Oswald Chambers calls it self awareness. I think that’s an incredible way to describe it. In the past I’ve called it self focus. Self awareness is like self consciousness, but it goes beyond that. It’s simply being concerned on a certain level with ourselves: our plans, our needs, our desires, our sin, our looks, our place in our world, our rights, our hopes, our fears, etc. Self-focused doesn’t describe it as well as self awareness. Being self aware is the more subtle issue. We can be self aware without being totally focused on ourselves.
Self awareness robs us of oneness with God. For we can’t be totally submitted to Him, walking in step with the Spirit, seeking Him during every moment of our day, if we are self aware. We must forget ourselves and think only of Him. If we do, we will no longer walk in the fear of man, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the future, and all the other fears with which the enemy enjoys taunting us. If we forget ourselves, then we can’t think on fear because it no longer matters.
If we forget ourselves and look only to God, then we will truly be able to love others as He calls us to.
For, it won’t be about us. We don’t have to be afraid of loving others genuinely for we are simply living out Christ’s life in our flesh.
If we forget ourselves, if we don’t consider ourselves at all, then we can simply hear from God and do His will: love our children with His love, serve them with His joy, clean the house without a thought of our inconvenience. Simply focus our lives and thoughts upon Him every moment, and His life will be lived through us. And there is no joy, no peace, no fulfillment that compares to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him, walking in step with Him, focusing our hearts upon Him, and submitting our entire body—including our thoughts—to Him. The moment we begin to focus on ourselves, we walk out of step with the Spirit. We lose our close connection to God.
As I look at the papers and books spread out all over the floor—the items I meant to organize but didn’t get the time—I want to jump into “me” and get moving, recruit the family and say, “hop to it!” However, I know I need to keep my heart focused on the Lord and ask,
Lord, what would you have me do? How would you have me spend my time right now? Guide me to choose the very best thing.
And if that very best thing does not include cleaning up this mess right now, He will provide me with the peace I need to overlook it. Eventually, He will have me clean it up. But it must be through His guidance so that I can do it in His strength.
My life is not my own.
And though I want to be able to walk through this room without having to step over books and papers, that’s about me and my wants and desires. That’s about my own self awareness. I die to my wants and seek only His face. “What, Lord, would You have me do with this moment?” I must ask this each moment all day long to stay in step with the Spirit.
Read on for more encouragement and inspiration.