Middle East war zones, persecuted Christians, bombings in Israel, pressure at work, family issues, bills, college, friends, relationships, questions, parties, texting, cancer, peer pressure, celebrities, music, entertainment, household duties, and church. BOOM. Hello! Welcome to a day in the life of the 21st century. All of these things and more are pushed on us, linger in our minds and keep us up at night. It is so hard to keep a healthy mindset and relationship with Christ in the midst of all these distractions.
At one point last month I was feeling so overwhelmed with all that was happening on the news, with my family and friends, my job and involvement with the ministry. I felt myself slipping away from the presence of the Lord. The more I bent my eyes toward the problems and concerns of the world the quicker I fell from the throne of Jesus’ sweet presence. My mind was uneasy, peace felt just out of grasp. I was losing sleep and I couldn’t keep up with my family and personal matters. What had happened? Was it really just because of the news? Was it my own fault that I was feeling dry in my walk with the Lord? Most importantly what could I do to get back to the restful peace found only in Christ?
Day in and day out there are problems just stacked on top of one another waiting to tumble down on us. When we wake up we are bombarded with what the day holds and all that needs to get done. When I asked God to search me and know my heart and expose what was distracting me from experiencing His full presence from flowing in my life He showed me why I was lacking peace. When all we do is focus on the world and the problems, issues, plans, and people in it we are literally driving ourselves far from God. (Acts 28:27)
Some think of God as just a Spiritual Being up there in Heaven. They pray to Him in the morning, do a devotional and attend church. But they don’t listen to His Word. They don’t reach out to Jesus on a personal level. I know because I do this when I get “too busy for God”. I push aside devotional and prayer time and let the things of the day pull me in.
What we don’t know is that with everything in life (and I mean EVERYTHING including men, relationships with friends, work, school, social media ect.) God wants to be First in our Hearts. He is a jealous God and He wants to be everything to us. He should be our Sunrise and Sunset, the Love of our lives, our Peace in the morning breeze, the Laughter on our face, the Joy in our hearts, and our Anchor in the crazy tumultuous storm that rages all about us day and night.
The question is how can we put Jesus first in our lives when we have so much on our mind? This is the question I faced and this is the simple answer Jesus gave me: Make it the cry of your heart to know and find God. Find Him in the simple pleasures of life. Find Him in the beauty of family. Search for Him at night. Sing to Him in the morning and worship His glorious Name. Ask God that He would come first in your heart above all else; above your job, above your friends, above your church, above your dreams, above your fears, above your doubts and uncertainties.
My favorite verse is in Hosea 10:12. It says
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
Where it says to “Break up your fallow ground”. It means to rend your heart, break down the barriers of your soul and repent. I think this is key, especially when we are so distracted and our minds are going a million miles an hour trying to control things that are already in the sovereign hands of God. We need to stop. Pray (release any worry, sin, distracted thoughts, or tension). And seek the Lord until “He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
Seeking Jesus will restore peace to your soul and radiate love in your heart. It’s hard to keep up with all the things of life but Jesus is right there with you. He wants to help and bless you. Turn to Him and ask Him to be your everything.
An old, old hymn from the 8th century written by an Irishman named Dallan Forgaill, called “Be Thou My Vision” has been my inspiration and favorite song of all time. A verse in the lyrics goes perfectly for the closing of this article:
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
Jesus is your treasure and you are His. If we are ready to repent of what we’ve been holding on to, Jesus will be able to use your heart as a cleansed vessel, ready to pour forth His Spirit into.
Thank you for reading this.