Last week I talked about being thankful to God and giving Him all of the glory. I reflected on how to try and keep our focus on Him, and what it means to be thankful and show others our gratitude. I might sound like a broken record, but I think it’s so easy to get distracted- especially at this time of year. My mind keeps going to back to the question: how can we keep our focus on Him in a society filled with distractions?
With our crazy work schedules, and David away filming the past 6 weeks, I stepped into the role of single mama. FYI- Single moms are SUPER heros! Finding a balance with the kids and work and keeping my focus on God was challenging. What kept me focused on Him was drawing very defined boundaries. It was a lot of saying “no” to distractions so I could keep my focus on my kids and God… and the things that had to be done each day. Let’s just say I was in yoga pants and a baseball cap most days. My self care kind of went out of the window and I was in survival mode! Lysa Terkeurst wrote a book called “The Best Yes” that talks about the art of saying no and prioritizing so we can be our best for Jesus.
I know that sometimes we don’t feel like doing the right thing, because we think our plans are important, but when we don’t put God first, it’s really only our loss. It’s the fruit of reaping and sowing: we reap…and we have to sow—even though sometimes it’s not fun or easy. As believers, we need to choose wise things to do. It goes back to finding our own balance of knowing. It’s like this: how do we teach a child how to not be in the cookie jar all day long? There’s a moral compass of knowing when too much is too much: Learning the art of self-discipline.
Keeping our focus on God can be as simple as getting into a routine. I don’t know about you, but I don’t wake up every Sunday morning feeling like I want to go to church. I know I should, but we often make excuses…I am exhausted from the week, rushing around with the kids for school and sports and other activities. So when Sunday rolls around, I just want to stay in bed. The irony is, we are the ones that miss out! God doesn’t need us to go to church. We need us to go to church. So I circle back to the idea that it can be as simple as establishing a routine. We are habitual creatures and having a routine can be a good way of keeping ourselves accountable.
Accountability is another way we can keep our focus on God. Keeping ourselves accountable by honoring our commitments to going to church, small group, bible study, etc…or even simply accountable to doing a little devotion every morning. All of this helps us come back to the word. If we are Christians, we have the holy spirit dwelling inside of us. For most of us, it’s often not a voice, but intuition: a gentleness that lets us know when we should/shouldn’t be doing something. We need to learn to listen to that more.
Prayer can keep our focus on God; Keeping ourselves accountable, listening to the Holy Spirit, and praying for clarity or praying for God’s will and surrendering situations over to Him. I pray for peace—or lack of peace. I know that sounds strange but when I feel distracted or overwhelmed or “too busy,” I need clarity on what to say no to or where to draw boundaries. Sometimes I just pray that God will take the peace away from a situation so I know that that I need to let go. One of our favorite pastors, Bobby Schuller, just spoke about peace and serenity. You can find that incredible sermon here.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” – Philippians 4:6
Ultimately, God desires us to be in relationship with Him; to spend time with Him and to be in fellowship with others for His glory; to love one another as He loves us. Sometimes it means saying no to others so we can say yes to Jesus. Sometimes it means having strict boundaries or getting into a routine when we lack focus…
What about you? How do you keep your focus on God?