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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What is your preoccupation?

I want to ask you a question – what is your preoccupation?

I am asking as I sit here, feeling quite drained from a tough week. As someone knowing I don't have all the answers to life's tough questions, yet as someone also knowing The One who does, and of what it is like to walk with Him...during the sunny and overcast days.

A preoccupation is something one is engrossed with – something which takes up all or the majority of their head-space...

Earlier I was reading a section of Luther's writings where he boldly asserts a very challenging truth – that we can make an idol of our Good Works.

And yes, this therefore includes our ministry work.

I think we're so accustomed to thinking of idols such as unhealthy obsessions like fame or wealth we don't think of things like our good deeds and even dare I say scripture, as possible idols.

Yet I think of Jesus saying, 'You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.' John 5:39-40.

I believe when our preoccupation becomes anything else than our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ we have made ourselves an idol...any yes, this can include many good things including our ministry work and even scripture.

So why do I think this? Well, it comes from looking around and seeing a lack of fruit.

Jesus said we can bear no fruit without abiding in Him the true vine.

Don't be fooled, as there can be a lot of glossy, plastic fruit around...He's speaking of true good fruits of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22-23.

When someone's preoccupation is anything but their RELATIONSHIP with Jesus what we will see is SOMEONE WITH AN AGENDA.

They can even be someone who works really hard and this is because their preoccupation is their works – over time cracks will appear that show their foundation was not laid over time in RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, instead their own fleshly desires...desires for approval, status, worth.

The cracks which appear could be a broken family, heavy legalistic shepherding, spiritual abuse and so on...

Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is the first, to love God and have no idol before Him, and a second is like it, to love others as ourselves. So I will assert that our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus must be our preoccupation and our family must be our FIRST MINISTRY.

Jesus said His disciples will be known by their LOVE for one another.

Loving our brothers and sisters is not trying to be superior by scripture.

It is not communicating an agenda.

It is listening more and speaking less.

It is respectful communication of ideas and problems to help each other mature.

It is stepping aside to let others spread their wings and have a turn.

It is forgiving and letting go.

It is loving our kids and family.

It is doing God's good deeds He's planned for us, and not our own good ideas.

So what is your preoccupation?


1 comment:

Matute said...

I started to read Faith Alone, a devetional book about Luther's writings this year :) And also stumbled upon his writings about us trusting in good deeds and making them more important than the faith.
Faith is all we need. It's a bit scary if you think about it. Because it means you need to let go of ALL the control and let God. Sometimes it's easier to worry and be preoccupied. Well, for me, most of the time. Letting go and having faith is really scary.
So, to answer you, my preoccupation is my preoccupation :)