Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing

Lately satan has been telling me lots and lots of lies. I have to confess that there are times when I believe him - sad but true. He tells me that I am of no use to God, he says that my good intentions equal obedience (that is a whole other post), and he says that the little issues are of the utmost importance. When I listen to the liar I end up placing value on the unimportant and letting the important fall to the wayside. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”. I dont usually get caught up with 'things' (posessions), but I do find myself stressing over ' issues' that are better left to God. I have a hard time letting go of what I have no control over in the first place.

Lately, I have been concerned (for lack of a better word) that I am not doing enough for the Lord. I have been feeling jealous of other people who seem to have found their niche in the Kingdom. What am I doing? Oh, sure I lead Bible study on Wednesday nights and I help with the church preschool activities, but am I really making an impact? I see women who are making a difference - who are bringing people to Christ. I am jealous of their influence for Jesus. I put certain people on a pedastal in my mind even though I know they have past sins that haunt them just like me. I sometimes feel like the child who isn't getting enough attention from a parent - I feel like I need to prove myself to God. I know that I am wrong. I know that I was saved by grace and not by the works I do, but satan continually places those thoughts of imperfection and undeservedness in my mind. Another example of not keeping the main thing the main thing. When my focus is God and His Word, satan's lies mean nothing to me. When I focus on myself and the world, I end up feeling like the kid that didn't get picked for the team (even though I am on the winning team).

I remember a night that I lay awake unable to sleep because I kept replaying in my mind a somewhat hostile conversation I had that morning. It was not an important conversation, but I felt that I had been wronged and I could not let it go. I thought of things I should have said or could have said, none of which would have made a difference in the situation, nor would they have brought glory to God. As I lay there tossing, turning, and replaying scenarios in my mind, it came to my mind that I had not even prayed about this little problem. As soon as I decided to listen to God (which I should have done in the first place), it was as if He said to me, “Why are you worrying over something so insignificant? I died so that you could live forever and you are worried about proving you’re right?” Then it occurred to me that my concern over the little things was interrupting my attention to the main thing - God Himself.

When we focus on the minor things instead of the “main thing” (things of God) we are no better than the Pharisees who were so concerned with the law that they couldn’t see the Christ right in front of them. The inconsequential things in life should never overshadow the miracle of my salvation. Think about that for a minute. When Lazarus was risen from the dead (John 11), do you think he was worried about what he would have for dinner that night? No, I am pretty sure that he was focused on the miracle of his life being restored. In Mark 10, when “blind Bartimaeus” became “seeing Bartimaeus”, do you suppose he was concerned with his disheveled appearance? Nope, he threw away his cloak (which was basically all he had) and immediately followed Jesus. Are these miracles any more extraordinary than the miracle of our salvation? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” - sounds like the main thing to me.


I'm Tara. said...

Oh, Bethanne -- you always seem to find this little opening in my heart and wedge yourself in there with words that echo sentiments I myself have. I think that your point of the main thing is just so right where I am most of the time. It's sort of like expecting to find a diamond ring at the dollar store -- why am I even LOOKING THERE? I'm probably making no sense now, but anyway -- your words got an "Amen" from me today.

And just so you know, I think that this blog of yours has touched more than just me on many a day. Your heart for the Lord is obvious and something to strive for myself.

Earen said...

Bethanne, I can definitely relate. I too often feel guilty that I'm not doing enough or being involved enough in the church or Kingdom. It was one day in which I felt badly about all this & was speaking to my mom about it all & she said to me, "Earen, you're doing the greatest thing you ever could for the Kingdom & that's raising little hearts to love Jesus." Everytime I feel badly that I'm not doing enough, I remember those words & remember that my children & husband are my greatest & biggest calling..God has annointed me for this role. Don't you let that stinking enemy get a foothold there! From what I've read on your blogs, you're an amazing woman of God & have a heart that truly desires all of Him. Stay encouraged...you're exactly where He wants you to be & when He's ready for you to do more in His Kingdom, the door will open.

BethAnne said...

Thank you guys so much for your encouragement!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved Tara's quote about looking for a diamond ring at the dollar store---good one and how very true!
I feel like that a lot of days especially in this very LONG season of raising little ones. I have to focus on my own race set before me and not others. He sees each and every glass of milk I pour and even that is an act of worship to Him. Be encouraged---you have beautiful boys that you are molding for Christ. They will go out one day and make wonderful godly husbands---they will go places and do things and your investement and ministry has already doubled just by your two boys. I am proud of you!
BTW, I haven't stopped by in a few days---it's been busy as you can understand, but I love the new look. You are making me want to change my look around too! Have a grace filled day today!

Fran said...

I just loved your post and I don't even know how I stumbled onto your blog...but I'm sure glad I did. I am a mom of 3 boys and I work at my church....and even working at my church I can feel like the kid who didn't get picked on the team....it hits us all....

We gotta keep our eyes and mind on Him continually.....easier said than done sometimes....because I sure don't care about Satan then!
That was good stuff.

I'll come back again...I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday and a fantastic Bible study. What are ya'll doing???

Another girl in TN~

He Knows My Name said...

bethanne, you are on the winning team, and you are making a difference to your family, the ladies you lead and the blog sistas that are encouraged by your words for Him.

i read a book last year written for women about women and the significance (Godly significance) that they make in the mundane everyday things we do. it is: you matter more than you think by leslie parrott. she and her husband are counselors amongst other things, the book to me was an easy read kind of like have a conversation with her readers not too deep but i found it very encouraging she also has 2 small boys (i think boys) anyway don't let satan push you around i think just by blogging this he's going to let up.


Renee said...

"The inconsequential things in life should never overshadow the miracle of my salvation."

Wow. I think that you are touching more people than you realize!

Alana said...

I am so guilty of mulling a situation over and over in my head and forgetting altogether to take it to God.

I can tell by your blog that you are making a difference in God's kingdom. Take heart!