Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where Is Your Focus?



25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-33


My husband and I had an interesting conversation last night...we've been having some very interesting conversations for weeks actually, but last night was a bit of a light bulb moment for us. Where is your focus?

As a Christian, we know the answer to this..."On God of course!" That's all fine and good but in what aspect are your thoughts on God, and are they really on Him? Maybe you're thinking "God, please help me pass this test" "God, change my circumstances" or "God, I praise you", or even "God, change me." These are all great! God wants us to go to Him in everything, and we should praise Him in all things. But lets be real here, most of us are not focused on God all the time, in fact for many, we're not focused on God most of the time.



Right now my husband and my focus are on a few things. My husbands is mostly his deteriorating health, and mine is mostly the financial organization of caring for a large family with zero income. Yes we believe God is there and working in this situation. We believe something beautiful is happening but even knowing this, our mind keeps shifting to the worldly troubles. 




So what happens when you focus so intently on things? You become hypersensitive to them. If it's your health every ache and pain and new discomfort is amplified and means something bigger. If it's finances you risk making it your idol and it can either become about making more and more of it, or stressing and losing hope of ever being able to get out of the situation you're in. Both of these are examples of focusing on negative things, but what happens if it's not a horrible thing you're focusing on. Regardless of how good something is or how good your intentions begin, paired with a human sinful nature, things can go wrong. A strong focus on your children for instance, can become a hypersensitivity to every little whine, and unwanted behaviour and the sinful need for control can take the focus to another level as you attempt to micromanage every little action or quarrel.


Sometimes our focus on things doesn't need to be so intense. Guiding your children is necessary, but some of us need to release control of the idea that it's our job to make them what God wants them to be, that's God's job. Who are we to say what God has planned for those little lives. It's our job to impart wisdom, love and protection, while still allowing them to learn from their bumps, bruises, and wrong decisions, and to give the rest to Him.

So where should we turn our attention then? To God right? Of course, but in what way? Praise, prayer, Bible study? Should we focus on forgiveness, compassion, generosity?

Here is where God is leading us with this in our life and circumstances right now. I can't say this is what everyone needs to do, because what He calls each of us to happens at different times and in different ways, but here is how we are learning (slowly) to take our focus off ourselves and our many problems, and to direct them to God.

 

FOCUSING ON GOD

1)  Praise: Always start with praise. Our God is amazing, our lives are good, no matter how bad they may seem. We are loved, and we are saved and it will all end well for those who believe.
2)  Prayer: Let God know that you want a relationship with Him, and that you're ready for His direction in your life. Then be ready to hear Him and OBEY. I say this, because a lot of what we hear gets drowned out by worldly thinking, be open and be courageous, because you just might end up with an ark in your back yard!
3) Read your Bible: What's do you mean? You don't believe what He's asking you to do? Why? Because you don't have money to do that, you have other responsibilities that surely he wouldn't take you away from? Go to your Bible, if He really is asking this of you He will confirm it here, and you won't be able to deny it.

Now, here is why these numbers are crossed out. We did this, we got to this point, and we got this:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

and this

Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Jesus asks us to seek the Kingdom first, not mans, Gods. So we should just focus on heaven, right? Well what does the second verse say? Are we to just focus on His kingdom in heaven or should we be setting our sights to obeying God and living our lives here and now, as we would expect them to be in heaven? With absolute obedience, love for God and others and praise.
Maybe not a huge revelation to most. But when God has placed on your heart to start a charity organization for Him (with Kingdom in the title mind you!), and your husband is too ill to work to pay bills let alone take on more physical labour for the charity and you haven't an income coming in, and your focusing on trying to just get by and to survive, these verses take on a whole new meaning.
In all this chaos our hearts are at peace, and we have found a calm in the storm.
We will seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added to us, and I have faith in my God that His words are true!

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