A common answer to “how have you been?” is “Busy.” It’s amazing how the use of one little word can satisfy a person’s curiosity. Seldom is there a follow-up question of “busy doing what?” If there is, we have to stop and think; sometimes giving another quick answer of “Oh, this and that.”
No wonder Americans lack meaningful relationships. We can’t even give an understandable answer to a simple question. Much of that is because we’ve lost focus. After a week away at a conference, I know I’ve certainly felt that way. I’ve gone from one task to the other at work, just trying to catch up, afraid to focus too long on any one thing for fear of not accomplishing anything.
For this Friday’s Focus, I’m drawn to the words of Isaiah to the people of Israel, when he said, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens.”* The people were exhausted for lack of focus. They’d shifted their allegiance from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to worthless idols, and it had gotten them in trouble. They’d let down their guard, allowed other countries to invade them, and after allowing envoys from Babylon to see their treasures, would ultimately be taken into exile.
Isaiah was calling them to take their eyes off the things that were of no use and focus on the One who made all things and longed to give them rest.
Have you lost the ability to imagine God as able to do all things, because you spend more time looking down at your idols than up at toward the heavens?
Oswald Chambers asked, “Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you have no power, you can only endure in darkness.”*
What’s your focus on this weekend? Busy activity offered by a busy world of distraction? Or, focused attention on the God who made you and desires to lead you in purposeful, meaningful activity in the week to come? When you focus on Him, he expands your imagination and increases your hope. He gives your soul needed rest to enable you to face the challenges of the days ahead.
They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.*
Lord, help us to wait on you and focus on you this day, that we might be strengthened for the race to your glory.
Grace and Peace
*Isaiah 40:26 (NIV)
*Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. Feburary 10.
*Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).