We must get our eyes off others before we can have the full vision that Jesus has in store for us. Eliminate distractions today, and allow God to have His rightful place as your first love. Shift your FOCUS!
Focus and perspective are two commonly used words in today’s vernacular. Focus, as defined in our common English language, is the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition; to pay particular attention to. Perspective is slightly different as it encompasses the particular attitude toward something that impacts how we understand it. Our perspective can change our focus OR our focus can change our perspective. Think about that for a minute! Are you one who seeks insight and understanding prior to developing an attitude or opinion or, are you emotional, allowing your feelings and uninformed opinions to guide your focus? The same applies to our spiritual life, there are a variety of variables that shift both our perspective and our focus, and this shifting can have a profound impact on our lives.
For a biblical reference, lets take a look at the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1 reads; “In the Year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” So why this scripture, and why is it important? Let’s take a brief moment to understand the context of the passage. Israel after the judges, strongly desired a king to lead them. Many of these kings were wicked and persecuted God’s people. Many of these kings refocused the Israelites from their God, and the God of their forefathers, to idol gods. This idol worship precipitated the captivity of the Israelites, which left them a robbed nation without a land. However King Uzziah was one of the “good” kings of Judah; a breath of fresh air from the historical dictators that persecuted the Israelites. He was noted to have done “right in the eyes of the Lord” as his father Amaziah had done. Uzziah remained faithful to God as long as his focal point was on God, and he had wise counsel such as Zechariah there with him, assisting with his focal adjustment from things of an evil nature to that of good. However when Zechariah died, Uzziah’s perception changed, his focus shifted, and his pride led to his demise. We can give credit to this early king as the Israelites prospered under his rule, which made living in captivity less burdensome. Jotham his son succeeded him as king and though he too did what was right in the eyes of God, many of succeeding kings after Jotham were not as wise, and had no connection with the God of Israel. This resulted to the persecution of the Israelites. It was with this change, that Isaiah then had a divine change of focus; a divine perspective change; and began to seek the Lord more diligently and fervently. His focus shifted from the earthly king to the King of Kings.
Many times, we are unable to see the Lord, and His interaction and involvement in our lives, because we are blinded and preoccupied with an earthly king. This earthly king may be a physical person, or some other idol that prevents or hinders our relationship with self and God. Isaiah experienced this, as it was not until King Uzziah died, and his hopes were crushed, that he realized his purpose and walked into the calling God had for his life.
When we allow God to assume His rightful place in our lives, as our first love, we then begin to integrate God into every aspect of our lives. God is no longer compartmentalized to Sundays, or religious activities, He becomes a faithful partner in everything; eating, preparing for work, sleeping, driving, and even on our jobs. God does not desire to be placed in a box and taken out as needed. God desires to be actively engaged and synergized with us in practical everyday life. When we get to the point where God is a part of our very existence, when our focus is shifted to Him, then our perspective changes; our lives change. It is with this change, we arrive to the place where we do nothing separate from God and we can truly proclaim, “For me to live is Christ.” (Philippians 1:21)
This message is also timely with regards to the current societal climate. With a new president, many uncertainties have arisen. Many have allowed their spirits to be shaken and their focus to be shifted; spending countless hours debating news editorials and reading news feeds of the latest whimsical acts of the Trump Administration. However, let me remind you who is in control. The real KING is on the scene! This KING does not occupy a house made by man, and has all power in heaven and on earth in His hands. I need for each of you to not allow these political ploys to circumvent your focus, and have you spending more time researching the president than time spent in prayer and meditation with Almighty God. Remain aware of what is going on in the world, but remember you are not of this world. Shift your focus back to God, and watch how God aligns your focus and alters your perception!
Questions for pondering today:
– What are the focal points of your life?
-What earthly kings are present in your life that have resulted in blind spots, or a shift in your perception?
-Which of these focal points distract you from spiritual nourishment?
-Which earthy kings are you ready to purge, so that you can refocus, alter your perception, and live the life that God pre-ordained for you from the foundations of the earth?
Journal the answers to these questions, then take them before the throne of the Almighty. Be open to adjustments and refinements in your vision and perception. Request a lens adjustment so that you can see the vision that God has for you, and walk in the expectation and the provision that meets you every step of the way.
Ephesians 4:18 (ESV)- “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them.” Don’t be left out in the dark. Do not be among the number who perish because of lack of knowledge. Be in the know! Change your focus, shift your perspective.
L.B. Cowman- Streams in the Desert
Cindy Trimm- Commanding your Morning Devotion.