God created us to be in families, and these families to be in communities, and these communities in turn to belong to local churches. He is quite intentional about this — that we should all love one another, uphold one another in love, and live together in harmony.
In His wisdom, God put us in this big, wide, wonderful, wacky, weird world, and it is here that we are to live out the calling He set upon us – to love Him above all else, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
But because life is a beautiful mess sometimes, its hard to live out that calling. It’s hard to be good, when there are so many things around us tempting us to be bad. So many distractions! Shiny objects as far as the eye can see…
Take this story from the life of Paul for example. Paul used to reject Jesus, but then he was converted, and he started to serve him with his entire life. That’s not an exaggeration. Paul changed his entire life — his name, his career, his living conditions, his personal identity, his comfort — everything, in order to answer Jesus’ calling. He had to forget everything that he believed in, disavow all that he held dear, all for Jesus.
And in the midst of his faithfulness, right smack in the middle of his ministry, he gets slapped with this — a trial for him to defend his beliefs. Talk about red tape. Instead of being allowed to get on with the work, he had to stop it to address all the accusations that were laid out before him.
Paul was really someone special. God gave him a heart that was a patient and kind, and a mind that was clear and focused. He never wavered. They called him crazy, they said he was out of his mind, but he still he kept to his principles and never lost sight of his goal.
Even during his trial, he was still evangelising! Right when he was supposed to be defending himself, he was still trying to lead others to God.
God, I pray for this kind of intense, laser like focus! Eyes on the prize at all times. My head set in the game, my heart set on the goal, my life set on completing the good work.
It’s a wide, wonderful, wacky, world indeed. Good thing we have an equally wide, wonderful, and wacky God to guide as through it.
“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
Psalms 34:5 NLT