Something very powerful happened while I was studying about God today through an online course. One of the messages in the text said, stop right now and go over the answers you wrote and see how many times you mention “I,” as in comparison to God. I could not do anything but pause and just stare at the computer screen. Forty-five to sixty minutes of a lesson and the very end of it shut me down. I do not actually know how long I sat at my computer staring at the screen but it was a long time before I went back through my answers to see; just know that I was there for a good bit of time in shock.
When we pray, study, worship, or talk to God, how much of our communication is centered on us more so than Him? Just think about it for a moment and ask yourself, Did God really get the glory or did I just list all the things I think He should be doing for me? I am not saying this to say that we cannot make our requests known to God but even if He does provide, it is so that we will not forget who supplied our needs.
When we want God to do something powerful in our lives, should we focus on what we want or on Him? Well I hope we all know this answer, we should be focused on God. I spent a lot of time in prayer today but even so, I had to just ask God, Lord, was I really focus on you? It made me wonder if I needed to go back and pray over again and try to get it right; but that is not the lesson because again I would have only been focused on me. What we all need to understand is that our focus should always be on God.
If God is our provider, counselor, friend, lover of our souls, our banner, and our hearts desire, then why is He not our focus? This question reminds me of what I learned yesterday, sometimes we are so busy being defensive about everything and always walking in fear that we do not know what truly offends us. When this happens, we definitely become the victim instead of the victor. God is our defender, but we like to take over His job by doing things on our own.
“My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies,” (Psalms 25:15, New Living Translation).
We want to be healed, delivered, released, covered, protected, defended, and more; but we want all of this done our way, when God’s way is so much better. We lose sight of our focus. Sometimes we want God to respond to all of our emotions and feelings immediately so He can appease our appetites, but most of the time I believe He is waiting for us to calm down so that we can actually hear Him clearly. Asking God for His wisdom and understanding is not a quick fix, He wants us to be forever changed and transformed by what He shares with us.
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding,” (Proverbs 2:1-6, New Living Translation).
We live in a world that revolves around self-pleasure and instant gratification, which makes it difficult for us to remember to be still and wait on the Lord. When we do not wait on Him, we are sending instant messages that will only invite temptation, sin, and the enemy; it almost happened to me today. Do not let your feelings and emotions ride you like a rollercoaster, instead let God’s peace exceed what you understand; otherwise we are just putting Him in a box.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise,” (Philippians 4:6-8, New Living Translation).