I was thinking about Bill this morning. Bill does something that most Bulgarians don’t do—he smiles. He smiles a lot. It’s not that he has no problems, but Bill really gets it: that he has an Almighty God that is on his side. In fact, many Christians (both here in Europe and in the US) don’t even get it. Some Christians are always complaining about money, their job, health, relationships, unreliable car, you name it. They rake over the past again and again, looking for clues there. Often they struggle with sin in their lives.
The problem is that their focus is all wrong. They are focused on obstacles, problems, troubles, sin, and behaviors (both theirs and others’). The solution is so simple, and here it is:
Focus all your attention
and all your affection on Jesus.
That’s it! If you focus your attention on Jesus, problems shrink to their proper proportions, and you begin to understand that truly nothing is impossible for you if you believe. I told Bill that it’s like the moon. You look at the moon and it looks so small that you can hold it in your fingers. But the moon is really very big. It’s just that we are very far away from the moon. Whichever you’re closer to is the thing that seems biggest: your problems or your God (I wrote about this in greater detail in my book “Laughing in My Dreams”). He liked that and said that he wants to use it in a sermon. Bill is a very encouraging person.
Likewise, if you focus your affection on Jesus, you will lose all interest in sin. You will begin to see sin for what it really is: enslavement. One of the devil’s cleverest lies is that sin is fun. There may be fun moments, but I have never had more fun, and more continuous fun than I’ve had since the day I completely surrendered to Jesus—not the day of my conversion or of my rededication, but total and complete surrender came just 4 years ago. And that fun will never, ever end! One of the coolest quotes I’ve ever read on laughter comes from “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis. The book is supposed to be a collection of letters from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew and protégé, Wormwood. About Christian laughter, he says:
Something like it [laughter] is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—a meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience, quite opaque to us. Laughter of this kind does us no good and should always be discouraged. Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.
That blew me away the first time I read it. Whenever I start to take myself too seriously, I remind myself that dignity comes from pride, and belongs in Hell. It’s good to laugh, and especially to laugh at yourself. As my friend, Bob, says, “God is not a killjoy!”
So listen to how you talk. Are you always complaining? Always unhappy, disillusioned, dissatisfied? Always asking for prayers? Get closer to God. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Get the Bible onto your MP3 player and listen day and night. Just like a rocket ship to the moon, you’ll find God to be big enough to stand on. God is good!