What are the things that sustain us?

We have Jesus, AND our own ability. We have Jesus, AND a fit body. We have Jesus, AND our lust for a mate. We have Jesus, AND a job that gets the bills paid. We have Jesus, AND our intellect. We have Jesus, AND . . .


It’s what comes after the “AND,” that we need to beware of. When we put what comes after the “AND” as a priority before our Lord, we’ve erroneously switched our allegiance. And don’t get all freaked out on me . . . It’s a lot easier to do than you’d think. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian, we all still do it at times.


When the “AND” takes priority over Jesus, we get a little stubborn about it, after all, that thing seems to satisfy us in one way or another. But the Bible shows us over and over that when our priorities get mixed up, things aren’t going to go quite right and we won’t be the kings over our own lives like God intended.


1 Samuel 15:23 says, “Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” It’s because we can’t really be a great king, when we’re following anything but the one and only true King of Kings.


Do you know why they tell you not to leave your digital TV on “pause” for very long? It’s because if you do, that image is burned into the TV screen. Everything you watch after that will be seen through the image you burned into the screen.


Do a quick experiment: Right now stare at an image in front of you, whether it be your devise, a book, a letter, a photograph, anything. Time yourself and keep staring at it for 45 seconds. Now close your eyes. You will see that image on the back of your eyelids.


What you look at gets “burned” onto your eyes and transfers to your brain, and you begin to see things as they filter through that image. God says, “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 26:1).


And “graven images” aren’t confined to physical objects. I’ll give you an example. Last summer someone from the underwriter company on my house insurance came to the house, without my knowledge, and took pictures of my roof. They sent the pictures to my local insurance group and said because of the roof, they weren’t going to insure my house. My local insurance agent called me in and I asked her if I could see the pictures. We agreed that my roof looked fine except for a couple different colored tiles and two small rust lines on the trim by my garage. She said she was going to take care of it and assured me it wasn’t going to be a problem. I believed her.


Then just recently it came up again, and by now I had less than 90 days to get it reconciled or they’d drop my insurance. I was very disturbed.


I have Jesus, AND I had a very old “graven image” pop up and steal my worship. The graven image, the idol I had, was none other than, myself. I stubbornly began to take this roof thing on as a personal battle. I began to see it through an image that was burned on my mind, “I always have to take care of things myself.” I was seeing things through that image and it was not going well. I was no longer a king under the true King. I was off on my own and going down a wrong path.


But as it says in 1 Samuel 16:7 “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” The Lord has changed my heart, so I have a good heart now and He woke me up to myself.


I switched back to looking at Jesus and not my own self. I trust in Him. He showed me exactly what to do and how to follow Him on this roof thing. He didn’t tell me where it will end, but I only know that it will be good.


Every once in a while we have get back to the basics of our faith and check out where we stand. Do we totally trust Jesus, the one who was tortured for us, died in our place and went to Hell itself just to be able to show people how they don’t have to go there?


Or do we still have places where we’ve been stubborn? Once we have Jesus as our Lord, we don’t have to be stubborn on our own behalf anymore.


Let’s take a good look at our lives. Is God still our number one priority? Is Jesus still our true Lord? Almighty God, the Creator of all we see and don’t see, made Jesus Lord of Lords and King of Kings.


This song was written in 1922. Let’s do like the song says:


“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.


“O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free.


Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

O’er us sin no more hath dominion

For more than conqu’rors we are!


His word will not fail you, He promised;

Believe Him and all will be well;

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell.


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”


I pray that the truth of the resurrection enlighten your whole life, in the name of the one and only Lord Jesus Christ.


Love, Carolyn


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