Living on Purpose: Do we only follow God when we feel like it?

Published 1:55 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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By Billy Holland


Have you ever wondered what the purpose of television, games, movies and social media is? Many will say it was created to entertain and inform us, but we may not have noticed that when we are constantly focused on these things, we usually do not listen to what God is saying. To understand what He wants us to do, we must give Him our undivided attention. This is accomplished when we find a quiet place to pray, worship, and be still before Him. To those who are not followers of God, the ones who cry out for His refining fire to purge their minds and hearts, realize the desire for entertainment can become a snare trap distracting us from our mission.

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There is an old saying when a person is easily distracted. Someone will say, “squirrel!” This means they are like a dog or cat that cannot keep themselves from chasing a squirrel no matter how much the owner tells them to stop. Are we like this with God? I’m reminded of a story about a king who wanted his daughter to be married. There were three suitors, and as a test, they were to carry a full cup of water across the banquet hall without spilling a drop. The first contender was booed, and he spilled his cup. The second was cheered, but he also spilled the water. The third man received much screaming from the crowd, but he managed to hand the cup to the king without spilling a drop. When asked how he was successful, he said the others became distracted by the people and took their eyes away from the task. I decided not to listen to anyone and to only focus on the king’s desires.

In our modern world, Christians try to live in both the secular and spiritual worlds simultaneously and often end up frustrated and exhausted. It has to do with focus, which results from our love. How so? Since we do what we love, we also serve those we love. You see, there are only two paths; God’s way and our way. Humans are creatures of priorities, and what we do reveals what is important to us. Free will has always been alive and well and was present when Adam and Eve chose to ignore God. We can blame others for our lack of concentration, but ultimately, we make our own decisions. Yes, we are influenced by those around us, and of course, there is such a person called the devil who has been given the authority to whisper lies and subtle persuasions to lure us away from what God has called us to do. Nonetheless, our carnality and rebellion do not remove a Christian’s responsibility to live in the awareness of God’s presence.

I realize this is fairly straightforward, but in a world where doctrinal corners are being rounded, and the truth is being watered down, let us not forget the commitment of our profession of faith includes standing for God no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable. Some might shrug their shoulders and think this level of enthusiasm is for extreme radicals, but may we be reminded that many have willingly sacrificed their lives for their faith. This causes me to wonder if enough evidence could be found to prosecute me. God wants to encourage us today and to remember the same conviction that drew us to Him, is the same stirring we have to serve Him. How else can we prove to God how much we adore Him than to do what He says? Christianity was never supposed to be a one-way relationship where God does everything, and we do nothing. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15.

I just thought about what I would do if God told me to do something I didn’t want to do. What would you do? Would we do it, or would we ignore Him and justify our disobedience as a misunderstanding? Some would say it depends on what it was. Ha! That’s a good one! Do you believe there are consequences for ignoring the Lord? In my last book, I said the meaning of life is to know and love God, but accepting Christ to be our Lord and Master means our dedication to serve Him is constant, not just when we feel like it.