Article: Are You Ready To Make A Shift? | Jacob Varghese

Have you ever wondered why some people seem happier than others even though they are going through more difficult situations in life?

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When Paul wrote to Philippians, the greatest exposition of joy ever written, he was bound in chains and under house arrest. Amid the Covid pandemic and its different variants along with all other difficulties of life, what are you looking toward to make you happy? Whatever causes one to experience strong emotions of either happiness or disappointments, that is likely the thing one is living for and it is very likely to ruin one’s life.

Recently one person at my workplace confessed extreme anxiety over his children and their future and looked to me for some guidance. I tried to console the person saying God is good, loving, and in total control even when chaos is swirling around with everything seeming out of control. That is what Paul did. If all Paul saw were his circumstances and his inability to change his circumstances, he would surely have been disappointed. But his circumstances did not dictate his thoughts. It was his love for Jesus Christ and his trust in a good, loving, and Almighty God that directed his mind and his purpose. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, the same spirit that empowered Paul in his circumstances is fully accessible for you and me. The question is: are you ready to make that shift?

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We need to prepare for a shift, change or alteration in our individual lives as well as in the community we live in, even during difficult seasons of life, knowing well that God is leading us for a shift. Is it not true that God has a reason for allowing things to happen? We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will. I believe we need to experience a shift in some specific areas of life; a shift in pace, purpose, and in our priorities. Most of us would like to see an acceleration in the pace of things. But for some of us, the situation may bring a deceleration – a slowing down of things. In such seasons of life, God is leading us to make a change in the primary purpose; it is not a change in God’s purpose for our life, but in what we are pursuing as our primary assignment in this season of life.

Some of us may have been considering all along the primary focus of our life is to make money or to become a successful professional. But God is bringing a shift in such lives through the situations they experience. We may find ourselves saying “I want to focus on pursuing something that will make a difference for the kingdom of God; focus on something that will be of lasting value; something more than just making money and becoming a successful professional.” Even in our professional lives, there may be a shift in the way things are being done. Even in the family, we will see a shift in our purpose beyond just taking care of home, spouse, and children. God will lead us to a shift in our understanding of what we should do.

We need to make a change in the priorities of life, a change in what is important for us. The change in pace and a change in focus will cause a change in priorities. In the midst of all these, we need to endure. The way to do this is through consistently waiting on the Lord to have our strength renewed to make that needed shift. When we have these shifts, this will impact our lifestyle, will impact the allocation of our resources such as time, money, and energy and also impact our relationships. In the midst of that, we need to avoid becoming restless and double-minded, but we need to go along with the shift that God is introducing in our life. A change from an inward focus to outward focus, a change from exclusiveness to inclusiveness, a change from our church focus to kingdom focus and emphasis on the supernatural by our absolute surrender to God. Change in focus or priority usually makes people feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and even resistant, but the key to such change is to let God navigate.

Jacob Varghese

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