Our lives will certainly be filled with doing many good things that God wants us to do. But sometimes God wants us to fast from focusing on other good things so that we can refocus on what his best – which of course is God himself.
So here are 3 signs that God is leading you into a season where you are intentionally just focusing on him right now.
1. If You Have Been Focusing a Lot on Something Else for a Longtime, God Could Be Telling You to Take a Break So You Can Realign Your Devotion to Be on Him First and Foremost
In Mark 1, we see Jesus engaged in what feels like a marathon of ministry activity. He’s calling his disciples, he’s casting out demons, he’s teaching the people, he’s healing the sick, and by the time we get to Mark 1:33, Jesus is inside a house and it states, “And the whole city was gathered together at the door.”
Jesus was clearly extremely busy doing very good things that were bringing massive amounts of glory to God. But notice what happens next in Mark 1:35, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
The American church, with all the good it does, can often pressure Christians into living such a busy life that we end up losing focus of God himself. Modern Christians are constantly emphasizing being in community with other Christians, which is certainly biblical and important, but it is no more important than seeking solitude to solely focus on the Lord. Sadly, prayerful solitude has become a lost practice amongst modern Christians. If Jesus needed to take a step back to refocus his gaze upon his Father, how much more will we need to do this?
So one sign that God is leading you into a season where you are just focusing on him is when you have been focusing on other things for a longtime. Jesus was doing really good things in Mark 1, but he still pulled away to just focus on God. So the things you have been focusing on may be very good. It’s good to seek to honor God in a dating relationship headed towards marriage. It’s good to seek to honor God in your career. It’s good to serve God with your time and talents at church.
But eventually these things can start to take over in an unhealthy way. It’s at these times God will be calling out to you to pull back and just focus on him for awhile before entering back into whatever it is he is calling you to do.
2. If You Are Emotionally Exhausted, God Is Probably Telling You to Just Focus on Him Right Now So You Can Be Refreshed to Do His Will
The feelings we have are not random. They are there for a reason. God made our emotions just like he made our physical senses. When you feel pain on your skin it is a sign God is telling you to move that part of your body away from whatever is causing that pain.
Likewise, if you are emotionally exhausted, this is happening for a reason. It means your energy has been depleted and you are in need of being refreshed in the Lord. You may have been using your energy to serve the Lord or do something very good that is pleasing to God. But all that still takes energy and you must never ignore the feeling of being emotionally exhausted. Notice what Paul says about one of the benefits of singleness in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35. He states:
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”
As I’ve talked about at many other times on this channel, Paul is not saying that singleness is better for everyone in 1 Corinthians 7. What Paul is saying, however, is that one benefit to your seasons of singleness is that you can more easily focus solely on the Lord and not be distracted with other things in life. This is why Paul says to those who are married in 1 Corinthians 7:29, “From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none . . . .”
Clearly Paul does not mean married Christians should neglect each other, for that would contradict many other parts of Scripture where husband and wives are told to serve one another (Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5). The point here is that we must all put God first in our lives.
Relationships, ministry, work, hobbies, friendships – all of these are very good things; but they also take lots of energy. If we allow them to take over our lives, we will become emotionally exhausted and our heart will be depleted from the joy we truly need. We must always remember to refocus on God and have seasons in life where we are just focusing on him and nothing else.
3. If You Feel Alone in This World, God Is Calling You to Focus on Him Right Now
The pain loneliness brings is especially sharp and hurtful. God created us to thrive when we feel loved and connected to others. But when our connection with God is not doing well, no matter how great all our human relationships are, we will still feel an emptiness deep in our soul that nothing on earth can truly satisfy.
When you are not intimately, connected to God, you will always feel alone in this world. You can be deeply connected to someone in a romantic relationship, you can be deeply plugged into your church family, you can have the best friends anyone could ever hope for – but if you are not connected to God in a personal way, you will feel alone in this world no matter what you do.
So if you feel alone in this world even if you have good relationships with other people, this is a strong sign God is leading you to enter into a season where you are just focusing on him right now. May we pray the words of Psalm 16:1-2 which state:
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’”