When the Apostle Paul addressed the church of Corinth in this Epistle it was during a time that one could liken to the state of America. Corinth was overflowing with denominational politics and doctrinal differences and they were living in one of the most prosperous cities of that time. They prided themselves on lavish living and tolerance of new ideas… hmmmm, sounds oddly familiar doesn’t it. They were surrounded by multiple pagan religions and their faith was being challenged.
Paul was teaching spiritually immature Christians who were apt to go with whatever way the wind blew.
I can understand why it was so hard to stay focused. I have a bit of a problem with that myself in my Attention Deficit Disordered world. The world around is screaming continuously for us to look at it. And it seems, if you take your eyes off of God for a second, Satan has you for a day. There is way too much truth in that statement for me not to feel convicted.
So how does one stay focused in this haphazard world?
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10
Verse 9 preceding our journaling verse reads: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
I love the Lord. I can place a period at the end of that sentence with confidence, only because I know that He loves me more, and knows that I am flawed. I believe that God has amazing things in store for me and yet the concept is still hard for me to grasp because I lose focus and do not allow the Spirit to linger in the caverns of my soul.
19th Century Evangelist D.L. Moody has often been credited with the quote: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
In fact, Moody did not originate that quote. Henry Varley, a British revivalist did. Varley recalled that in 1873 Moody asked him to recount words they had spoken in private conversation a year earlier, just before Moody’s return to the United States. Varley provides this account (as recorded in Paul Gericke’s Crucial Experiences in the Life of D.L. Moody).
During the afternoon of the day of conference Mr. Moody asked me to join him in the vestry of the Baptist Church. We were alone, and he recalled the night’s meeting at 0Willow Park and our converse the following morning.
“Do you remember your words?” he said.
I replied, “I well remember our interview, but I do not recall any special utterance.”
“Don’t you remember saying, ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him?’ ”
“Not the actual sentence,” I replied.
“Ah,” said Mr. Moody, “those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God. As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck of the vessel were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.’ Under the power of those words I have come back to England, and I felt that I must not let more time pass until I let you know how God had used your words to my inmost soul.”
Those words also pierce my soul. Although more out of guilt than that of the convictions of D.L. Moody. Those words directed Moody’s ministry and encouraged him into the depths of his soul. Two men committed to Christ in such a way that the Spirit showed them the “deep things of God.”
I have to ask myself, what are the deep things of God that He desires to show me? and my answer is “the future.” There’s a chosen path, and then there are the detours that occur when I get my sights off of him and onto the world. We, like the Corinthians are surrounded by distractions.
A social media post that I read yesterday bothered me all day. It was one posted by a person of entitlement who had “gotten above their raisin” as the old adage goes. They were glad to leave our rural area and get back to what they thought was civilization. My thought this morning is “the civilized world is not our friend.” The educated rhetoric seldom focuses on the cause of Christ, unless of course it prospers their way or makes them appear righteous.
We’ve changed very little, likely worsened since the days of Paul’s address to Corinth. So I asked myself again, “How does one stay focused?” If when I look, read, buy, or do, I allow the Spirit to search the intent of the heart where God dwells, and I ask myself, how does this action or purpose serve God? Will my course of action and direction change from my choice if I allow God to control the outcome? Good question…