By Dan Blankenship
© 2007 Dan Blankenship
When a person first decides to become a follower of Jesus, there seems to be a time of excitement, wonder, and a definite physical change in the way we perceive the world around us. This level of excitement and change varies depending on the personís personality, history, and maybe even education level. But one thing is certain; almost everyone I know experiences emotional highs and lows concerning their faith. We are human, and all of our personal attempts to keep our faith on the upswing 24/7 will usually fall short. But fear not, I do have some suggestions for those of you who want to keep a Jesus-focused approach to your daily lives.
First of all, do not put all of your eggs in one basket. Okay, I know thatís a corny little overused phrase, but it makes a lot of sense in this case. If a man reads his Bible but never reads a study Bible, he may be missing out on important interpretations and teachings vital to developing a closer relationship with God.
If a young woman reads only Christian fiction novels and avoids what she considers boring non-fiction, Christian authored books, she may be avoiding that advice God wants her to have for her marriage. She is unintentionally closing doors God has opened all around her.
God has inspired painters, writers, engineers, architects, singers, actors, dancers, musicians, and a virtual unending list of other devoted followers to honor Him with their talent and hard work. We should keep watch for the things of God that shine all over this world, constantly reminding us that His blessings are all around us.
Secondly, believers in Christ should work together to keep our faith upbeat and focused. We need to lift each other up when times get tough, be it psychological, financial, or physical trials that are being overcome. This working together to keep our faith strong should not only take place in the sanctuary on Sunday. It must be a part of our lives everywhere we walk, every day of the week.
If your neighbor has experienced a loss, without even knowing her faith, let her know that she is in your prayers. Then pray for her with the same fervor you would pray for your mother, your sister, or your daughter. Those one-on-one prayer requests to God can put your focus back on an eternal mindset in a few short moments. Alone in our room, down on our knees, worldly distractions between us and our Creator completely melt away.
And the last thing to keep in mind is that it is Godís power, wisdom, and strength that ultimately grabs hold of our soul and keeps us motivated. Thatís why we should look to inspirational works of others who have become intimate with that power. Whether it is a good book by Max Lucado, an inspirational painting by Thomas Kinkade, or a choir concert inside your own church, let the Holy Spirit work to boost your faith through what you experience. These works are to honor God, and when we witness these works offered to Him, it is nearly impossible to ignore the urge to join in the celebration of gratitude.
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Dan, this is good advice worth heeding.