Monday, June 25, 2012

Fixing Our Focus

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard addresses the nature of true humility by suggesting we think of an arrow soaring on its course toward its target.  Suddenly, the swift-moving arrow halts in mid-flight to see how far it has come, how high it has soared, how its speed compares with another arrow, or to apprehend the grace and ease with which it flies.  Right at the moment when it turns to focus on itself, the arrow falls to the ground.

We are quick to quote the portion of today’s scripture that refers to God having a plan.  However, it is the verses that follow that bring God’s plan into reality.  God wants our attention on Him to guide us into His blessing and promise.  There are many who know what God has promised and set out to claim it on their own.  As they move along they look side to side to see how others are doing in relation to them.  Failure is certain!  God’s blessing is from Him, by Him and in Him!

Preoccupation with self is counterproductive to reaching our goals.  It is the opposite of humility, which is preoccupation with the Lord.  How many times do we compare ourselves to others and measure our success or failure according to someone else’s life?  The Bible says this is not wise.  For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12

The reason God tells us that comparing ourselves to others is not wise is because His plan for our life is totally unique.  If we have a question about our life, we should look to Him.  As for evaluating ourselves, the Bible says we are to examine our hearts making certain we are walking in faith and purity toward the Lord.  II Timothy 1:6 exhorts us to stir up the gifts God has given us, and Jesus made it quite clear in the parable of the talents that we are to use all the abilities and resources God gives us to give glory to Him. (See Matthew 25:14-29.)

Whether we are examining our hearts or using the gifts and talents God gave us, our focus is always on the Lord.  Our motivation is to please Him, draw closer to Him, and serve those He leads us to serve.  The irony of the Christian life is that when we give our lives to God and to others, we receive true joy and fulfillment.  It is when we hold onto our lives and are consumed with our own selfish desires and interests that we are miserable and nonproductive.

I want to thank God for the promises we have in Him and trust that I will remember to focus.  He promises to take care of everything.  So keep your focus on Him, and don’t let Satan tempt you with doubt or worry.

Scripture to Claim:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

Devotional Archive