Some days it’s just so hard to focus. Confusion sets in when things don’t go the way I think they ought. Consistent change is slow coming. Old behavior patterns rear their ugly heads. What follows are the effects of stress: the extremes of lack of appetite or binge eating, insomnia, little-to-no motivation for daily tasks, too much mind-numbing time spent online.
Shouldn’t I know better by now? Of course.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
Haven’t I already experienced the transforming power of looking into the face of God? Don’t I already know the truth of seemingly effortless change that comes from being in the Presence of Almighty God? I’m pretty sure I’ve preached this over and over again. Looking into the mirror of my soul brings disappointment at what I see reflected there. Definitely not the glory of the Lord.
From Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest,
We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding….
let other things come and go as they may.
The severest discipline of a Christian’s life is to learn how to keep
“beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.”
It is this looking to God, seeking His face, and only His face where we find true rest. Oh, we may long for this or that, but in Him is true satisfaction.
I’ve also had the experience of being satisfied with my earthly lot and the blessings of this life only to find myself suddenly empty. This emptiness came from turning away from the face of my Savior to enjoy the blessings He gave me to enjoy. Do we not accept the blessings of God in order to avoid turning from Him? Paul’s declaration is not my own, but I wish it were. The key to contentment is not what I have or don’t have, but the strength of Christ in me.
…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.
I have learned the secret of living in every situation….
For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 NLT
Jesus was at a wedding in Cana when they ran out of wine. (John 2:1-11) The host was in danger of offending his guests by his poor planning. He ran out of beverage. Jesus’ mother had a plan. “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
Jesus told the wedding planner, fill these jars with water and serve it. Ridiculous, right? Dangerous, right? Risky, definitely! But it was done and the host was applauded for saving the best wine for last.
Do whatever He tells you. Do the ridiculous. The dangerous. The risky. If it’s really Jesus telling you, then do whatever He tells you.
John goes on to explain that this was Jesus’ first miracle. The first time Jesus revealed His glory. (John 2:11) The revealed glory of Jesus. How will I ever see the revealed glory of Jesus if I do not do whatever He tells me to do? No matter how ridiculous or dangerous or risky it may seem – just do whatever He tells me.
So, what’s next?
Isn’t this one of the first things we teach our children? “Come to me when I call you, Child!” So, on those days when…
• It’s just so hard to focus
• Confusion sets in
• Consistent change is slow coming
• Old behavior patterns kick into gear
• We eat too much or too little
• We sleep too little or too much
• We lack motivation and spend too much mind-numbing time online
We will come. We will listen. We will do. Do whatever He tells you.
Success isn’t about being amazing…it’s about being obedient.
I think I need to stitch this on a pillow. Or make a piece of chalkboard art. Or tattoo it on my body.
So often I’m tempted to measure my success on the scale of amazing. Or even to assess the value of undertaking a certain challenge by the wow-factor and the potential of reaching a perceived level of amazingness in order to impress others and, hopefully, God.
Guess what? People are more easily amazed than God. Not that He is difficult to impress, but what moves Him is infinitely different. What God wants is our obedience. He simply wants us to do whatever He tells us.
Have you struggled with focus or contentment? What helped you get back on track? Join the conversation by commenting below.