22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Wow. Where to start? How about this: Been distracted lately?
Perhaps the greatest marketing campaign of all time was the one done by the Dairy Council that we all know of as "Got Milk?" Shortsightedness on the part of the Dairy Council saw that they never did patent that them or trademark the font used in that original ad, so it has been copied thousands of times over now using the same font to say, "Got this?" of "Got That?" Well, I ask you this: Got Distraction? Sure you do. Children, bills, work, neighbors, health, economy, souse? Whatever that distraction might be, we have a responsibility to stay focused. And an even greater responsibility to have our focus on the right place.
Focus is really important. Our focus determines not only our direction, but our commitment to that direction. Our focus becomes the centerpiece to our day, and the compass to our lives. We are constantly reminded in scripture, especially by Jesus Himself that we need to keep our eyes open to see the Lord's workings, and that we must keep our eyes on Him. Perhaps the best example is what happened to Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus as he was walking on the surface of the Sea of Galilee, he began to sink.
Metaphorically, we all begin to sink when we take our eyes off of Jesus. As a former competitive rifle marksman and as a US Army Expert Rifleman, 300 yard shots were required just to qualify. Expert meant no misses at 300 yards, and as a squad Designated Marksman 600 yard shots were not only routine, but expected of you. If you take your eyes off the target for just a millisecond, it's a miss. Your bullet might land somewhere near the target, but lacking that perfect hit, your job was not accomplished. The word 'sin' means literally 'to miss the mark'. Interesting how that correlates. I'm also sure it is no accident that Jesus was crucified in the center, between the two thieves…
I was praying the other day after having missed the mark, "Lord, why did I miss the mark? Why did I not heed the spirit and chose my flesh?" God's immediate answer, "You were not looking at me"… Seriously, it is really HARD to not follow God when you think of Him watching you at all time. It is hard not to live to please Him when we are focused on the fact that He is walking with us. It is hard to allow thoughts to come into our minds that should not be there when you are reading God's word. I distinctly remember asking God one at time how to create a better walk and die to my flesh, how not to act a certain way. He replied loud and clearly, "If you had been reading your bible instead, that would not have happened." He knows we need to be totally focused on Him all the time, if we are to hit the mark with every shot. Remember, even the easy shots are hard to make with our eyes closed.
At this summer's pastor's conference, I was just worshipping and exalting God. I was having a mountaintop moment that we all seek to hold on to and treasure. I speaking to my heart the Holy Spirit just moved me into love. I wrote down in my journal that day, "Walk in my love, Walk in my joy, Walk in my Peace: The Holy Spirit". I'm remembering that today, and the refreshing that comes with that. If we desire to talk in the love, joy and peace, we need to be hitting the mark by focusing on Him.