Spiritually Speaking: Out of Focus

As we all well know, or are finding out as adulthood hits us like a freight train, life is a balancing act.

We have so many aspects to think about that require us to give some sort of effort to.

But we often pile our plates too high (guilty) and allow them to both overwhelm and convince us that they are of greater importance than they really are.

Before we know it, we have gotten so unnecessarily busy and scatter-brained that we haven’t prayed or read a devotional or bible verse for days.

We may even find ourselves saying, “Hey, I deserve to veg and be entertained because I’ve had a hard, stressful week, and I just don’t have enough brain power to pray or study.”

True as that may be, our souls are also just as deserving of some quiet time with their Maker.

Let me fill in the gaps of gray and clarify.

Certain things may not be “wrong” in and of themselves–there is a place and purpose for just about everything and I do strongly believe that a balanced life is of utmost importance.

However, anything that takes our focus off of our main goal–our relationship with Jesus Christ–can and would be considered ungodly, right?

If it isn’t pointing us to Him; if it doesn’t contribute to our spiritual growth, then it feeds our flesh.

And as the scriptures clearly state, sowing to the flesh will in turn reap corruption (Galatians 6:8). Maybe not right away, but over time our spirits will suffer the symptoms of stagnancy. I can attest to it.

It’s like reading in inappropriate lighting: you may not feel like your eyesight is damaged after doing it once or twice, but make a habit out of it, and eventually your vision will be weaker, blurry, and out of focus.

As Galatians 5:9 (ESV) reminds us, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

The more personal priorities and worldly concerns we clutter our minds with, the less the Lord is able to get through to us with His own thoughts. The channel from His throne to our ears becomes fuzzy, like the not-so-olden days of TV static.

Entertainment, exercise, education, careers, personal goals, errands and other life responsibilities may all be necessary at times, but none hold eternal value; they all in some way, to some degree, pull our focus away from God.

When things become more important to us, more addictive or habitual even, than the time we spend with the Lord, we are treading on dangerous grounds.

We then become vulnerable to the devil’s devices and likely to be lured away from the safety of God’s shore than we had originally intended.

And one of the main attributes of God that people don’t realize is that He’s a gentleman, not a jealous boyfriend.

He will never be forceful or compete with the enemy’s enticements for our attention.

He won’t, and shouldn’t have to, beg for our devoted time.

God isn’t the type to lay on the guilt trip, either.

He won’t ask you to do penance for the “bad” things you do or the decisions you make that might result in demoting His rank in your daily life.

He doesn’t ask you to focus on not doing certain things–trying to judge for yourself how wrong is wrong and how right is right amidst all the gray areas of the world.

Instead, the Lord hopes and waits for you to just focus on what nourishes your spirit and gives you true peace.

Jesus knows what it’s like to live on this earth. He understands the demands of life and the fact that we have to cope here like everyone else; He knows it’s hard to be in the world yet not of it, as Christians.

But He’s also living proof that it isn’t impossible.

The best part is, the more we focus on what really matters and allow our spirits to be at rest in God’s Word, the easier it becomes because in return we crave more of Him and less of the world.

With that, I leave you with this verse to encourage you to adjust your lens on life this week:

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” Colossians 3:2 (KJV).