Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Uncomplicating Your Life by Shifting Your Focus

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision - you'll see it yet!   Philippians 3:15 msg
Uncomplicating Your Life by Shifting Your FocusUncomplicated minds can solve many complicated problems because they don’t clutter their minds with extraneous detail.  Shifting our focus can change everything for us.  When my mind is cluttered with a thousand different things – worry, anxiety, finances, trying to solve all the problems - I definitely have trouble focusing on anything else.  These objects of our focus keep us up at night and drive away the peace our most capable Heavenly Father desires for us. We focus on what consumes us – or what we focus on will consume us if we are not careful.  
Satan will always be striving to distract us in any way he can, and his whole goal is to shift our focus off Jesus. In truth, it is much easier to focus on the negative things in our lives because they cause us such misery; they consume us. The flip side is that if we can focus on Jesus, they won’t cause us such misery!
Many things can cause us to lose our focus on Jesus. When troubles come up in my life, I have trouble staying focused sometimes because I am desperately trying to solve the problems myself.  My mind is going a million miles a second, figuring out all the things I could do to fix all the things - the people, the finances, the broken hearts, the relationships, and whatever comes up next. It sounds so caring, but the Lord did not equip me to fix these things. It was never His plan. Instead, He promises to take the yoke and burden for us. He is equipped to handle all these things, and He longs for us to trust Him, to lean on Him. Learning to let go of things beyond our control is the best lesson anyone can learn. 
Some things that can cause us to shift our focus off Christ are:
News/Social Media - The media has proven themselves to not only captivate us during this pandemic, but also to produce facts that at times seem to conflict with other credible sources so we don’t really know who to listen to anymore! Most of us are finding that not listening to the news at all is the best answer.  Instead of focusing on something that will fill our hearts with fear, we need to shift our focus to our Lord who is in control of everything. 
People - their behavior towards you and others - Sometimes people in our lives can shift our focus off Jesus and on themselves. Some may not mean to do this, but others know exactly what they are doing. Some use their behavior to cause us to fear.  We can become so caught up in their turmoil that we can become upset to the point we cannot focus. (If mama ain’t happy - no one is happy) We can turn them over to God and ask Him to help us focus on Him and what His word says to us. His promises are true. 
Addictions - We get caught up in addictions many times because we want to forget the things that are going on in our life that we cannot deal with. Consequently it also shifts our focus off the One who can help us through anything.  There is no substitute for our Heavenly Father and numbing ourselves only causes more problems that we have to deal with.  
Trials - When trials come our way, many of us panic first, fall apart, and then pray.  This is perfectly normal human behavior, but we have Lord and Savior who never leaves us and never forsakes us. He can handle every problem that comes our way far better than we can.  We have to get into the habit of praying first. Give it to Him, focus on Him and His goodness and all the blessings He has given us already.  
The challenge is to focus on Christ, even in the midst of all that threatens to shift our focus off of Him. He has been faithful.  He is all powerful, all sufficient, and has our very best interests at heart. If we focus on Him, He will lead us through all that comes our way, never leave our side, and gladly take our burdens. He carries it all for us so we can trust in Him.  
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:29-30

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