This past Sunday Evangelist Ed Lacy preached two sermons that greatly impacted the life of our church. One particular thing he said really stuck with me. Brother Ed said, “We become what we behold.” He was encouraging us to have “a daily, consistent, quality, priority time with the Lord.”
Whatever my focus is that day, my feelings will be steered in that direction. Do I look around at all the calamity and chaos, or do I look up to Christ? If I want to become more like Jesus, how can I do that when the majority of my attention is on this world?
The world can easily grab and keep my attention. The daily drumbeat of current events distracts me from what is most important: my daily walk with Christ. This does not just make common sense, it makes biblical sense:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)
Sheer willpower is not going to keep my focus on heavenly things. As Brother Ed exhorted us, we need “to study Scripture with desire, devotion, and delight.” Daily Bible reading and studying cannot be done to accomplish a task. That can easily become idolatry, especially if we boast upon it, albeit subtly giving “praise” for it on our social media pages.
The Holy Spirit was sent to us by God the Father at the request of Jesus:
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17a)
This is a wonderful promise from Jesus, and although the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent, His help is not automatic. We have to engage our Heavenly Helper through our studying of and meditating upon Scripture. When we do this, then we can know the Truth.
Oftentimes we forget the second part of that equation: studying and meditating. We may diligently study our Bibles, but how long does it stick with us? Do I give it a second thought after I leave my prayer closet? Or do I fire up the internet or look at my Drudge Report app to see what else has come apart in America while I was asleep.
If I want to be more like Jesus, then I have to spent more time focusing on Him. I have been accused of being a political animal, neither of which I desire. I do not want to be known as an animal, political or any other such. I want to be known as God’s man.
That means if I spend time with the Lord in His word and my prayer closet, but then immediately turn to the cares of this world, then I become what James wrote of:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” (James 1:22-24)
Play out that scene from above in your mind. You get ready in the morning for your day, looking in the mirror making sure you’re squared away, and the second you turn away, you forget how you look. Not just how your hair or clothes look, but how you look. You forget who you are.
If I am only reading the Word of God but not doing the Word of God, then I forget that I want to be a man of God. I will become ensnared with the cares of this world. I want to be the man James spoke of in the succeeding verse:
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)
I want to be blessed in what I do. I’m sure you do too.
Then let’s be careful of what we behold so we can become who we desire.
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Copyright © 2018 David Jeffers