“Let your eyes look straight ahead…ponder the path of your feet and let your ways be established.” ~Proverbs 4:25-26
Where do you focus the majority of your attention? If we focus on our problems, we only grow more problems. If we focus on God— trusting that He is in control—our faith will grow and He will show Himself to us in everything we do.
We will reflect what we focus on~what we behold, we become!
Think problems, get more problems—think God's got this, get solutions.
I know I’m revisiting a bit of a previous post, but this is truly what’s at the very core of our faith.
It’s just so much easier to stay strong in our faith if we keep our focus on God, trusting that He can and will deliver us. Plus, by doing so, it’s just that much harder for Satan to distract us and fill us with fear.
The simple fact of the matter is this—if I focus on my problems, things will only get worse. But, if I'm truly focused on, and trusting in, Jesus, it really won't matter what's happening around me.
The following Bible story exemplifies this in a way that makes it possible for us to easily understand this principle. It's the story of the Apostle Paul and his friend, and how they focused on Jesus through song and prayer, rather than the fact that they were going to be executed the very next day. And how doing so not only brought them peace but actually changed their physical situation as well.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed…” ~Acts:16 25-27
Like Paul and Silas, we too can be freed from whatever our present situation might entail. However, it seems that their unwavering faith, (even to the point of praising God while being shackled in a dungeon), was the catalyst to this miracle.
I would be happy if only . . .
We have to teach ourselves to stop staring at our problems, and complaining to everyone we know about how bad things are. We have to learn to turn the whole mess over to God . . . and then just breathe, trust and wait, knowing that He will take care of us, one way or another. Even when things aren't going the way you think they should be going that doesn't mean God isn't handling your situation!
Faith, true faith equals peace. If where you're at, or what you're doing is what's determining your happiness, then you’re not trusting in the Lord. If we are truly trusting in the Lord, no matter where we are, we can still sing praises just in knowing that He is there and that His perfect will, will prevail.
It's a simple matter of accepting what He has in store for us in every situation—knowing that His plans are far better than what we think we want, even when the boat is rocking and things appear to be going terribly wrong!
These are the times that I struggle the most, I think we all do. You know those times when everything seems to be going wrong! These are the times we need to trust in the Lord with all our heart rather than leaning on our limited understanding. Only then will He change our situation.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
Notice that it says, acknowledge Him, that means, ask Him for help. This is where I usually mess up—when I go full speed ahead to solve my problems without asking for His help. And don't you know this is exactly what Satan wants us to do, try to fix things all on our own. This is precisely when the devil can mess us up the worst.
We must lean on the Lord, especially when things seem to be going bad. These are the times we need God the most. That verse also points out that you need to call to God in all your ways, meaning in everything, every situation good or bad, no matter what. By doing so we foil Satan. We call in the big guns and we allow Jesus to fight our battles, as well as allowing God’s great plan to prevail even when it isn't what we thought we wanted. Just remember, God always knows best!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
I truly do understand how hard it is to stand down and just leave everything up to God, it goes against everything we’ve ever been taught. It really takes some serious faith. Don’t you think it must have taken a whole lot of faith for Paul and Silas to just give their whole mess up to God . . . to be so much at peace that even while chained to a wall, in a stinking prison waiting to be executed they could still be in a place of total peace, so in faith that they could just chill-out and sing praises to God?
Simply put, being in the Lord is not a physical location or a certain situation, it is rather a mental state of mind, a place of knowledge in knowing that God is in control and no matter what happens, He's got ya!
To truly be trusting in the Lord, we must be waiting on the Lord! Faithfully trusting in His plan and resting in His very capable arms, knowing full well with absolute confidence that He will show up and get us through or break us free, no matter how crazy our situation might be.
When Paul says, to be free from the body is to be present with the Lord, walking by faith rather than sight; he is simply telling us that if we are comfortable in the flesh/body, we will be doing the sinful stuff everyone else does. But if we are in faith/spirit, we will be doing what God puts on our hearts instead. Yes, we must die to the urges of the sinful flesh so that we can live our lives for God. We must focus on Him and His words if we are ever to achieve this end.
”So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Q: Are you ready to focus on God's ways rather than man's?
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