The Shaky Foundation of the Unfocused
Can’t you see the writing on the wall? Do you recognize what is going to happen if? Have you ever been told this or told it to someone else? As I read today’s headlines this is what I wanted to scream. Is the world blind? Has the focus been lost and buried so long that life is deteriorating? It often seems that the world is crumbling away bit by bit. Somewhere along the way, we have lost our focus and direction. Are we part of the problem or solution? When the writing appears clear how do we share it with others in a loving way? And what is going to happen to our world if we don’t?
We may not all see eye-to-eye on many things or levels but most of us would agree that the world we live in has a good many problems that need to be rectified. Sometimes it seems the problems of the world are being addressed as if we are playing a game of Jenga. In the game 53 wooden blocks, each 3 times longer than their width are stacked into a tower. Players are to remove a block from the tower and then place it on the top level without the tower falling. It is touted as a great game for building decision-making skills, eye-hand coordination, along with patience and control. The company suggests it for children 6 and up. I don’t know about you, but I can see the writing on the wall with a tumbling tower with a 1st grader and perhaps even a few adults I know.
The Writing on the Wall
When we choose to treat the problems of the world this way, well the writing may be on the wall, and as the nursery rhyme says, “we all fall down.” For when we lose our God-focus by removing the important things bit-by-bit the more likely life will fail just like the tower falls. But it doesn’t happen all in the beginning. At first, everything seems simply fine because the focus is not far removed. But as time passes and the more focus is lost the less steady the foundation of our faith becomes. As the German philosopher, Franz Brentano said, “What is at first small is often extremely large in the end.” This is why it is so important to remember who we are and whose we are. For when we turn our life over to God, He, by His Holy Spirit builds into us the desire to obey Him.
Christ is our hope of restoration. The old covenant was broken by the people and replaced by a new covenant. The foundation of the new covenant is Christ. (Hebrews 8:6) The new covenant isn’t written on stone but in our hearts. And this new covenant isn’t just written on the hearts of a select group of people, but it is for all people. This means that each person, no matter, who they are or what their past holds may have a unique personal relationship with God, Himself. This gives hope to the world for a fresh start as each may establish a permanent personal relationship with Him.
Says the Lord, “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.Jeremiah 31:33b (NLT)
Written on Our Hearts
The Bible is clear that we are to act as God’s people. When we act out of selfishness or in reaction to our frustration, we must confess and cling to the truth of who we are. No one’s actions describe a person and when we choose to dimmish ourselves or others we lose our focus on God. This requires us to make room for confession, as God invites our honesty. It requires us to examine our behavior before Him to see if we are in one accord. His Word is written on our hearts to remind us consistently of our belonging. Once we accept the new covenant written on our hearts and seek forgiveness, God will never again remember our sins. Christ forgives us completely so we don’t have to repeatedly confess the sins of the past, but we must be aware of what we are doing in the present.
When we keep our focus on God, we remember that we are His people. And when we act out in truth and treat others as if they are God’s people too, we demonstrate to the world the writing on our heart. Worship always leads to action and a life that goes far beyond the Sunday morning sanctuary and into the world around us. When we keep our focus, our foundation is solid in our faith. This allows us to be confident that our sins are forgiven and forgotten. We can begin a new day every day, remembering that as we accept the new covenant with God, we have a desire to do right each day and build relationships with the world around us.
The Writing on the Wall Involves Everyone
The writing is on the wall, God is still God, He is still in control. The concerns around us can be addressed through the life and witness of the church and the prayers of the people of God. As we keep our focus on Him, we not only strive but desire to do loving things with our whole being. When we allow love to overcome us, we no longer amble down the path of life listlessly but as fully committed members of the loving army of God. So, let us keep our focus as we journey on letting our worship be full of joy and hope along with the confidence in the goodness of God, even on the days that we must confess our struggles and unwillingness to love others.
The announcement of love is written on your heart. Loving your neighbors and being faithful to God’s community is important but often difficult. Above it all, however, is what God wants to see written on your heart and mind and that is He will be your God, and you will be His people.” Won’t you challenge yourself to keep your focus on God letting the writing on your heart be clear to all you meet? Sink your conviction deeply into the love of Christ that He gave on the cross. Find your motivation to love and share with others the writing put on your heart by God. Surround yourself with the comfort of knowing that there is a new covenant, that overflows with love for you.
Love in Christ,
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.Antoine de Saint-Exupery
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you considered lately the writing on your heart? Do you remember daily to keep your focus on Christ and His love for you? Share your thoughts on how the writing on your heart helps you love God and others.