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What keeps you from focusing on your faith? Photo by Vinal Gunasekera on Unsplash

Disaster leads to desperation, which leads to a decision. That decision is, who do you put your faith in when your back is against the wall? Is Jesus the first who comes to your mind? Or do you run the list of the ever-shrinking options that are left?

Often, Jesus is the last place we go, the last resort when we reach the bottom of the death spiral. Sometimes, we spend a long time at the bottom while He waits for us to turn to Him, without alternatives.

Disaster can happen in a moment. Divorce, death, and the loss of a lifetime of building the American dream can reduce the strongest person to despair.

Or desperate prayer.

Or, you could end up at the other end of life, where you find yourself in a carefully designed nest. Comfortable and willing to do anything to protect that. Comfortable to the point where you can’t hear His voice anymore. There is a term for this: Obscured Jeopardy Syndrome. A case can be made that this is harder to come back from.

What keeps us from that complete trust in Jesus? From what I have seen, it’s a failure of Western Christians to fully embrace their identity to the point where doubt and alternatives don’t exist. That place at the wall, where you cry out for Jesus to save you and no other option even occurs to you. That place in the Holy Spirit where doubt, fear, and hopelessness do NOT exist.

I am sure that many of us have had the experience of being confronted by a very aggressive and angry non-believer. Nose to nose, while you listen to tirade after curse. I’ve been there before. Our prayer group was manning a prayer tent at our local Thursday Market, offering prayer, when a group of college students approached with their adult sponsor. This was the “skeptics club”. I ended up face-to-face with the sponsor. Within moments, this man was manifesting a demonic outburst. Spitting, veins bulging, screaming at me, trying to offend me. He even asked, “Aren’t I offending you?”

From the moment that man lost his temper, the Holy Spirit descended and surrounded me with that peace beyond understanding. I stood there smiling at him until he wore himself out. Then I told him that I would pray for him, which triggered him to scream at me, never to pray for him. This was a very educational experience for me.

These are the kinds of experiences that build the trust I am talking about. After a lifetime of these kinds of experiences, you never have to doubt His presence in your life. This trust brings complete peace without a smidge of, “But, what if…”

So, what is keeping you from developing the kind of relationship and trust where your Kingdom Identity is all you know?

Another “D” word: distractions. We all struggle with the avalanche of things with which to entertain ourselves. Many of them are very good. But even the good things can get in the way of a single-minded pursuit of Jesus’s face. For me, it was online gaming, specifically Call of Duty. I was addicted to it and played every free moment. I was in a Christian gaming clan, so I felt pretty good about myself. Our clan actually led several young gamers to Jesus online.

However, my wife didn’t feel good about it, and she could see I was becoming dull.

One day, a friend came back from a writer’s conference on fire for pursuing her writing. I got very jealous because I considered myself a pretty imaginative writer, so I complained to the Lord about that.

He said, “Okay, so what’s more important to you? Gaming or Writing?”

A simple question that called me to step up to the plate. To leave the good for the better. So, I literally quit gaming that day and started trying to regain my love for writing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the game out of my imagination. It was as if I had cauterized my imagination with the constant bombardment of images in the game. It took over a year and a half before I could say I was free from the images to effectively hear and collaborate with the Holy Spirit with my writing.

So now, what about that decision I mentioned at the top of the article? Actually, it’s a number of decisions that move you closer and closer to Jesus, to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

First, burrow into what your Kingdom Identity is all about. Second, inventory anything keeping you from a single-minded pursuit of Jesus. Third, find a time, place, or both, where you can be alone with Him, and don’t give up. Be relentless. Ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate an insatiable hunger for Jesus and anoint you with His Holiness. Be sacrificial of your time and distractions. I guarantee you He will meet you in the midst of that pursuit.


Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

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AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 


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