I was at a training session for community group leaders at my church, and the pastor used an example of a camera lens to describe the many aspects that are necessary to have a healthy and fruitful community group.
Apparently if you were to cut open a lens, you would see multiple parts, all necessary for the shot.
A part missing could mean a blurry shot. Or something off.
I sat there, thinking about how using instagram, people are often making shots blurry, or off in an artistic way.
The enemy wants me to miss things. He wants me to forget to care for my neighbour, to pray for and with other believers, to share Jesus with people.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
(Philippians 2:14-15 ESV)
An artistic faith, one that is good with Jesus in a lot of ways, but also okay with things of the world in a lot of ways will be respected by many. It'll be happily tolerated. The sinner inside will rejoice.
Jesus rejoices when I rejoice in Him.
I want my faith to be anything but artistic - I want it to be focused. I want it to be clear. I want a perfect shot, without blemish, blur, or any skew at all.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
(Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV)
As I similarly mentioned the other day, I really truly want Jesus to look at each moment of my life and see Himself in it.
I'm tired of having an artistic or sin friendly faith.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
(Jude 1:17-21 ESV)
I want my heart to focus on Christ. I want my faith to be excellent, not for my own praise or glory but because I love Jesus!
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
(Colossians 4:5-6 ESV)
God is good, worthy of honour, and capable of receiving ALL glory.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)