living simply yet focused

March 18, 2009

“Look at the birds of the air…. Consider the lilies of the field…” Matthew 6:26, 28

“consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin” – they simply are! think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon – all of these simply are as well – yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! so often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God. in essence, Jesus was saying, “Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.” in other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water”  (John 7:38). we cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually – just as “the lilies of the field.”

the people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and the “lilies of the field” – simply and unaffectedly. those are the lives that mold and shape us.

if you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live – yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.

(taken from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest)

as one of the worship team leaders, i am one of those who makes sure that each week the team will be able to practice and the dg assigned is ready to lead the worship service. and if it is my turn to be the song leader i also am the one to choose songs for the lineup, inform the back-up singers and instrumentalists of the practice schedule and venue, lead the devotion time before rehearsing and then lead the congregation in praise and worship singing come sunday. as a dg leader, i plan and study what i’m going to teach the members. i listen to their individual concerns, questions, problems, etc. as part of the core leaders, i am of those who brainstorm, plan, and help execute the programs and events. well i guess you get the picture.

my life has been so caught up in all these that little by little it came to the point where the only thing i have been concerned with is if i am effective in the things that i have to do, the roles that i have to perform. i didn’t even notice it but mainly i’ve only been pondering about “am i useful to others? am i of use to God?” so i rush about doing my responsibilities, making sure i deliver excellently; making sure the people around me do the same. there goes my goal-driven, perfectionist, control-freak self.

this last week, God has told to rest in Him, to simply trust in Him and again this morning, to focus on Him. God is bringing me back to simply looking to Him because He knows where my focus has gone. yes, even ministry and work for the Lord can become idolatry. my time with Him has been consistent but i didn’t notice then, it had also become a time where i only talk to Him of the things i mentioned above, where before it was quality time spent on simply talking, singing and fellowshipping with my Lord.

i remember the time maybe almost 2 or 3 years ago when i told ate shelby i wanted to be like her and kuya carlo, being mightily used by God, living in abandon for God. she told me i can be like that too. i just need to take one step at a time and let Him lead me. since then, i’ve been seeking God and His will more and more in my life. the Lord has been faithful throughout and He made me part of the people to whom He has entrusted His flock.

it’s a continuous journey with Him, and i am overflowing with praises and thanks for yet another level He is leading me to. i want to be of use to others. i want to be of use to Him. and now, He also taught me to want to live simply yet focused on Him.

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