So you're trying your best right? You are doing what you need to do or at least you feel like you are trying to fulfill what God has asked of you, yet you still feel unaccomplished. This happens to me more times than you would know. I'm realizing that there is a constant cycle that I tend to place myself in when I lose my focus. I normally lose my focus for one of three reasons and I want to talk about those reasons, what those mean, and why it's important to regain our focus when it's lost.
"Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you" Proverbs 4:25
1. We know yet we try not to worry about it
I do this all the time. In life we make mistakes. It's just a part of life, right? But sometimes when we make a mistake we tend not to worry about it. We try to distract ourselves from the fact that we are making a mistake. Sometimes this happens in order to stop beating ourselves up about it or to avoid facing the consequences.
When I know I'm losing focus, I try not to worry about it. I try to give myself time to regain my focus or allow myself to recenter, but it normally doesn't happen. Why is that?? I don't want to allow myself to feel like I've failed. For me, losing focus is almost like the equivalent to failing and if I've failed God it really makes me feel like a failure overall. It's simply the truth.
When I distract myself from the fact that I have lost focus, it just makes it easier. I don't have to deal with it and I can simply just allow myself to keep going thinking that eventually, I'll get back on track. But without acknowledging the problem and asking God for further guidance, it does not make sense. We lose our gaze and we try to believe we are still okay when we are slowly losing our direction.
"Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called" 1 Corinthians 7:20
2. Completely forget
Now I can go into a season where I am fully focused and then I can get so far off the path that I just forget. I forget about what God looks like in my life. It's so easy to get on this path right? Like it takes one bad day or one significant event to put us in a place where we can easily forget about who God is to us. It could even be from our obligations. In the previous blog, I talked about why we lose focus. One of the reasons is that we get so caught up in everything else but Him. We are trying to please all of these people and fulfill these expectations that he's not asking us to meet.
Jesus didn't die for us to continue to please people. He wasn't even worried about pleasing people when he was alive. He simply wants us to be His sons and daughters. Many times we forget what that even looks like when we lose focus. Yes, we still believe, but we believe in a way that looks different. We believe for certain things, but not for others and we lose focus on what we were initially called for. God only asks us to be ourselves, but when we forget who we are in Christ, we tend to forget how to focus.
"Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established" Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
3. Shut down completely
Now, this is what I do a lot. I don't like when it happens, but it does. When we shut down we will completely close ourselves off from God. It's like we are there, but not really. To give you a better picture it's like when you are in a conversation with your friend. You're fully invested until your phone rings or your Apple watch pings with a notification. Then you become distracted. So, you might ask if you can check the message and it goes from simply checking a message to scrolling on Instagram or Facebook. You don't become committed to the conversation anymore, you are committed to your phone.
This happens in our walk with Christ. When we lose focus we completely shut down to what God is doing in our lives. We might still be present, but we are not present enough to want to take action. We are not willingly able to be used towards God. We can look at everything that's going on in our lives and how we feel that we lose focus and we shut down, forgetting who God is and what he can do.
This reminds me a lot of Peter. Now I've talked about Peter in previous blogs, but he perfectly fits here too. Peter had the ability to walk on water because of his faith. When he focused himself on Jesus, he was actually walking on water. But as soon as he lost his focus, he shut down. He saw his obstacles and he was afraid. That's when he started to sink: "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me" (Matthew 14:30 KJV).
"My eyes are continually toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net" Pslam 25:15
You can lose focus all you want, but you can't avoid God. No matter how off track you might be, He's there with you. Isn't that so comforting? He's with you wherever you are and he will always meet you wherever you are. Just like with Peter, Jesus is always there to catch us; but he wants us to believe first.
Now that doesn't mean we should be comfortable in places offtrack or places where we are being disobedient; it simply means that God loves us enough to be there with us when we do lose our focus.
When we allow ourselves to focus on the Lord and confess that we are constantly in need of his word and his help he will help us. He is always there to help us. He loves us. But if we don't have the faith to focus, we can't fulfill what God is asking us to do.