What if what we have been focusing on isn’t what we are supposed to be focusing on? Could where we have been putting our attention hinder us from moving forward in our lives? What if we switched our focus to God and truly believed that He is in control?
Heaviness In My Heart
For the past several months my heart has been at times experiencing an overwhelming feeling of heaviness. My inbox has been bombarded with so much covid-19 information. All of the information seems to be stating different “opinions” by different “professionals”. My newsfeed on my Facebook has also been bombarded with mixed information and with different “professionals” having their personal (often contrasting) “opinions”. I turn on my television or go on other formats of social media and it continues to overwhelm me. I have friends that have taken camp in their own opinions. (On all sides). One thing that I have rarely seen – is anyone really focusing on God and what His opinions may be.
Where and What Have I Been Focusing On?
It is easy for me to see that no matter what a person personally believes – they can always find a “professional” to back up their beliefs. I have also been able to see that emotions are high and kindness has taken a back seat to voicing our “opinions”. I have seen name calling and threatening to end relationships ect (bully behaviors).
This all has caused me a heavy heart — however what has caused my heart a deeper heaviness is the lack of hope and love. It appears that all focus (or most) has been given to the “negative” and the “fear” (on all sides). Without maybe intending “fear” has been thrown around – possibly without even realizing it.
Are You Being Led By God’s Word?
My bible encourages me to glorify God in all things. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV).
It tells me that love overcomes fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
In addition it instructs me that I need to be mindful of my words and actions. I am not to be a stumbling block to anyone. “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
Even In The Midst Of Confusion And Chaos
Even in the midst of confusion, chaos and crisis we are not to abandon God’s instructions. It is easy to get sidetracked and not focus on what is beneficial for us. He encourages us that If we humble ourselves and pray and if we seek Him first – God will see us through. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.“ ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
In addition it leads us to live in faith and to trust Him — in all things. “Trust in him at all times, oh people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” ~ Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
We can be assured that the battle that we find ourselves in, is not our battle. The battle belongs to the Lord. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.“ ~ 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)
Do You Need To Take A Step Back?
It is vital that we be aware of the words that we speak to others as well as our actions towards them. If anything that we do or say is going against God’s Word and character – then we need to take a step back and once again humble ourselves and pray. We may need to have an attitude adjustment and get back on track of living out His Word. It is our responsibility to ourselves (and others) to make an effort to focus on the things that truly matter.
It is also vital to be aware of what we have been (and are) focusing on. Is our focus drawing us closer to God or is it drawing us further away from Him?
A Personal Challenge To Change What We Focus On – Are You Joining Me?
I have had to challenge myself (and continue to do so) and allow God to search my heart as I ask myself the following questions:
1. Am I glorifying God with my words and actions?
2. Do I instill others with hope or am I encouraging them to fear?
3. Are my words and actions glorifying myself and my personal opinions?
4. Do the words I speak show others kindness?
5. Are my words pure?
6. Do the words that I speak have a hidden agenda?
7. What are my motives in sharing what I share?
The two most important questions of them all are?
8. Are my words pointing to my Savior or are they pointing to myself and/or the world?
9. Am I willing to focus on what truly matters – and set aside my own opinions and the opinions of others?
Whose Opinions Are You Going To Focus On?
I know that others (possibly you) will say that these are just my “opinions” — and they (possibly you) would be correct. They are my thoughts. We can all agree to disagree. Today (for myself) I am going to choose to seek God for His direction – to follow His lead (to the best of my abilities). To walk in love and kindness towards all (whether I agree with them or not) and lastly to fill my spirit with His Word – and in essence fill myself with hope, mercy, grace, joy, kindness and love.
Something To Marinate In and Focus On
When we marinate a steak we are making the meat more tender. The same can hold true to our hearts. As we meditate, what I often refer to as “marinating in God’s Word”, our hearts become tender and God can mold us more into His image. I want to leave you with a few Scriptures to marinate in. Read them daily and let them soak into your heart. Start applying them to your daily life and turn them into daily actions.
Galatians 1:10 ~~~ “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Acts 5:29 ~~~ “Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Psalm 56:3-4 ~~~ “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?”
Making It Real
What have you been focusing on? Have you allowed the world and the events in the world to solely grab your attention? Are there opinions that you need to stop listening too? How about opinions that are best kept to yourself? I want to encourage you to ask God to help you refocus and to set your sights on Him.
Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear from you and pray for you too.
Are you interested in reading more of my devotionals? I am including a link for you:
Struggling with feeling overwhelmed? I have a list of scriptures to help give you greater peace. 24 Bible Verses For When You’re Overwhelmed
Blessings to you my friend ❤️
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