Kingdom-Focused Clarity | April 12th, 2016
Vintage costume jewelry created with dazzling clear rhinestones is nearly impossible for me to pass up when I happen to come across any of it on display at antique shops and shows.
I have repurposed many of these sparkling pieces, brilliantly reflecting the light, into adjustable rings so that others may be able to enjoy their beauty as well. They are made with the highest quality rhinestones, most of which came out of Austria years ago.
In the vintage costume jewelry world, these clear rhinestone pieces are as close as you can get to resembling April’s traditional birthstone, diamond, without the incredibly high price tag.
Because of the excellent quality of the stones, they will not lose their clarity or darken over time like most of the lower grade rhinestones.
Cut and Clarity of a Diamond
The way a diamond is cut has the greatest influence on how much a diamond will sparkle which affects the quality. If it has a poor cut, it may actually appear dull.
When a diamond is cut with proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond, also known as the table. If it is cut too shallow, light escapes out of the bottom. And when it is cut too deep, the light will seep out of the sides.
The cut of the diamond has three primary effects on its appearance. The first is brilliance which is the brightness created by the combination of the white light reflecting from the surface and from inside of the diamond. The second is fire, the dispersion of light into the colors of the visible spectrum which is seen as flashes of color. And the third is scintillation. This is the flashes of light and dark, also known as sparkle when a diamond or the source of light hitting the diamond is moved.
Clarity, the visual appearance, is another universal method for assessing the quality of a diamond. Imperfections inside of the diamond are known as inclusions and those on the surface are called blemishes. The fewer imperfections there are, the better the clarity allowing the diamond to sparkle even more through the way it is cut.
Clarity of the Mind
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, clarity of the mind is vital for you to be able to truly sparkle as a reflection of Him. For true clarity, you must be kingdom-focused which gives you an eternal perspective on life, not temporal, as this world was never meant to be our forever home. God has created an incredible place for us to live for all eternity if we accept Him as our Savior.
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. Daniel 4:3
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
Just as the cut of the diamond has three significant effects on its appearance, there are three factors that affect keeping a sparkling clarity for a kingdom focus…
Clarity Factor #1
What do you allow to INFLUENCE your mind?
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Christians at Philippi, wrote:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
The next time you sit down to watch television, try measuring what you are viewing against the standard of this Bible verse. You will probably find it nearly impossible to find anything wholesome! I have noticed on most shows that are now being aired, God’s name is continuously used in vain with complete disrespect and disregard for his holiness and the morals portrayed are horribly corrupt.
The mind is a complex system that works much better the more you use it. Just as exercise for the body makes your muscles stronger, mental exercise makes the mind stronger. If you regularly watch hours of television or movies, your mind becomes stagnant, greatly diminishing the ability for creativity and imagination. Not only is it a waste of the limited time God gave you here on this earth to use for His glory but it is also a waste of the mind.
Instead of turning on the television, watching a movie, or scrolling through social media for more mind-numbing entertainment, use that time to open your Bible and read God’s Word to fill your mind with all that is pure and praiseworthy so you will know how to live a life pleasing to Him.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Proverbs 4:26
Do not allow all the many influences of the world battling for your time to pull you off of the path God has planned for you. Rather, be guided by the One who wants the very best for you so you can experience to the fullest His incredible purpose for your life.
Clarity Factor #2
What do you allow to CONTROL your mind?
The world offers an abundance of attractive, mind-controlling substances, many of which can become very addictive over time. Alcohol is one of the most acceptable of these substances in our society. However, drinking too much of it will affect your mind and your actions, taking complete control of you.
Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by him. Ephesians 5:18
When you ask Christ to come into your life, you are given the wonderful and gracious gift of the Holy Spirit to help empower and guide you, leading you in the way you should go to be able to reflect Christ. If alcohol is taking the place of the Holy Spirit when you drink more than you should, your decisions become controlled by alcohol, not by your Helper, the Holy Spirit. Clarity of thought becomes long gone as well as your focus on what has eternal, kingdom value.
You have the choice of whether or not to accept guidance from the Holy Spirit. When you resist what He wants for you and you give in to your desires to go your own way, it deeply grieves Him. Reading God’s Word will help you recognize how the Holy Spirit is leading you.
Know that He will never lead you to do anything contrary to God’s Word. The same cannot be said of alcohol which will most likely lead you down a path of decision making that continually opposes God’s Word. If alcohol is a weakness for you, you do not have to struggle with it alone. The Holy Spirit promises to help you in your weakness. And God will give you the strength you need to live with complete clarity for a kingdom focus.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the MIND of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
Our powerful Creator, who has named each star in the sky, loves you and cares about you personally.
He deeply desires to give you the strength and power you need to overcome anything controlling you that is reducing your clarity of the mind and kingdom focus.
Isaiah describes God’s incredible strength and power available to you:
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:25-29
Clarity Factor #3
What do you allow to DISTRACT your mind?
Natural diamonds originate as a result of carbon exposed to intense heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can cause irregular crystals, otherwise known as inclusions, to become trapped inside the diamond while it is forming. These can greatly reduce the clarity of the diamond.
The more time you spend thinking about God and what He values, the more it becomes a natural state of mind, increasing your clarity. However, your focus will become blurred when you keep your mind set on things that only have earthly value – the temporary, distracting things of this life that will one day all be destroyed. You will bring on more worry and anxiety, creating inclusions that lower your clarity and reflect less of Christ’s light in you.
The answer to staying kingdom-focused is spending more time with God in His presence which you are designed to do. He desires closeness with you! This will help reduce those inclusions (worry and anxiety) that are clouding your clarity, replacing them with His perfect peace. It will also help you to keep your focus on what is most important – being able to brilliantly reflect the light of Christ so that you can help others come to know Him in a personal way so they may also be with Him for eternity.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your MINDS in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
If your clarity has become blurred over time from all that you have allowed to influence, control, and distract your mind, know that there is hope. God is the Master of transformation. He can bring perfect clarity to a mind that has completely lost its brightness.
Ask Him to help you keep your focus on that which has eternal value so you may live a life that will shine brightly…like the sparkling diamond He made you to be.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to help you set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth so that you can be kingdom-focused with a clear, eternal perspective.
Sparkler #2: Action
Listen closely to the Holy Spirit and accept His guidance to help you make decisions that honor Christ in all you do. Spend more time communicating with God and reading His Word so your focus on the kingdom becomes a natural state of mind.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
What changes need to be made to increase the clarity of your mind? Think about the choices you make with all that you allow to influence, control, and distract your mind. For incredible sparkle that reflects the light of Christ, set a new standard to allow into your mind only that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.
*Stars – photo credit: ESA/Hubble; ESA
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