We sometimes take time to ourselves where we have experiences that give us enthusiasm, that give us energy. We might call it “recharging our batteries.” How do we maintain this kind of focus and enthusiasm in our spiritual lives – tuning out the noise and distractions of the physical world? Am I excited about being a Christian, or do I view my faith as a necessary evil? Am I enthusiastic about leading others to Christ?
Acts 8:35-39 describes the baptism of the Ethiopian, and the last we read of the individual is of his rejoicing after becoming a Christian. He has reason to be excited, and he demonstrates it. The Philippian jailer in Acts 16 actually comes close to physical death prior to his conversion. After his conversion, he invites Paul and Silas into his house and rejoices over his new life.
We today should be excited about the forgiveness of our sins, about a potential life with God in Heaven, about being born again. Sometimes, however, we grow nearsighted and discouraged, losing focus of what is really important.
In Revelation 2:4 and 2:14-16, 2:19-20, 3:1-2, and 3:15, Jesus criticizes various congregations for different forms and symptoms of complacency in His service. It’s easier to grow lax in our service, but, in each of these messages, Jesus calls the congregations to work as a cure for complacency. Focusing on the good works we can accomplish can drive us forward while focusing on negatives or shortcomings can suck the energy from us.
Tuning out the crowding noise can be difficult, but Colossians 3:1 calls us to set our minds on what is above. Setting our mind on the bigger picture can help us maintain the enthusiasm and focus we need on this journey. Romans 12:2 reminds us to continue renewing our minds.
Engagement and action helps. Luke 22:31-32 records Jesus telling Peter that his faith would be tested, and Jesus encourages Peter to go to work encouraging others after regaining his focus. Here is a man who would fail the Lord and watch his companions also fail Him. Acts 1:12-13-15 records Peter doing exactly what Jesus asked. His faith is restored, and we see him transform into a force of encouragement in the New Testament. Hebrews 12:12-13 encourages us to help others in our work, lifting them up when they are weak. When we put our energy in encouraging others, we encourage ourselves in the process.
There is a great deal of noise to distract us from our goal, but we have to continue to work with and for our brethren to maintain the focus and enthusiasm we need on our Christian journey. We need Christ, and we need each other. Together, we can find our goal.
lesson by Tim Smelser