One of the most asked questions I hear in this time of crisis is, "How Can I Focus On God"?
There are answers to this as we will see in the following scriptures and teachings from Gods own word!
There are many things that we do that can and will distract us from our focus on God and it always leads to a conscience filled with regret, conviction and many times condemnation. This is not what our Father wants for us!
John 3:17 states that Jesus did not come to condemn but to save and set free! Jesus truly is the savior and on him alone will we find God the Father.
The first scripture we want to look into on how to focus on God is Leviticus 19:4.
Leviticus 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.
This strikes right to the heart of the matter. Where is your heart? Who are you serving.
The first thing we need to look into is, which and how many idols are we serving?
What is an idol? Idol: an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. Also, a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.
As you can see there are many things, and persons who we can make as idols to us here in the earth! One of the greatest idols we serve is the image of who we want to be, or who we think we are. I will get to this one in just a bit!
First lets look at the common idols we serve here in the United States.
I am not throwing stones, I have participated in all of this idol worship in the past. I have been just as guilty as anyone else! At some point we have to move beyond our own desires and seek God! We can still find ourselves serving idols if we are not careful!
How do we give our praise to them? We teach our children to worship them! Yes, worship them! We tell them if they can become like the star, they can be successful also! We purchase clothing, usually more expensive than ordinary clothes, with the name of the star on them and have our children wear them around telling the world they want to be just like the name of the star whose clothing they are wearing!
Americans spend millions of dollars a year on sports clothing for themselves and their children. The adults spend millions a year attending sports events and venues teaching the children that this is what is important in life!
This is idol worship of men! Yup, it sure is. I know this is not very acceptable here in America but it is what it is, idol worship. We are teaching our children and have been for generations to worship men over God! The fear of God is not in our children because they do not see that in us!
When we give our praise to men, we have made them an idol!
Acts 14. This chapter shows how Godly people react to the praise of men. The priest and people of Jupiter tried to make sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas because a man was healed when Paul spoke and told him to rise up to his feet. Sports stars do not react like this, they accept all praise and glory you will give them! I am sure there are exceptions to this but it will be far and few between.
Hunting and Fishing:
This is something that drives church leaders, especially so called pastors, crazy!
When folks miss church to go hunting and fishing, they put darts into the sides of the so called pastors! I find this humorous, sorry.
There is no sin in fishing or hunting when it is done for the feeding of our families. Nothing wrong with providing meat for our families. When this becomes a competition as to who can catch the largest fish or kill the biggest deer or bag the biggest turkey, etc. it has become a sin! Yes, it is sin to compete against others for accolades for at that point, it has become a source of pride.
When we do things to be seen of men or to get their applause or admiration, we have become hypocrites as Christians.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Oh my, this one topic could have an entire book written about it! I will not be so lengthy! Possessions was spoken against very strongly by our Lord Jesus Christ. This one statement by Him should be taken to heart for anything we could ever own.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
This is another topic liken to the Sports one. Godless performers who deny the God of creation. Actors and performers who promote ever kind of sinful desire there is known to men! No wonder our society has become so enamored with the porn industry. I read one article where this industry was one of the industries that people spend more money on yearly than any other!
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
This industry is one of the worst! This industry has the potential to deceive more people than any other. Music controls peoples emotions! This is one reason so many people think that everyone who sings about religion is a good christian. Emotionalism has nothing to do with faith! Faith has everything to do with emotionalism though!
There are so many praise and worship groups out there that are in the industry for the money and praise of men! It is an industry to make money! To receive praise and glory from man! I shouldn't even have to talk about the country, jazz, pop, rock, and all the other venues of music out there! If it doesn't bring glory to God, it is not of God!
Churches, church personalities:
How many people go around bragging about the church they attend or pastor who preaches every Sunday? Do you know someone who does this? Our little church is not like the rest, our preacher preaches it straight from the good book! Yup, "our little church" "we" "Our preacher" "our Singers" "Our, our, our" We sure are proud of ours, huh? Like my mother used to say, "everyones crow is the blackest"! More people worship buildings, pastors, singers, etc. than anything I know! So called Christians are some of the proudest and arrogant people in the world when it comes to "their bunch".
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
I said in the first of this article I would get back to the idea of people trying to be someone they are not. This is a type of idol worship never mentioned in teaching or ministering that I have ever heard.
The idols I mentioned above are pretty obvious but this one is not so obvious as it has become part of peoples religion or beliefs. It is a hidden idol of a false belief and therefore not recognizable to most people. I will try to reveal this idol in the rest of this post and hopefully, it will help you focus on God by turning loose from an idol that you have held on to for years without even recognizing it!
In the book of Acts, chapter 14 we see Paul and Barnabas returning to Athens after traveling for a while. They had preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to the folks at Athens and they had received the message and many sons were added to the kingdom.
Upon their return they found some Jews, Pharisees, teaching those same converts that they had to be circumcised in order to be saved. Basically saying, you have to become like us Jews and be subject to a law of ordinances. There was a large dispute caused by this teaching between Paul and the Pharisees.
Because of this dispute, Paul and Barnabas and others were sent to Jerusalem to take the matter before the elders and apostles.
Upon hearing the complaint the elders and apostles went aside to discuss the matter and began disputing themselves! This was a big thing to them! Should the Gentiles be converted to Judaism in order to be saved? This was a new thing to the Jews as well as the Gentiles!
So, should these Gentiles who had never been given a law be made to follow one? These Gentiles who God had never approached as His own be converted to Judaism in order to qualify as His children? Was His grace not sufficient?
First Peter stands up and declares he had been chose to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and God had born them witness by giving them the Holy ghost and that this showed there was no difference between Jews and Gentiles for God had purified their hearts by faith.
Next he says something that is hardly ever mentioned, "why tempt ye God"?
Next, Paul and Barnabas give an account of all the miracles and wonderful works God had done through them in the Gentile communities.
The next person to speak is James! He is one of the elders of the assembly. One full of faith and anointed of God. James rehearses some prophesy pertaining to gentiles then follows this up by stating,
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
This statement pleased the elders and apostles and the whole assembly! What was this thing that pleased them? "that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God"
Why do you want to put a burden or a law on someone or yourself that God never put on them or you? The Law was never given to the Gentiles but to the Jews. Commandments to observe days, weeks, years, etc. was not given to Gentiles but to the Jews.
Peter's response is a huge part of the solution also 10. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
What is this yoke? The Law of Ordinances! Gentiles were never commanded to follow these ordinances and after the elders and apostles met and prayed over the matter, they determined it was pleasing to the Holy Spirit and themselves that the Gentiles not be put under these ordinances!
What was the solution they came up with by the inspiration of the holy Spirit?
Where is the Sabbath meetings, the tithing, the observance of special days, etc. They are not required by the New Testament Church!
Most of you are not Jewish and because you have become a believer in Jesus, the Christ does not make you one! You are not beholden to any of the Laws of Ordinances God had Moses deliver to the Children of Israel! So, stop trying to be a Jewish person and worship God in Spirit and Truth and let all the condemnation of failing to please the preachers and hateful church members go!
God does not want or need your tithes for a group of priest who do not even exist anymore! Jesus is now your High Priest in the Heavens! God does not want you to gather with a bunch of unbelieving people in a building for a large social gathering that does not give Him proper praise and worship.
The early assembly met with other believers not heathen! They came together to worship and praise God through song, teaching, ministering and testimony.
Having your hope and security in Jesus will bring peace in your life. It is almost impossible to do this when you are worrying with all the laws and regulations of a modern day church. You need to build your relationship with the Father and create a love for him like never before.
Without exception, we think about, concentrate and focus on those we love the most. If you really want to learn to focus on God, learn to love him more than your idols.
Your identity should be in Jesus Christ and not any religion or religious system. Be who you are, a Christian not a Jewish person.
I have nothing against the Jewish people and I think they are a wonderful people who God sees as the Apple of his eye but they are Jews and you are not. They were bound to a Law, you were not.
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