Us woman strengthen our faith in God when we focus on Jesus. But distractions and personal desires can blur our focus on Jesus and transform our christian living into worldly living. Luckily, we can use reflective questions to make our focus on Jesus clear again.
“Lord, help me to do more.” A meager prayer, but a meaningful one all the same.
Oh how I want to do more for Him and yet I struggle to focus on Jesus and let Him use me.
I see the desperation of a dying world all around me. Don’t you? Those fighting for their lives in countries where fear permeates the hours of every day. The lost masking hurt and pain with drugs and alcohol. A great nation so divided that differing opinions validate hate.
There’s much more. And yet, I do little to help even though I know the cure for a broken world.
He replaces fear with peace and mends broken hearts with love that has no boundaries. His truth crushes the lies that imprison the lost, setting them free.
Why can’t I focus on you more?
Focus on Jesus, Not Distractions
I hit publish on my first blog post in May. It discusses roadblocks to following God’s will. Funny, I thought if I shared my thoughts with the world that I’d stay committed to them.
Fast forward to the end of June. I’m blessed to spend summertime with my three children but burdened by family stress caused by my husband’s temporary 90+ hour workweek. The plan for my blog seems obvious as I can’t possibly meet all the demands of life while maintaining a blog. (In hindsight, I should have re-read my post on the sufficiency of Christ.)
I decide to take a quick break until schools starts and my days regain normalcy.
As if normalcy exists.
Have you ever lost focus on Jesus because you were too distracted by a yearning for an ordinary and simple life?
Normal doesn’t come to mind when describing my world as a christian. If I’m living for Christ, I’m dodging the unexpected and fighting against worldly standards.
When life doesn’t go quite like we thought waiting for it to turn “normal” can seem like a solution, can’t it? But…
Waiting for normalcy in our lives doesn’t initiate a perfect moment for us to do more for God. It interrupts the momentum of what God is already doing in us.Click To Tweet
It distracts us and our focus on Jesus turns blurry. We become ineffective in doing His work.
Focus on Jesus, Not on Your Wants
When I put my blog on hold, I gave distractions power over my thoughts and before I knew what happened, my wants became bigger than Jesus and His desire to use me for a lost world.
Your timing is bad, God. (I want working on my blog to be easy.)
I’ll better be able to serve you when I finish painting the kitchen. (I want to impress others with my home.)
You understand, Lord, don’t you? (I want my priorities to be your priorities, Lord.)
Have you said any of this?
Reality check—more for me than you I hope:
My wants will never be more important than the needs of the world because they are #lost and I am #found.My wants will never be more important than the needs of the world because they are #lost and I am #found.Click To Tweet
A squirrel spawned this post. I noticed him sitting in the middle of the street, an acorn secured in his hands. His head swiveled as he monitored the cars coming at him from both directions, the distraction of danger too intense to ignore. I watched him lose focus on his purpose of getting that acorn home as his desire for self-preservation took precedence.
I am like that squirrel, I thought. Distractions easily change my thoughts, actions, and desires and convince me that what I want is really what I need.
Do distractions and wants take away your focus on Jesus and challenge your desire to do more for him?
The squirrel’s acorn never made it across the street. Instead, he chose to drop it before scurrying to safety, forgetting his initial choice to save the acorn all together.
Dear friend, please don’t allow distractions and personal desires to sabotage the choice you made when you asked Jesus to be your Savior. Remember to focus on Jesus and the sacrificial example He set while on earth.
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister…”
(Mark 10:45, KJ V)
Focus on Jesus Now, Not Later
Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
That’s what I’ve written on my blog since claiming that the distractions of life needed to fade into normalcy. Inaction seemed the best solution. Tomorrow a better option than today.
Fellow sister, now will never be tomorrow. People will lose their lives today without ever having the chance to know our Savior tomorrow.
Will you join me in focusing on Jesus each day and doing more to help our world experience His love and grace?
Focus on Jesus with Questions
Even the disciples struggled to keep their focus on Jesus. Distractions and wants plagued them as they do us. But you know what? Jesus always brought Himself back into focus and the method in which He often did this might surprise you.
He didn’t call the angels down to startle them back into focus or rain down manna from the skies to prove Himself worthy of the attention. No. He asked them questions.
Peter’s trust in Jesus falters when the wind distracts him, so Jesus asks him why he doubted (Matthew 14:31).
James’ and John’s want for honorable positions overshadows their need for a Savior, so Jesus asks them if they have the ability to suffer like Him (Mark 10:39).
Thoughts of the future catapult the disciples into an argument about who will be the greatest and Jesus asks them if it is better to be served or to serve (Luke 22:27).
Jesus wanted the disciples to reflect. His questions offered them the opportunity to take their thoughts captive and use the answers they found to learn and inform future choices. His questions drew them closer to Him.
We can keep our focus on Jesus with questions too. Here are a few I’m working on.
1. WHAT THOUGHTS DISTRACT ME FROM DOING MORE FOR THE LORD?
Distractions cause mental confusion and wreck havoc in our hearts and minds. What and who we think about consume our everyday lives without us even noticing.
Would you agree that worldly thoughts take up the majority of our brain space and that if we desire to focus on Jesus and do more for Him that a major eviction needs to take place?
How can you pinpoint the thoughts distracting you and kick them out? The simple answer is to be aware of your thoughts and the emotion connected with them. Any thoughts that illicit doubt, fear, pain, and distress deserve the boot.
Focus on Jesus Tip: For a week, write down your reoccurring thoughts in a journal, labeling each with either a G (for Godly thoughts) or a W (for worldly thoughts). Then memorize 3-5 verses that you can use to fight against the W thoughts.
2. WHAT PERSONAL DESIRES PREVENT ME FROM SERVING THE LORD?
We all have wants in our life and ways we prefer to spend our time. But when it comes to focusing on the Lord, choosing to invest our time in Him rather than personal desires strengthens our focus on Jesus.
To improve your focus on Jesus, pay attention to how you spend your time. Are you serving Jesus and others or fulfilling your personal desires? Do you think of yourself most of the time or do you strive to bring glory to God in all that you do?
If we purposefully plan our time, we can use it to focus on Jesus and serving Him while still doing something we enjoy. (Reading a christian book can give us personal enjoyment AND help us focus on Jesus, for example.)
Focus on Jesus Tip: For a week, write down the top five things you spent your time on each day. Next, label each item with a S (self), J (Jesus), or B (both) to describe who the activity served. (Things done for others counts as a J!) Review anything with an S only and find ways to add the J designation as well. If you find more S-only items than J items, pray about what to remove from the list in order to better focus on Jesus.
3. WHAT CAN I DO FOR THE LORD TODAY RATHER THAN PUTTING IT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW?
If the Holy Spirit continually tells you to meet up with a friend going through trials or to start a new ministry, you can bet that the constant reminders serve a purpose. Not that you need to run full steam ahead, but you should at minimum do something. Pray. Seek out advice from a fellow Christian you trust. Start planning what the Lord is leading you to do. But whatever you do, don’t completely put it off.
What if the Holy Spirit isn’t prompting you? Serve others anyway. As followers of Jesus, we cannot ignore the example He set before us—a servant who tirelessly put the needs of others in front of His own.
What can you do for the Lord today? Make a list of how you can serve the Lord and others and place it where you will see it. No task is too small if your heart focuses on Jesus.
Focus on Jesus Tip: Set a goal of how many items you’d like to accomplish from your list each day and then make it a priority, Lord willing, to get those to-dos done no matter what.
What distraction do you struggle with most and how can you prevent it from taking your focus off Jesus?