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Monday, March 3, 2014

21. Spiritual Land Mine #7: Believing -- and not just believing in -- Jesus Christ (Part 3 of 3)

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the 21st examining the phrase "calleth on my name".

Two posts ago, I explained how there's a difference between "believing in Christ" and "believing Christ".  In my last post, I described how we often don't believe Christ by neglecting the seemingly little things in life (which the Spirit would have us do) as well as the macro-truths of life (like embracing the Atonement).

To continue from my last post...

Don't Focus Upwards
"Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people, those who are committed to a worthy, righteous life, who want to do good and intend to make the most of this life.  His tool is distraction.   He has an extensive array of undeniably good things that are used to keep us from doing the essential ones.  Have you noticed that when you begin to focus on something truly important, something of eternal significance, there often come thoughts of other good things to distract you?  Satan promotes distraction.  He would have good people fill life with 'good things' so there is no room for the 'essential ones.'  Have you unconsciously  been caught in that trap?" (Elder Richard G. Scott, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy" [2007], p. 10-11).
A few years ago, I interacted on an online forum that was dedicated to discussing and learning about future, pre-millennial events.  Over time, people joined the forum and contended with those who didn't perfectly agree with their opinions.  The contention led to unapologetic (even group-spurred) rumor-mongering, false witnessing, name calling, judgment and a noticeable, then profound, loss of the spirit on the forum.  It's only gotten worse over the years.

While it's noble (in my opinion) to want to prepare for the future, it's not cool to do so at the expense of more pressing, immediate needs -- like meekness, understanding, charity, persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned (D&C 121:41). I may be wrong, but I don't think I'm too far out of line by saying that those who expect to be with Christ should probably check and make sure their beliefs and actions -- especially toward others -- reflect those expectations. Otherwise, you're just fooling yourself.

So it is with those who seek the greatest, most profound blessings in this life, like having your calling and election made sure or having one's second comforter experience.  While these are righteous desires, some have ended up neglecting or skipping past other important responsibilities -- for example, spending time with one's spouse, family or the scriptures, or seeking to help those less fortunate.

Thus, I believe we can miss much in our journey in life by placing too much focus on the future or on profound spiritual events without an appropriate attention on the present.

And ohhhhhh the things that we miss (more on that in my next Spiritual Land Mine)!

Just Look Straight Ahead

Go re-read the story of the Brother of Jared.  Now, when I read it, I see a man who was focused on one thing: getting light into the barges he was commanded to build.  He wasn't focused on seeing the finger of the Lord, let alone the Lord in all His glory.  I believe those events were a result of his orientation in life. His (daily) focus determined his (eventual) future.

Maybe the best (and perhaps only) way to experience the fulness of what the Lord is offering you is to be a modern-day brother (or sister) of Jared.  Be hopeful and mindful of the future, while focused on the here and now:
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34).
As you heed the Savior's counsel, you demonstrate that you believe Him.  Consequently, over time, other miracles -- maybe a more profound knowledge of the future, kneeling in His presence or hearing that your calling and election has been made sure -- stand a greater likelihood of happening.

God already knows your desires.

What He's waiting to see is if you'll handle what He throws at you...today.

A Secret Weapon to Conquering the Challenges of Today
(Which You've Probably Never Read About on the Internet)


The signs that follow them that believe -- both in the little challenges of the day, as well as universal concepts, like the Atonement -- are both manifold and profound (Mark 16:17).  And, we are told, anyone who believes what the apostles believed will receive the same gifts they enjoyed, will perform the same miracles, and will do the same works. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).

One of those gifts or miracles is something which I don't think I've read about on any other Latter-day Saint oriented blog (and believe me, I read a lot of them).  Yet none of them (that I've seen) have EVER mentioned what I consider to be a secret weapon in overcoming the challenges of today.  In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that it is

A MISSING LINK IN MOST PEOPLE'S QUEST TO SEE THE LORD IN THIS LIFE

If you're interested in this missing link, then I invite you to hearken to God's clarion call for you to leave your comfort zone.

Imagine beyond your current reality.

Embrace the impossible.

Hope for the incredible.

Take that initial step of faith.

Dare to believe.

Disregard those distractions, no matter how flashy they will be.

Keep your eyes on Him.  And someday, your eyes will be looking at Him.

And you'll be ready to place your foot on the water...and experience a true miracle in your life.

More details about this missing link in the next (and last) Spiritual Landmine...

6 comments:

  1. I woke up yesterday morning with the words, "Lean not unto your own understanding." Reading this post and seeing the picture with the scripture Proverbs 3:5 was a reminder for me and gave me the beginning part of the scripture. I had a dream once that taught me the importance of not racing through life to just get to the finish line. I was flying through rainbows like a video game race.I was focused on getting the best time. I speed through the rainbows, gathered all the coins. At the end I found out it wasn't a race. I missed opportunities to help others, develop lasting relationships with others, etc. Thank you for reminding me to "keep my eyes on him and one day my eyes will be looking at him."
    I have found these post very helpful and of value.

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  2. I like the story of the brother of Jared -- and I think I have been working on doing good these past 30 years. The difference now, is that I have come back to believing that I can have that personal relationship with Christ. Somewhere along the line, I stopped believing that I can have that experience in this life. I just kind of stopped with baptism of fire. I appreciate the reminder to not focus so much on the next event and yet believe it, and keep working on getting the light in my ark!

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  3. This post is so well-timed for me. This is something I've just actively begun, and it's just like spiritual weightlifting. It takes focus, and reminders, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

    That said, it's more a process of letting things go, laying things down, and submitting to the will of Jesus Christ than anything else. (lol . . . wait . . . Spiritual weight training has everything to do with laying things down, instead of picking them up! I love it!)

    Thank you so much for such a great post. Keep 'em coming! :)

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  4. Wow, I needed this post today. Your words have given me comfort, thank you. Sometimes it's hard for me to "see" that my work and effort in one single day have been enough. I often concern myself with the morrow unnecessarily but if I stop and "feel" (and ask for it) the Spirit is always ready to confirm to me that it's okay, the works I have to do (long term) will work themselves out. It's an interesting paradigm to be asked to accept as spirits having a human. All that we know is built around "time", minutes and hours and days. We're given personal revelation about future events, the scriptures testify of them and yet we're asked simply to trust when we wonder how it all can be accomplished. As a mom I notice a lot of parallels in my children's behaviors as they relate to me (as the child) and my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I'm impatient, easily frustrated, often having tantrum fits, immature (spiritually) and wanting things my way. He (the perfect Father) is steady, ever patient, wise and all knowing. He never wearies of calming my upset heart and reminding me that He is my Shepherd and "no want shall I know; I feed in green pastures; safe-folded I rest."

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  5. I appreciate your comments about focusing on the Savior and on the evils of today. I look forward to reading your next post, way to leave us hanging. :) You are a great writer. This post reminds me of my all-time most favorite scripture about coming to our Savior: 2 Nephi 25:29 "And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ (I might add: "And believe Him"), and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out." Stop and ponder what it means to worship Him with your whole soul. That is the essence of the Spiritual Weight-lifting mentioned here, to lay everything down - for Him. Beautiful. :) Thanks!

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  6. After our submitted my last post, this song started playing as I was listening to Jericho Road. This song is so fitting for today's blog post that I just wanted to share. The song is called "This Day". This is a small sampling of it, but it is a great song about focusing our lives on This Day that the Lord has given us. Enjoy!

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