God always wants us to keep our focus on him, but there are special seasons where he will lead us to intentionally refocus on him in a more committed way.
So here are 5 things God will do when he is calling you to take a timeout from other important things in your life so you can refocus on the most important thing – God himself.
1. If You Have Forgotten the Secret to True Contentment, This Is a Sign God Is Calling You to Refocus on Him Right Now
As Christians we are constantly being attacked to lose focus on Christ in at least two ways. On one hand, the prosperity gospel tempts people to worship God’s earthly blessings as though they are God’s main blessing. On the other hand, the poverty gospel is filled with religious duty and robs God of the gratitude he deserves from us for everything good he gives us (James 1:17, 1 Timothy 6:17).
God does not want you to worship earthly things nor does he want you to pretend like you don’t want good things that he wants you to have. More than anything, God wants his children to remember the true secret to contentment – Christ alone. Neither poverty nor riches is the secret to true joy. Christ alone is what our hearts crave most. If you have forgotten this, God is inviting you to refocus on him.
As Philippians 4:12-13 explains, “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
2. If You Have Been Distracted By the Waves and the Storms of Life, God Is Calling You to Refocus on Him
In Matthew 14 Jesus was on land praying but the disciples got caught in a storm while they were in their boat. Jesus decided to walk out towards them to meet them in the storm. Let’s pause here and notice that this is what Jesus does for us too. In a miraculous way he comes to us during our storms in life. Now let’s notice what happens next in Matthew 14:28-33, which says:
And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”
Peter was in the storm when he asked to walk on water to come to Jesus. But he had faith even though he was in this storm because he was focused on Jesus. He began to doubt when he was distracted by the wind and the waves and took his attention off of Jesus. Likewise, it’s possible to even thrive in the storms of life if we keep focused on Jesus and are not distracted by the wind and the waves.
If you are beginning to sink, don’t despair. Simply cry out to Jesus like Peter did. Refocus on him and God will lift you back up to the surface with him.
3. If Man Is Attacking You, God Is Calling You to Refocus on Him
If you are living as a light for Christ, some in the world will love you because you are showing them Christ but many others will hate you because they love the darkness. As 1 John 3:1 explains, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
Because you are a child of God the world will eventually attack you. But it’s in these times were God calls us to remember his power and protection over us. Psalm 56:8-13 explains:
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
4. If a Weight or a Sin Is Slowing You Down, God Is Calling You to Refocus on Jesus
Not only does the world try to pull us down, our own sin is also a weight trying to pull our focus away from Christ. Hebrews 12:1-2 states:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
If you are sinking because of your sin, there are many practical steps you may need to take. But ultimately the solution is to keep your eyes focused on Christ.
5. If You Are Tired Because You Have Been Serving the Lord and Are Now in Need of Rest, This Is a Sign God Is Calling You to Refocus on Him
Perhaps one of the most deceptive ways we are lured away from focusing on Christ is by serving Christ so much we get depleted and depressed. Just as God worked for six days in Genesis 1 and then rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:2-3), so too does God call his people to rest from their work to refocus on him (Exodus 20:8-11).
Even if you are busy doing good things for God, your heart still needs God himself most of all. Jesus modeled this for us during his time on earth. For example, in Mark 1 Jesus was extremely busy doing ministry, but then in Mark 1:34-35 it reads, “And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 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.”
If Jesus made time to pause his service to people so he could refocus and pray to God, how much more do we need to do this? As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
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