So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Competing With God
What things in this world distract us from God? What are you willing to give up to see just how much your life would change? Jesus said that we must forsake everything for Him if we are to be His disciple (Luke 14:33). For me, when I became a Christian, many of the things that I used to love weren’t things that I enjoyed anymore. It’s as if my desires or passions for things changed dramatically. I believe that this happens when we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The things that I used to love I began to hate, and the things that I used to hate I began to love. Not that I can even undo Moses’ sandal straps, but like Him I started forsaking the ways of the world for those things that pleased God. Moses forsook the riches and passing pleasures of Egypt to serve God (Heb. 11:26). Almost everything else seemed like a loss compared to the riches found in Christ (Phil. 3:7). What about you? What competes with God in your life? What distracts you from being more devoted to Him?
Hating the World, Loving God
The Apostle John was clear when He wrote that if we love the world, we cannot possibly love God (1 John 2:15). If we are conformed to the world, there will be no true renewal of our mind (Rom. 12:2). If we are close friends with the world and those of the world, then that makes us enemies of God (James 4:4). Whatever it is in this world that distracts you from God is robbing you of the opportunity for real change in your life. If we’re not seeking the King of the kingdom first, then we might even struggle with the necessities of this life (Matt. 6:33), and we can’t call Him Lord if we don’t do what He tells us to do (Luke 6:46). God cannot be mocked because what we sow is what we’ll reap (Gal. 6:7), and if we sow into the flesh, we’ll reap the wind (or empty, useless things).
Naming the Distraction
Can you name what distracts you from God? Can you identify what it is that keeps you from fully serving God? Name it and then ask God to change the desires of your heart. The world has a very strong pull on our flesh. I know–I get constant pulls of the flesh to go back into the ways of the world. Are your distractions sports, a job, friends, family, your social status, or something altogether different? Whatever it is, it is in competition with God. God is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14; Deut. 4:24), and we are to put Him first (Luke 10:27). I think every one of us, even those of us who’ve been a believer for a long time, have distractions. These distractions can keep us from significantly changing our life for the better and for the purpose of being more mightily used by God.
A Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father God, my heart is an idol factory. Please help me to love You more and more each day so that pleasing You and serving You will squeeze out of my life the desires to please myself and that You can use me in a much more powerful way. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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