Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Too Polluted To Care

There is a huge difference between serving the Lord in our strength and desire, and serving him according to his direction. Too many of us fail to understand the difference and fall short of our potential in the Lord but think we are doing great. Part of our problem is not being able to hear the Lord through all the noise pollution that we surround ourselves with. So to get where we need to in our relationship with him we need to start tuning things out and tuning in to him. We have a great example of this in Daniel.

Daniel chose not to be distracted by the extravagance of the king. He and his friends kept it simple. The results were spectacular:

And God gave knowledge, mastery of all literature, and wisdom to these four men. Daniel himself gained understanding of every type of vision and dream. (Daniel 1:17)

Unlike others, I don't think it was the result of the type of diet but the simple act of concentrating on the Lord, of fasting the distractions to hear clearly. During this time the Lord equipped them for how he would use them in the coming years in this land of captivity. They would be his voice, his representatives to a people he had used to bring correction to his people:

When the time came to review the young men as the king had ordered, the chief official brought them before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king spoke with them, he found no one as good as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they took their place in the king’s service. (1:18-19)

Jesus also made it clear that to be useful servants in this foreign land we would have to avoid distraction. He told us that our love for him must be superior to any other. He told us that once our hand is to the plow not to be looking back. He told us to trust Father for provision as we concentrate on the things of the Kingdom. He told us that the only way we could follow his example is to deny ourselves and take up our cross. He said we cannot serve two masters.

So are we living up to our potential in the Lord or have we allowed the "king's" rich food to distract us? It is a rather easy question to answer but the real question is what to do about it. I gain awareness of my distractions, allow correction to come in, respond and then slowly get distracted again. Those who keep their focus are the ones who understand of the relationship, fast the distractions, live the importance of their mission and responsibility, and maintain their love for the Lord. Is Jesus, our mission and responsibility important enough for us to deny the distractions, to deny ourselves and follow him? Consider what is polluting you.

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