Sunday, May 6, 2012

Upward and Outward

Will I please God today? 

Will I focus upward and outward or inward and downward?
Will I be focused on loving God and serving others?
Or will I focus on me and serving my needs and desires?

Focusing on God (praising, praying, listening, seeking, reading his Word ) = UPWARD
Focusing on Others (loving, serving, helping, encouraging) = OUTWARD
Focusing on Me (wants, needs, desires, schedule, interests) = INWARD
Focusing on Myself (pride, arrogance, anger, selfishness, greed, jealousy) = DOWNWARD

Why is it so hard to live UPWARD AND OUTWARD?
My will fights against God's.  What I want competes against what God wants.
Fulfilled desires bring a fleeting, but powerful pleasure that call me back for more.
The very body I use to enjoy God's gifts, can enslave me.  (My eyes, taste buds, hands, minds...)
Often, I think my earthly needs (food, shelter, clothing) are my most important needs.  In fact, my most important need is to walk within God's will.  I should worry less about what shoes I will wear on the walk, whether my stomach will be full for the journey or my pillow soft enough.
Put simply...
Inward is easy. It comes naturally.  Me, Me, Me.
Downward is easy, too. Like a baby, I play with what is put right in front of me. Mine, Mine, Mine.
Upward is difficult. It requires me to look up and acknowledge my need of a Savior. You, You, You.
Outward is difficult.  It requires sacrifice, compassion & patience. Your's, Your's, Your's.

Upward, Outward Prayer
Lord, each morning, draw my view heavenward.
May I focus on you today, my Lord and Savior.
Change me, that I may be more like you. 
Help me to see those around me with your eyes
And may I serve them with your heart.

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