Have you ever stood behind a screen door and looked at the yard? Then did you look at the screen door? Then did you go back and forth, looking at the screen and looking through the screen at the yard? It is an exercise in focus, and it can be fun. But to do the exercise, you have to be intentional. Basically, we see what we want to see.
Today many people will go to church with the hope of experiencing a visitation from God. But throughout the worship time, including the preaching, they will be distracted by other things. They will think about a project at work, an upcoming doctor’s appointment, a financial situation, an argument they had with their spouse on the way to church, a disciplinary issue their child has at school, the volume of the music, the song selection, the people who were in their normal seat, the guy raising his hands in worship who ripped them off on a car repair last week, the preacher telling the same illustrations he always tells, or any number of other things that can take one’s focus away from God.
Sometimes the things that cause us to not see God are bad things that have no business in our thought life. Other things are not bad, but they are still in the way. Either way, we see what we focus on. We are not responsible for what we see, but we are responsible for what we look at. Distractions may be real, or they may be imagined, but they are never more important than God, and they never deserve attention that should go to Him. Satan doesn’t care if you are worshipping him, as long as he can keep you from worshipping God.
At one point the people of God were told to, “Give thanks to Yahweh; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him; sing praise to Him; tell about all His wonderful works! Honor His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice. Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonderful works He has done, His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced,” (1 Chronicles 16:8-12) God is so awesome that He can’t be missed, yet we miss Him. Look at how we are told to “Search for the Lord,” and “seek His face always.” God is all and in all. He is unavoidable. But we still need to make a conscious decision to focus on Him.
There is a famous hymn that reminds us,
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Helen Lemmel)
As long as we are in this world we will have screens between us and Heaven. The question becomes, will we focus on the screens, or will we focus on the One who is enthroned in Heaven? Today, do not let your focus drift away from the throne of God to the thoughts of man.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.