How to Manifest the Culture of Heaven this Year
I remember in high school I was sitting in calculus class (which that was my first mistake), when I noticed that my hands seemed to have a rather orange-ish tint. As probably any other high schooler would do, I decided to ask the person next to me for their expert opinion if they thought my hands seemed to look orange. My student neighbor nodded his head and then proceeded to tell me that he thought that orange hands were a preceding symptom to kidney failure. I’d like to make you think that I wasn’t your typical dramatic teenager but I was your typical dramatic teenage girl and then some. So I sped off to the bathroom so that I could google and research signs of kidney failure. Long story short, after a couple minutes of speed reading WebMD I found out that it probably wasn’t kidney failure and concluded that it was probably more along the lines of the type of lighting in the classroom. It’s kind of a funny story looking back at it but the point I’m trying to make is that by fixating on one comment, the entire course of my life seemed to change. I was running to the bathroom imagining myself in hospital beds, not finishing high school and having orange skin. I mean, I don’t know how much of that was amplified by hormones… but the point I’m trying to make is had I chose not to magnify that comment, I probably wouldn’t have blown that whole situation out of proportion, started imagining who I was going to put on my will and maybe stayed in the classroom and gotten a better grade (maybe). But instead, by focusing on that one comment I changed my attitude and my choices in order to align with it.
What Are You Magnifying?
I think this whole idea of magnification is what’s really affecting a lot of people. The challenge of being a Christian in today’s society is that we live in a culture that magnifies (for lack of a better word) crap. I don’t watch the news but statistics show that the ratio from negative news reports to positive news reports is 17 to 1. Have you scrolled through the Facebook home feed? There’s tons of gossip, slander, sexualized pictures, it’s a lot of bad stuff and it’s everywhere. Part of me thinks about how much of this is us magnifying and blowing up all the wrong things and not giving our attention and our affections to the things of God. I’m not saying to be uninformed, but I am saying let’s be careful what we fixate on. Listen the enemy wants nothing more than to swallow your vision of your life, other’s lives and the world with things that are evil, hopeless and destructive.
Something I’ve been doing a lot of in the past couple months has been reflecting on what I look at, think about and fixate on. Because it’s those things that shape our worldview, our actions and our attitudes. I love this verse in Mary’s praise song in Luke 1:46.
My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior
- Luke 1:46 (AMP)
Magnify Things of God
I love that word magnify. Think about what a magnifying glass does when it hovers over a page. When a magnifying glass is above a word, that word appears bigger and becomes the main focus. It focus on something that could have easily been lost in looking at the picture as a whole. The other words are still on the page, but they’re not the focus. Now what I’m getting at is we have the power to magnify which situations, people, experiences we want to focus on. If we Christians are walking around stressed out, terrified and hopeless what doees that say about who we believe our God is? Whether you choose to magnify this or not, God is and has been at work in and around your life from the very day you were born. But that’s going to be very hard to see, feel and experience if you’re too busy magnifying the things not of God and instead of this world.
"If we Christians are walking around stressed out, terrified and hopeless what doees that say about who we believe our God is?"
My question for you to think about is how differently will you approach this New Year if you are focusing on the works of God? So in this New Year, I challenge you to be someone who magnifies the things of God rather than the things of this world. I challenge you to be people who set your focus on the works of Heaven rather than the falls of man. And just sit back and watch how the atmosphere around you changes when you start talking, focusing on and looking for the things of Heaven, the angelic and the testimonies of God. Because you will look at the things that are factual in the world but through the lens of what is factual in the kingdom of Heaven. Once you partner with those thoughts moment by moment, I promise that it will change how you live you're life.
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