Where’s your focus?

The first entry in this miniseries can be found here.
The previous entry in this miniseries can be found here.

(So i’ll begin this post by saying that it has been way too long since i wrote here. Hopefully for the foreseeable future [read: next several years] i will be able to  write here at least bi-weekly. But, as i resume my exposition of Psalm 141, allow me to make it a little more personal than the seven previous entries.)

The past two months have been hard. I wouldn’t necessarily define what i’ve been feeling as depression, because depression usually expresses itself as desiring the end of life. The past two months have seen me more wrestling with wanting to throw in the towel on Christianity than with dropping out of life. But i guess it technically could be defined as depression: desiring the end of spiritual life.

There’s a reason i have felt like this recently, and just because i have identified it does not mean that it is in the past. i am not solid and strong in my faith yet; my prayer is similar to the disciples’: “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

One of the most faith-increasing things i do is write, so seeing continued updates here is a sign to everyone that i am fighting for faith.

But the reason i have felt like this recently is because i have not been practicing the advice of Psalm 141:8. David writes:

“But my eyes look to You, Lord God. I seek refuge in You; do not let me die.”

Instead of focusing my eyes on God, as revealed in Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 12:1-2), my eyes have been turned inward.

  • “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life.”
  • “I don’t know where I’ll find my wife.”
  • “I want to experience pleasure, and the Christian life isn’t allowing for that.”

In reality, Christ is better than all of these things. What i am supposed to do with my life is glorify God, regardless of whether or not He ever provides a wife for me, and glorifying God should bring a holy pleasure (though please don’t ask me what that looks like in actuality).

You see, in Psalm 141, David was in the pit of despair. He’d prayed to God to hear and accept his prayer, to keep his life honoring God (regardless of the pain that would result), and to be a light to his enemies (even if they don’t realize it until it is too late). And then in verse 7 he cries out that for him and his friends life has gotten so hard they feel like they are already dead.

And in my life recently, i’ve taken steps backwards. I’ve prayed for maybe 5 minutes over the past two months; i haven’t intently asked God to keep my life honoring to Him like David did. I don’t have enemies pursuing me; rather i pursue the world in an attempt to feel good. But, just like David, i feel like i’m already dead.

And when i reflect on it honestly, i admit that i can’t claim this psalm as if i’m in the same place as David, because David took steps to honor God. I’ve been taking steps away from God.

But what’s the answer to my plight? It’s no different than the answer to David’s plight. I must seek God’s face. I must fix my eyes on Him. I can’t look at my “needs” and “wants”. I must look at Him, the one who will give me all things i need (see Romans 8:32). Perhaps my struggle recently will be used to help encourage someone struggling similarly in the future.

But all i can say is, “my eyes need to be fixed on You. Push me to take refuge in You so that i do not die.” Christ is there waiting for me. I’ll pursue Him!

Will you?

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus

The next entry can be found here.

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