Life keeps us busy. It seems like every time we complete one task, there are 3 more news ones before us. As a result, we can get distracted from God, stray away from His goodness, and temporarily forget about our calling. If we’re serious about our faith, this is not a state we want to find ourselves in. However, it happens to all of us. Wouldn’t it be great if the only thing we had to worry about were the things of God? You know, that was the primary calling of a group of people once upon a time:
The Levites, however, were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe. For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying, “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor shall you take their census among the sons of Israel. But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings and over all that belongs to it. They shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it; they shall also camp around the tabernacle. So when the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle encamps, the Levites shall set it up But the layman who comes near shall be put to death. The sons of Israel shall camp, each man by his own camp, and each man by his own standard, according to their armies. But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there will be no wrath on the congregation of the sons of Israel So the Levites shall keep charge of the tabernacle of the testimony.” – Numbers 1:47-53, NASB
The Levites were set apart. While the rest of the tribes were preparing for war, those who were from Levi did not. Moses had been commanded to take a census of all able-bodied males. But not from the Levites. They were God’s, and God’s alone. They were to tend to the tabernacle. They were to be about the worship of God, to ensure that everything was just right. Among the Levites were Aaron and his descendants. They were to be the priests. They were to lead the people in worship. However, given their primary job, this didn’t ensure they stayed trued to God or avoided the life issues, either.
We can’t depend on our families, our jobs, how we were raised, the folks in our church, or even our proximity to a church to help us keep a singular focus on God. All of these can help us, but ultimately, we’ve got to own up and be accountable. It’s on us to put Him first. We have to be intentional about our discipleship and spiritual growth. That was something that I came to really understand from a mentor of mine, Dr. Tom Fillinger. If we say God is number one in our lives, then our thoughts and actions should demonstrate that statement. And that means we’re putting in the time and effort to ensure that what we’re saying is what we’re doing.
We’re not alone in this. God has provided His Holy Spirit to help us. He has given us the Scriptures to teach us and instruct us. He has provided other Christians to remind us, encourage us, and to hopefully help us be accountable. He provides life experiences and opportunities to reinforce His Scriptures. So God provides plenty of reinforcement so we can keep our focus on Him. He wants us to succeed in this. But He is also gracious in forgiveness when we don’t. That’s humbling. Some might try to take advantage of God’s mercy in this (and they would only be fooling themselves if they think God doesn’t notice or doesn’t care). As for me, it makes me just want to try harder. As I look towards the new year, I want to work on my focus. There are a lot of distractions in my life that can go. And the time I harvest back from them I want to pour into Him. Will you join me?