My husband likes to listen to sports talk radio. I don’t really enjoy it, but on our Monday morning Go-To-Costco dates, he likes to catch up on all things NFL related. Now I’m a football fan, but it sort of drives me crazy that every time a player does something wrong or goofy, their main excuse is that they just aren’t “focused”. I really want to hear a better explanation than that! It’s kind of a joke between us now. They will be discussing the latest problems and I’ll just blurt out “Uh well, he wasn’t focused!” Unfortunately, I think that is what happened to me last week. But I lost my focus on God.
What is Focus?
As a noun- the center of interest or activity. As a verb– pay particular attention to.
Synonyms: center of attention, heart, cornerstone.
Our focus on God encompasses all these things! Or, at least it should…
Losing My Focus on God
I was minding my own business, vacuuming my carpets and listening to music. I suddenly had a panicked moment when I was second-guessing what I had written on a previous post; doubting if I was being clear enough. Good enough.
Then the song “Beyond Me” by Toby Mac came on. It was so encouraging to me!
That morning, I had lost my focus on depending on Him to take my prayerfully and carefully written words and disperse them to whomever He decides needs to hear them. It might only be one person, but that’s OK. My focus at that moment became about me and how I was feeling.
Why is it so hard sometimes to focus on God and remember that I can trust Him?
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in putting all the promises I know on the back burner at times. Letting doubts, fears, or even just an extra full plate of life creep into the forefront instead…
It’s so easy to trust when things are going smoothly. But when we’re feeling a little out of our league, or in over our heads, or we’re feeling too weak to go on, or afraid, that’s when we really need to focus on God. He knows our struggles, and He’s got this!
Pin me for later!
Focus on God- Not on Circumstances
So how do we keep and/or redirect our focus on God?
We have to focus on knowing God and His promises.
I think it helps when we first admit to Him that we’re feeling those things. Instead of having those non-productive talks with myself, I need to stop and realize immediately that I have to turn to Him.
I know if I could hear his voice, He would be saying “Relax, take a deep breath. I’m right there helping you handle it.”
He has promised us that He is with us wherever we go, we shouldn’t be afraid; he’s always by our side. We need to have His words handy to encourage us.
Practical Ways to Focus on God
What’s the best way to do that when we are “in the moment?” I’m not good at memorization any more, (but it sure would be nice.)
•Should I wear a rubber band on my wrist and snap it every time I get that ridiculous, non-productive mind chatter going? That seems too harsh.
•A quick prayer might work well- it’s hard to obsess about your problems if you’re talking to God.
•Journal- write it out! Tell him how you’re feeling. Ask for his direction.
• Make a sticky note with your favorite encouraging verse and place it where you can see it. It can be your “go-to” when you feel your focus straying.
•Do the same with a note on your phone. Then it will be with you when you’re not home.
•I keep a few of my favorites written in the blank front pages of my Bible. It’s so encouraging to go back and remember the verses and promises that led me through rough times.
As I opened up my Bible app to find a verse about trust, I saw a notification to get a “verse of the day” sent to your email “to help you focus your thoughts on God”! Hmmmmm I think we’re on the right track!!!
I’m really going to try to nip those destructive thoughts in the bud by realizing what they truly are (certainly not from God), and tell myself that even though sometimes life is beyond me, it’s never too much for God.
Do you have a favorite verse memorized that gives you comfort or peace?
What do you do to focus on God when your thoughts stray away from him?
Do you have a favorite worship song that helps you focus on a particular attribute of God?
What’s your favorite NFL team? Ha ha, just seeing if you’re paying attention 🙂
Bible Verses on Trusting God
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart.” Psalm 28:7a
“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
“Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:4
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalms 56:3
“Don’t be afraid. I am with you” Isaiah 41:10
“I am with you always” Matthew 28:20
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“But I will bless those who put their trust in me. They are like trees growing near a stream and sending out roots to the water. They are not afraid when hot weather comes, because their leaves stay green; they have no worries when there is no rain; they keep on bearing fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-8
There are plenty of verses that speak to trust that will turn our focus on God. Find a few favorites and keep them front and center to lean on when you need Him!
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