Lord (Luke 17:21). He encourages us to focus our heart, soul and mind to him and forsake the challenges and temptations of this world. Then our soul will find rest – genuine inward peace, a sign our life is pleasing to God. However, sometimes our efforts to forsake things of this world cause us to weep and mourn, because our commitment to pleasing God requires more than a confession – it requires a legitimate life change that begins deep within us. Thankfully, God is patient and gracious and certainly compassionate. He tempers his anger as we strive to focus our lives to please him. His faithful love keeps us from the dangers and disasters that this world can offer.
Our lives should despise outward things and be occupied with inward things, and then we will discover the Kingdom of God within us, and see its affects all around our lives. We will cease seeking to worry about the concerns of the world only to discover righteousness, peace, and joy. Whoever serves the Lord in this way is acceptable to God and will be approved by men. The wicked of this world will never realize either.
We should endeavor to prepare a worthy dwelling place for God within us, and then Christ will enter and comfort our hearts. All his glory and beauty will be revealed within and all around us, as he delights to be with those who seek him. He brings with him sweet conversations, pleasant comfort, great peace, and a friendship that is abundantly wonderful. Such a relationship anchored in Christ begins by inwardly pleasing God with all our heart, the fruit of a changed life that is encouraged and empowered by his very presence to guide and guard us from the challenges, dangers and disasters of this present world.
My daily prayer: Lord Jesus, in your holy name I praise God for all you have blessed me and my family with. Although I realize this world offers challenges, dangers and even ever-present disasters, as long as we have you in us, with us, and for us, the world cannot claim us. Lord, I thank you for being patient when I have stumbled and fallen, and for your grace when you led me back to the ways pleasing to you my God and Father. Lord Jesus, my faith in you has revealed your loving embrace as I have faced “giants” that have risen up against me. Without you I would certainly crumble and fall in fear, but you have given me peace and assurance of your protection in the battle, and have promised that if I will stand firm, the victory is assured. Thank you, Lord. For your name sake and for my family’s sake, I choose to never give up, give in, or give out, but instead give my all to you each day. Amen.
For additional reading: Joel 2:12-13; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 45:10-15