Monday, March 30, 2009

Pressing on for a Victory, part three

In the last post, I urged the readers to consider the importance of consecration as a key part of victory in the Christian life. Our lives are consecrated--sanctified--positionally before the Lord. Christ's holiness is our holiness. He was made to be sin so that we may be made the righteousness of God in [Christ]. We are in Christ, seated at the right hand of God.

But practically speaking, I don't feel all that consecrated; not every day, anyway. So I must make a conscious decision to separate myself from the ways of the world, from the practices that would not be seen as "holy" before God. I must wash myself in the water of the Word of God. I must repent of evil that may be in my life.

Consecration is only the first part of pressing on for a victory. The second word I need to share is concentration. We need to learn the fine art of concentrating on Christ. Joshua had told Israel to let the priests bearing the ark on their shoulders to proceed on before them. Then he told them something important: "Watch the ark (paraphrased). Keep your eyes on the ark."

That ark represented the presence of God, among other things. It is a symbol of Christ for us. You will find some important truths in the New Testament about walking with the Lord. You have to keep your eyes on him. Jesus, speaking of his relationship with the Father, said, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." Now he can only do what the Father does if he has his eyes on the Father. You can't see what you aren't looking at. You have to keep your eyes on Jesus.

You can't go forward if you are looking backward. Now some of you are about to say, "Yes you can!" You try to walk on a sidewalk while you are looking over your shoulder. See how far you get before you walk into something, or walk off the sidewalk. See how straight of a line you walk. Farmers will tell you that, in order to plow a straight furrow, you need to fix your eyes on a target ahead of you and keep them fixed there. Otherwise, your furrows will be crooked.

You can't go up if you are looking down. Colossians 3 tells us to keep our eyes fixed on things above, not on earthly things. Your job is a good thing; but it's not the greatest thing. Your home is a good thing, but not the greatest thing. Fix your eyes on things of the kingdom, not on things of this life.

If you want a victory, learn to concentrate on Christ and on the things of Christ.

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