Carrying out the DREAM God has placed in your heart will require you to renew your mind to His way of thinking and seeing things, and to be transformed by His Word. ~Rick Renner
The second you’re not feeling dependent is the second you’ve backed away from truly living by faith. ~Bruce Wilkinson
Do you hear God calling you? I do. He calls me to come deeper in Him. He calls me to keep my focus on Him, no matter what is happening all around me. The eyes on the prize, not looking to the right or left, tenacious to push forward along the path of change kind of focus. It’s intentional. He’s teaching me to methodically go about my day and on purpose keep my thoughts on Him. This connection is truly a life line, of sorts. It’s utter dependency on Him.
As a tool, God blessed me this year with the daily devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. It’s been so transformational in walking this out, helping me keep that focus on Him. The following is from August 19:
“I CONTINUALLY CALL YOU to closeness with Me. I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me. I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me. I offer rest for your soul, as well as refreshment for your mind and body. As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me, other pleasures become less important. Knowing me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you. This spring flows freely from My throne of grace, so your Joy is independent of circumstances.
Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me, aware of all that I offer you. If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me. This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life.”
Feeling deficient? Been there, done that. How easily my thoughts wander – wonder, doubt, fear or just plain get crazy on me. I need to “still and quiet my soul,” as Psalms 131:2 says, to remember where my help comes from.
I can’t tell you how this exercise has helped me just walk out my daily life. All the responsibilities I have to tackle each day, all the trials, the crisis times, even the happy & joyful times are even more special because of this continual focus on God. It’s truly what got me through the loss of my mom.
There was a song that I learned during this year that even now I sing to bring my “eyes back to Him,” or when I sense I’m going off, forgetting that He’s in control. It’s my “help” cry to Him.
God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do
I will love You Lord my strength
I will love You Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock forever
All my days I will love You God
It may seem a simple thing to keep focusing attention continually on God; yet to stop the craziness of my thoughts is a very hard thing to do. It’s exercise and that’s never easy. I’m taking hold of my thoughts until it’s Him I see vs. the specific circumstance I’m facing, and the emotions that come along for the ride. The kick is how to do this in a world of such distraction. We all have to live and work and take care of daily responsibilities that absorb our focus, so how do you grab hold of the mind?
There are two ways that I’ve been practicing – that God impressed me to do. I know there’s more, but this is where I’m at. The first one is the practice of praying in my heavenly language as continually as I can – in the car, at work, as I walk, in the shower, when I’m drying my hair even, but doing it till it’s as normal as breathing. That alone is really helping me to keep that focus where it needs to be – looking to God.
Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit…
I am building up my internal spiritual muscle by praying in the Holy Spirit, which does keep my mind focused on Him. He then has the direct connection to give me wisdom, strength, grace, understanding; whatever I need at the time. I’m also praying the will of God over my circumstance.
The second way is “casting my care” on Him. This is a place of rest in the midst of the storm.
1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
All those worries get me off track so easily. Casting the whole of my care is a spiritual exercise to re-focus my mind in the right direction, back to God. I can then, as the song said, see things like HE does. It helps to speak it out loud too. My words override my thoughts in that way.
To practice both is to worship Him. Ever thought of it that way?
To focus, casting all my care, speaking out in my heavenly language, keeping my eye on Him is all a form of worship. It’s saying God I trust you; you know everything I’m going through even more than I do. I trust You to bring everything back into order. It’s worship without a single song or strum of a guitar. I worship Him by making Him my ultimate thought, my very breath. Daily keeping my spiritual eyes focused on God, on what He is doing, who He is, loving Him, it’s my Rock in the storm.
God gave me a mental picture quite a few years ago and it still rings true today. I’m in the midst of a storm, the wind and rain beating against me, water in my face, I’m drenched; BUT I’m standing firmly fixed on a Rock, a firm Rock that doesn’t move with the movement all around me. It’s Him I’m standing on and He will keep me standing firm.
Worship takes on many forms and I’m in a continual mode of finding more ways that I can bring Him praise. Focusing on Him is work, but so worth the effort.
“On Christ the solid rock I standing, all other ground is sinking sand.”
God I Look to You Jenn Johnson/Ian Mcintosh Bethel Music Publishing 2010