By Marie Wells Coutu

A high school football coach we know has a habit of saying, "Look at me now," to his players when he's telling them something important. Sometimes this habit carries over to his conversations with my husband. Apparently he believes you will hear what he's saying if you are looking at him.

Maybe he is onto something. I could always tell my children were listening to me if they looked at me. When they looked in another direction while I was talking, I had reason to believe they were not paying attention to what I said. And later their actions would prove I was right.

Seems to me that's a lesson we can apply to our relationship with God. When we focus on ourselves, our troubles, or our desires, it becomes harder to hear what God might be saying. But when we spend time in God's Word and focus on who He is, we can better understand and pay attention to what He wants to tell us. And later, our actions will demonstrate that we have heard what God said.

Like the old hymn says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

Can you recall a time when you found that looking at God helped you gain better perspective on your circumstances? Comment and join the conversation!

Whom have I in heaven but thee?  And besides thee, I desire nothing on earth.   Psalm 73:25

By Vera Warren Carroll

Many Christians are found, very innocently, keeping our eyes focused on the wrong thing as we live this life of faith.  We focus our attention on what we want in life and our loved ones, spending hour upon hour thinking how we might purchase some expensive item that we have to have or how we can redecorate our house.  It’s the bride-to-be who daydreams about her wedding day or the husband-to-be caught up in thoughts of his dream car.  We fill our minds with idle, often complicated, thoughts that quickly turn to worry the minute we see these dreams not coming to reality.  They become problems that preoccupy our existence, complicating our lives and becoming our primary focus. 

The Word of God is very clear about worry.  (See Matthew 6:25-34) “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  This scripture leads us away from the daily ritual of worry.

The Word also says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).  Without a doubt this establishes that God doesn’t want us to worry and take our focus off Him.  Doing it God’s way means having more time to focus on Him.  Focusing on Him will move us to grow closer to Him.  

If growing closer to God truly is a desire of your heart and not just words lightly said, then spend more time thinking about Him.  Replace each thought of this world with thoughts that glorify your Father.  Focusing on Him means meditating on Him and His Word.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew  6:33

Whatever you spend hours worrying about--the house, the husband, the wife, the wedding, the car, the bills and the children--just trust God to work it out. Keep your thoughts stayed on Him, seek Him, and you may find those things you worried about weren’t that important anyway.  God will change your desires and you will find that nothing on this earth is worth occupying your every moment.  You will learn that God and His desires are most important and besides Him, nothing is worth the attention and time we give it.

Then you can say as David said, “I desire nothing on earth.”  Focus on God!
©Vera Warren Carroll