Day 18 - Living Fascinated With Jesus
Living Fascinated With Jesus
21 Day Challenge - Through The Holidays
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever. (Ps. 16:11)
Throughout this challenge, we have learned so far the necessity of ensuring that spending time with Jesus is given the highest priority, is the key to success in keeping our healthy boundaries and building strong relationships throughout the holidays.
I have found that the key for me to stay consistent and focused is by inviting Jesus to capture my heart with joy and excitement of being in His presence.
Longevity for me comes when enjoying my time with Jesus supersedes anything else. Living fascinated with Jesus is the goal.
As a child, Christmas for me was built up to be the most amazing time of the year. It was not only the end of a school term but with my birthday 4 days after Christmas and New Year a few days after my birthday it truly was a time of fascination and joy to the highest degree.
Being surrounded by family, presents, great food, and no school was the highlight of my year. Suffice to say this carried on throughout all my years of adulthood and into married life. Christmas was and had been exuberant and over the top. To the point, I prayed that when I had children they would be born in the Winter. My prayers were answered!
Being married to my wonderful husband has helped me see things from a different perspective. He grew up with no presents, no decorations and Christmas in his house was just the family meal (due to his parent's religious beliefs). In fact, he even forgot on most occasions the actual date Christmas was on. This was the worse thing imaginable for me and it was my mission to make up for everything he had missed. The truth was God sent him to me to teach ME. The truth is he missed nothing. He didn't crave what he didn't have.
In fact, to be completely honest my extravagance caused disruption, recklessness with money, and division.
Through this journey, I had begun to see that my joy being wrapped up in the holidays was unhealthy and quite possibly an idol. As two of my sons have birthdays around Christmas it is so important for me to not teach this to them. The bible says we can not have two loves as we will be devoted to one and despise the other.
No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
The mere hint of anyone mentioning fewer presents, a smaller budget, a quieter schedule, less busyness, fewer decorations and making it more about Jesus and less about the latter started to irritate me.
Anything we cant give completely up for Jesus I believe has become an idol.
Don't get me wrong Christmas is a great time of celebration it can be a great tool to witness to the world, a great time to gather with family we never normally get to see and we get the opportunity to love others and remember the wonderful gift of Jesus. But the moment it starts to dictate our joy or happiness is when I believe its starting to master us rather than us master it.
1 Corinthians 6:12 Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].
I have come to a point in my life that I want my heart to leap more for spending time with Him over anyone else, over the most delicious food or the most entertaining TV show and even the most extravagant Christmas. As I have been renewing my mind on loving God and loving Others this is my priority - it is His priority! To Live fascinated by God!
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The first and most important one is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
We all have a natural yearning to be fascinated and to experience pleasure, it has been built in us by Our Creator but the enemy has spent many years to persuade us to be fascinated by counterfeit pleasures.
Over time I have built and still building a stronghold in my heart that to commune with Him is the most exciting part of my day. Having a 2-way conversation with Jesus versus just a 1 - way conversation (where it is just me talking at Him) is so sweet.
The Love Of God
Knowing the love The Father for me is what keeps me steady when storms come, keeps me grounded when everything around me has felt its caving in. By keeping my eyes on my 'one thing' Jesus I know that every day including the days before and after the holidays will continue to keep getting sweeter and sweeter like a fine wine.
Do you think you have possibly held Christmas, Thanksgiving, the holiday season in the wrong position by trying to fulfill the need of God created fascination/pleasure with counterfeit fascinations/pleasures? Whether that be eating in excess, spending too much or wanting the perfect Christmas!
It's not so much about now writing a list of what to take out ONLY as the priority but choosing to put on Christ FIRST!
We can find freedom from counterfeit pleasures with engaging more of the highest form in Christ. Resisting all else becomes a lot easier from that point.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
('Put on' is often referred to 'clothe yourself' with Christ which in the Greek Concordance 1746 means to 'sink into' or 'enter into')
I encourage you to enter into and sink into the presence of Christ and make this your priority and renew your mind to the love He has for you. Let's repent (change direction) and make a decision to turn the right way.
Today lets meditate on the Love of God and write some affirmations based on verses of God's Love. There are some verses in the back of renewing the mind 101 to help you along but you may have some scriptures you hold dear to your heart. Or if you want to write a prayer to the Lord please do and feel free to share.
Here are some verses for you to meditate on enjoying God!
Psalm 36:8, Psalm 16:11, Psalm 27:4, Isaiah 4:2, Phil 3:8