Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-8
Oswald Chambers in his famous devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, says something remarkably poignant and it reaches to the core of my being. He says anything that disturbs my rest in Him (Christ) must be taken care of immediately; that I must never allow anything to remain that is causing a separation between Christ and myself. I’ve never given a “truth-check” to the reality of what my sin does in terms of my relationship with Christ! Separation?
It’s so easy to focus on the issue, the specifics and become entirely distracted from the essence of truth in the current of self. This “rip-tide” is subtle, inviting and yet, swift and dangerous. Anything that stands between Christ and me stands in the face of trusting Him by doing things my own way. It is a willful act of looking into the mirror and seeing “self” instead of Christ in me! It becomes a refocus of self-consciousness. When I focus on me and my own circumstances, analyzing and contemplating the outcome of life’s most uncertain moments, it translates into the absence of God’s rest, His contentment and peace. It is replaced with self-consiousness in the form of feelings of fear, rejection, discontent, worry, pride, resentment, hurt . . . to name only a few.
The answer here is found in my “will” — through choice. God has designed me in such a way as to decide what thoughts to entertain. And He reminds me in His Word to take “every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5) How I choose to think about me and my circumstances is the difference between my “junk” coming between Christ and me and nothing coming between Christ and me. It’s the moment when I choose to deny self-consciousness and live in the embrace of Christ-consiousness. Through this lens I quit focusing on myself and begin focusing on Christ in me – my Strength, my Comforter, my Healer, my Deliverer, my Redeemer.
Lord, Jesus, I need you every hour! And in each hour I desire to think on Truth! I realize that when I choose to do things my way and not your way, I am separated from you! Those are very unpleasant moments for me and worse to remember. I’m asking Lord, to make me God-concious!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Philippians 4:8