It’s easy to get distracted. Different activities like your child’s soccer practice or the errand your neighbor asks you to run or the multitude of birthday parties you want to attend can break your focus. But did you know that even your own goals and priorities could be a distraction? How’s that? We are supposed to focus on our goals so we can achieve them, right? Wrong.
As believers we are supposed to keep our focus on God–not our agenda. When we keep our focus on God, God will keep us on track, doing the right things at the right time for the right reason. If you’re struggling with keeping first things first, learn seven sure godly ways to maintain your focus AND your peace.
1. Don’t think about too many things at once.
Although multi-tasking is unavoidable at times, it can also be considered a form of double-mindedness. The Bible says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive anything from God (see James 1:7-8, KJV). This passage is referring to bouncing back and forth between faith and doubt. However, bouncing back and forth between multiple tasks or thinking about the next thing you must do while working on another project can be equally counterproductive. If you do not give the task at hand your full concentration, you may not receive the results you desire.
DO: Concentrate on the task at hand.
2. Don’t try to do a God-task in your own strength.
‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. (Zechariah 4:6, The Message)
DO: Pray for God’s guidance and power before attempting any task.
3. Don’t try to understand God.
Trying to figure God out is an invitation for confusion. God doesn’t ask us to understand him; he asks us to trust him. The Bible says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)
DO: Trust God.
4. Don’t give trivial matters significant thought.
If you decide for God (if you are a Christian), living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. (Matthew 6:25-26, The Message, parenthesis mine)
DO: Give God the highest place in your thoughts.
5. Don’t live to impress people
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion-do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. (Matthew 6:27-29, The Message)
DO: Live to please God.
6. Don’t strive for material gain
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers–most of which are never even seen–don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Matthew 6:30-33, The Message)
DO: Strive for a deeper relationship with God.
7. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s problems today.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34, The Message)
DO: Follow God’s instructions each day. The solutions for tomorrow’s problems are found in today’s obedience.