Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Having Eyes for One

What are you focusing your time, attention, and energy on today? Is it an anxiety-producer? Sometimes we need to focus on our "anxiety-producers" (trials, tribulations, issues, whatever you want to call them). It's true. For a time. In prayer. We need to focus on them long enough to pray those things out and inquire of the Lord what He wants us to do with the "situation". The Bible tells us that in doing so, we are intentionally guarding our hearts and minds with the peace greater than we can understand because it comes from God and not from ourselves, which I love.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6, 7)
Other times, though, we can really beat a dead horse, stewing over the same old problem and doing nothing about it. (or maybe that's just me) Or how about this one. . . Churning and churning a problem around that you have absolutely no power to fix. (just me too, right?) There are many times in life when we need to pray up a prayer and then look away from our circumstances and look to God, allowing Him to BE God in our lives and resting in Him. At what point does one's anxiety become a weariness of heart? At that point the Bible tells us to look to God and to rest in Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
Nobody knows better than God that you cannot do it all and be it all. Amen? You are human. You can't do it all and be it all. Don't let me tell you what to do though. Is God speaking a specific message to your heart for your particular circumstance or season of life? Tune into His Holy nudges, and follow HIS leading. He will bless your obedience. Check out this devotional by Os Hillman and listen to this wonderful song sung by Michael W. Smith and see if they speak to your heart. . .

"Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading." - John 6:21

The disciples were traveling across the lake to Capernaum when a strong wind arose and the waters grew rough. Suddenly they saw a figure on the water, and they were terrified until Jesus called out to them and identified Himself.

Isn't that the first thing we do when unexpected calamities or even something that we have never experienced before comes into our life? We panic until we can see that God is behind these events in our lives. In Romans, Paul tells us that, "from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen" (Rom. 11:36). God has an eternal filter in which nothing can touch us unless He permits it. Even Satan must have permission to touch us. And God may even use Satan for His own ends, as in the case of Job.

God shows us a second principle in this story. The Scriptures say when the disciples were willing to take Jesus into the boat, they reached the shore where they were heading.

I was faced with some very difficult circumstances in my business. I had no income for some time, and I saw no immediate remedy to the situation. The circumstances created fear in my heart. The anxiety began to grow until, one day after my evening prayer walk, the Lord said,

"How long do you want to keep your eyes on the circumstances instead of Me? Do you think I have brought you this far to throw you into the water?"
The truth was that I was halfway in already because my eyes were looking at the "big waves" surrounding my boat. One night, in a support group for divorced men, the leader asked each of us to keep our eyes on two men who were going to walk from the room. One man represented Jesus, the other, our circumstances. "Now, I want you to keep your eyes on both people," he said. The men stood up and began walking across the room in opposite directions. It was impossible to keep looking at each of them at the same time. So we had to choose which we would focus on.

The lesson was clear.
We could not keep our eyes on Jesus and our circumstance at the same time.

Have a blessed day!!!

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