May 20, 2019 by maryruwe
When I was a child, I remember being told to pay attention to what was being said to me. You might remember that too. As adults, we remind ourselves to “focus” when doing a job so we will do it well and not be distracted. Giving attention to something means to make it the center of our thoughts. We do that when dating; we make that person the center of our thoughts, and yes, even the center of our time. This is what God wants from us; our focus; our attention. He wants to be the center of our life. We must keep our attention on His Word to have and keep the clarity of thoughts. In other words, we must focus on what God says.
Proverbs 4:20 instructs us to give attention to God’s words; to incline our ear to His sayings. When we incline toward something, we are drawn to it, persuaded, and influenced by that something. We need to be drawn to the Bible and be persuaded that His Word is true, and allow the Word of God to influence how we live. This is the process of being changed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). God will not force this change upon anyone; we must submit to His will and the truth of His Word.
When we change our focus, we will be changing the way we think. It all begins with how we think. We live according to how we think because it’s our thoughts that bring the change in us, either for negative change or positive change. It’s up to us to make decisions to change. God has the power to change us but the decision to change is ours, not His. He will not override our right to make decisions. He will not override our will.
The Bible tells us that when we know the truth it will set us free. (John 8:32) However, just knowing the truth isn’t enough; we must believe the truth for it to be active and beneficial in our heart and life.
Before we can be set free from wrong thinking, wrong behavior, wrong words, and even wrong motives, we first must change our focus to the Truth of God’s Word. (Romans 10:17)
Joshua knew the importance of making the decision daily to meditate on the Words of the Lord. When we make the decision to keep our focus on God’s Word and to obey it, we make our way (life) prosperous and will have good success. (Joshua 1:8) Did you notice that verse says “good success”? If there is a good success, then there can be a bad success. I personally believe that to have the good success that the Bible speaks about then that success must be in agreement with the Word of God. A person cannot ignore paying their bills and expect to have good success. No one can expect to have a good success relationship with family and friends by treating them unkindly. It’s that simple.
Going back to Proverbs 4:21, we learn how to keep our focus on God by keeping His Word in the midst (center) of our heart. Easy, right? Easy, yes, but it takes discipline to make it the center of our heart, our life. I’m sure you know that. It’s more than just being able to “check-off” the reading schedule each day and feel like we’ve accomplished something. We must take the time to give attention to God’s Word by learning it to stay focused. There are benefits to keeping our focus on God.
Faith: When we keep our focus on God’s Word, then faith comes and we can believe any promise that God has made and have it a reality in our lives. (Roman 10:17)
Overcome: With faith, we can overcome any temptation that comes our way because greater is Jesus in us than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Continue: When we continue in faith in God, we become rooted and grounded in His love. (Ephesians 3:17)
Understand: Keeping our focus on God’s Word will give us an understanding of what the will of the Lord is for our lives. (Ephesians 5:17)
Sanctification: Giving our attention to God’s Word will establish our heart blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (1Thessalonians 3:13)
Remember, whatever is evident in our life is the direct result of what we focus on; whatever we give the most attention to. Is God the center of your focus and attention?