Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you have trouble focusing? Is it a challenge for you to concentrate on one thing at a time? With my hand raised high, I will go ahead and admit that I am that guy. I was always the daydreamer in school and had to sit on the front row just to stay dialed in to what the teacher was teaching. I get distracted very easily, in fact just sitting down and staying focused to write this very blog is a challenge for me.
I believe that this often happens in our spiritual walk, where we lose focus on who Jesus is and what He desires to do in and through us. Life can and does take a toll overtime and we easily get distracted. As a result, our relationship with Jesus suffers immensely! So how do we stay consistent? How do we avoid distractions and keep our focus on Christ? Here are three ways based on the Scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6.
You may say: “Well of course I trust God.” However, I want you to examine your heart and truly ask yourself if you really trust God. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5 to trust God with all of our heart! I don’t know about you all but for me it’s a lot easier to preach this than to live it out. To trust God with all of our hearts requires dying to ourselves daily. When we feel we have to choose between giving our tithe or paying a bill, we have to die to ourselves. Maybe you are involved in a relationship that isn’t godly, yet you feel you can’t end it because so much of your identity is wrapped up in this person. You have to die to yourself. Maybe you know that God is calling you to a school that is more expensive or to a job that would involve a pay cut. You would have to die to yourself. It’s easy to say that we trust God, but when faced with any of these situations is when the challenge gets real. We must seek God daily and ask Him to bring us to a place where we are willing to trust Him with everything and say that our way ultimately doesn’t matter because we know that He is for us and His ways are always perfect. I want to be able to say: God your way may not make sense right now, but it doesn’t have to because I trust you with all of my heart, and I will not allow distractions to deter me.
Do Not Trust Your Feelings
The feelings and emotions that we have are very real and the last thing I want to do is downplay that reality. However, we must recognize that our feelings will lie to us and we must always measure what we feel against the truth of God’s word. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5 not to lean on our own understanding. I have spoken to so many people who say things like: “Well I left my spouse because I just didn’t feel in love with them anymore,” or “Well I know what the Bible says about this but I just think God changed His mind because it just feels right to me,” and finally “I know the Bible says that God loves me and has forgiven me but today I just feel so dirty because of this sin that I continually struggle with.” So much of our spiritual walk is about perspective and we must always line up our perspective with God’s perspective. We cannot trust what we feel but must daily trust what God has said. God’s truth always trumps our emotions, and He has said that we are His children, we are redeemed, and His ways are greater.
Pursue Intimacy With God
Proverbs 3:6 says to acknowledge God in all ways and He will make our paths straight. In order to keep our focus on God, we must acknowledge God. This basically means we are to seek to know God and the only way to do that is to have daily consistent intimacy with Him. After ten years of marriage I have learned that if my wife and I do not pursue intimacy with one another, our relationship will lose focus. This is also true with our relationship with Jesus. I think we often get things backwards. We pursue obedience, holiness, or God’s will instead of pursuing God, which often leaves us feeling frustrated and defeated. If we start with pursuing God consistently, everything else will just flow from the intimacy that we have with Him. The closer we are to Jesus, the more we will view incoming distractions from His perspective and understanding.
Staying focused on Jesus is very difficult in the culture we live in. In fact it is impossible unless we learn to stay connected to Him and trust what He has said over our own feelings. Let’s stay focused on Jesus so that our light can shine in this dark culture.