(This post was written by Shannan Copland, Worship Administrative Assistant)
It is hard to focus. I don’t know about you but I get easily distracted. Technological advances in the past couple decades have added to this where it has become easy for anyone to experience sensory overload just by walking down the street. My husband, Nick, will be the first to tell you it takes a lot to keep his attention.
As I sit here right now, I smell my office air-freshener and the crisp fresh coffee that was made this morning. I hear the typing of keys, music from the offices next door, voices talking, the copier printing, cars zooming by on the freeway, and the rain pattering on window. I see in my peripheral vision pictures looping on my digital picture frame which flood my mind with countless memories. I see the words as I type them on my screen and tons of different colors, shapes, and textures of things all around me. At the same time I am thinking about what I need to get done today, what meetings I need to prepare for, and hoping my husband stays out of trouble as he helps a friend with some construction at their place. Those, among many other things are all going on at the same time within a matter of minutes.
The Encarta Dictionary gives us different definitions for the word focus. As a transitive verb, here are the most interesting definitions I want to point out:
- To concentrate effort or attention on a particular thing or a particular aspect of a thing.
- To adjust your vision so that you see clearly and sharply, or become adjusted for clear vision.
With those definitions in mind, in the midst of everything going on in my life, how much of my time and effort is spent focusing on Christ? Sometimes everything else seems to pull me away and distract me from Him and I’ll be honest; there is plenty of room for improvement. How about you?
In my last blog I talked about the definition of worship and how it is ascribing worth or value to something. I mentioned that Scripture reveals that we are perpetual worshippers and that we all worship something, but we were really created to worship Jesus Christ. This requires focusing on Him—to “concentrate our effort or attention” on Him alone.
I love how the second definition for the word focus states that it requires “adjusting our vision so that we see clearly and sharply…” How much more fervent would our worship be if we adjusted all the negative distractions in our lives and clearly and sharply focused our attention on Christ? The thought gives me chills.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV, emphasis added)
I’ll ask again, how much more fervent and passionate would your worship be if you denied the distractions in your life your attention and focused explicitly on Jesus, on Who He Is, and on what He has done just for you? It kind of makes everything else in life seem small doesn’t it?
I used the visual of a light switch in my last blog concerning worship. This time let’s think of a camera lens, or a spot light. Who or what is in the focus of your lens? Who or what is focused in the spot light of your life? Everything but what is in focus in a camera shot is blurred, and everything outside of the spotlight is left in darkness. Nothing outside of the spotlight or outside of the focal point matters. That is why it is our focus, by definition.
Here is a simple exercise that will help adjust your focus that I challenge you to try:
Get out a pen and paper. Start out by writing the words “God is.” Spend a few minutes filling in the rest of the sentence (Ex: God is…loving, faithful, just, my provider, redeemer, restorer, healer, all knowing, all powerful…) If you really think about it, and if you have a personal relationship with Him, I promise you will not run out of words to write. Focus on Who God IS. Maybe right now you really need to focus on a specific character trait of God. Perhaps you are in need of healing or provision. But remember not to focus on the need, focus on Who God IS.
I know I need to work on adjusting my focus, especially during this busy season here at Faith Promise. I challenge you to do the same. Because really, as perpetual worshippers we were created just for Him. When we focus on Christ and Who He Is, everything else fades as we understand that He is in control.
Final thought that I cannot ignore: God is our salvation through Jesus Christ. If you are in need of salvation (which everyone is, Romans 3:23), if you are in need of experiencing the life-changing power of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, do not ignore that need. From personal experience, I do not know where I would be without Christ. With all the distractions in this world it is so easy for life to turn into chaos; but with Christ, we don’t have to go it alone. He can bring a peace that surpasses all understanding to your life if you surrender it to Him. With Him, your focus will be transformed as you will begin to realize that it is all really about HIM, not us (check out my first blog, “Perpetual Worship”). Contact me, or someone else in the worship office or one of our pastors. We would love to talk with you about it. Don’t keep putting it off. Pursue Him. You won’t regret it.