February 9, 2014

Where is my focus?

I have been struggling for several months now with getting and keeping my focus where it needs to be.  After getting back from Mexico last June, it was so easy for me to spend hours praying and reading my Bible, but then I started working at a job that totally flip-flopped my schedule and my Bible reading became pretty much non-existent, and my prayer life was hugely lacking too.  Ever since then I have been really struggling with getting back to that place where I enjoy and look forward to spending that much time with God.  I really want to get back to that place, but I just keep finding myself distracted by so many other things.  The past couple weeks have been especially challenging for me because I have found my mind preoccupied with something that it should not be preoccupied with.  I kept pleading with God to take it away, and over time, He has, but this morning I was really convicted by a couple verses that our pastor shared.  These verses are out of Colossians:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)

While the pastor was reading these verses, I was brought to tears because I felt God speaking those words to me, reminding me that my focus has not been where it needs to be.  It was then that I felt really convicted to give up something that has been taking a lot of my time.  God's desire is that we be His top priority. In fact, He commands it. I long to follow God more closely; I just get so distracted with the things of the world.  Our pastor's main scripture was Matthew 6:25-34.  These verses tell us not to be anxious about anything.  The pastor talked about how Jesus told us to consider the birds of the air.  To consider means to stop and really think about something.  So if we consider the birds of the air and how God takes care of them.. what conclusion do we come to?  God provided everything for them that they needed.  They didn't have to worry about where they were going to get their food, which is something essential to their livelihood.  So why in the world should we be concerned about things that do not matter?
In our Sunday School class, we have been going through the book of Hebrews.  Today we talked about verses 10-18 of chapter 3.  We talked about unbelief and what that meant.  In this context unbelief is not a weakness in faith, it is the opposition of faith.  Unbelief is basically choosing not to believe, and to me, that is what worry is.  What am I missing out on because I am worrying about things that are not important and am filling my time with those same things that are not important?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your gentle reproach and for reminding me, once again, what is important.  Help me to set my eyes, mind and heart on things above and not on things of this earth that are only temporary.  Lord, I pray that you would continue to use me to encourage and help others.  I pray, also, that I would be sensitive to your leadings and that I would gladly drop anything to do what you want me to do.  Thank you for the many blessings in my life that I often take for granted. I pray that I will always have a spirit of thankfulness. Give me boldness in my actions and speech so that I will not worry about what people think or say about me. Amen.