Correcting Our Focus
2Corinthians 13: 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
It seems modern day western Christianity is very outward focused. We see a focus on the sins of a fallen world. A focus on the political landscape of the country we live in. A focus on how we are treated as Christians. A focus on the evils of the world, other religions, or the new cause célèbre. It may surprise some that this is yet another scheme of the enemy. To get us to a place of outward focus when the only focus that really matters is upward and inward. Paul teaching from his first letter to the church at Corinth:
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1Corinthians 7: 29-31
The time is short and the world we find ourselves so easily engrossed in, is passing away. Our focus can be directed in one of three ways, inward to evaluate ourselves, upward to seek God, and outward to be distracted. The enemy knows that the more we are focused on the outward, the less we will focus on ourselves. On our walk. On our witness. The famous verses about healing our land found in the Book of Second Chronicles spells it out for us:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14
God is not expecting the people in the world who are walking in darkness to suddenly repent. This admonishment is directed at the people called by His name Christians. And what can we glean from these verses? That as Christians we have a humility problem, a prayer problem and a sin problem.
First of all, we have a humility problem. We are a proud bunch. We can tend to forget that while we finally understand that absolute truth exists, we actually had nothing to do with it. When discussing our righteousness the Prophet Isaiah puts us in our place: