It’s often been said that whatever you are focusing on or looking at will tend to be magnified in your life.
This can have an impact on your life, either negatively or positively, depending on where you are looking.
In the last several months, I have really been intentionally trying to make sure I am aware of what I am choosing to focus on.
Some days are more successful than others.
It really has been a fight.
And those days that I am unsuccessful are also the days that my mood is different and my emotions are all over the place.
In the last few years, I have recognized a pattern in my life.
It’s one of the ways God chooses to communicate with me and get my attention.
If I start seeing, hearing, or reading certain phrases, images, and/or words more than once, especially in a given day or week, it’s like a traffic sign for me to slow down or stop and pay attention.
This was the case these last couple of weeks.
Although it didn’t start with this quote below, it placed me on a path to continually evaluate where I am looking in order to stay encouraged and grateful.
The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God. ~Oswald Chambers
When I read this in my devotional recently, it instantly reminded me of Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus…(Amplified Bible)
This scripture was something that I had either heard, seen or had been coming to mind several times in the last couple of weeks.
It was then that I realized that God was indeed asking me a question as well:
Charlene, where are you looking?
As the quote says, it isn’t our works, our status, our achievements or our possessions that really serve as evidence or testifies that we are God’s children.
It is a lifestyle and an attitude of perseverance–come what may–that I am not turning back from God.
It’s a stance that I will keep pressing forward no matter how I feel or what is happening in my life.
It is an unrelenting resolve to stay the course, finish the race and keep the faith as Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:7.
That’s living the undefeated life.
How do we do this?
By looking at Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
You see, I can and have often felt defeated and discouraged because of 1 of 2 things:
- I was looking at my circumstances, my unanswered prayers, the things I was yet still waiting for, but had not received. This plagued my mind with negative thoughts and eventually affected my mood. As a result, it hindered, paralyzed and/or depressed me.
- I was looking at others and comparing their life or season to my own.
Oh, but when I fix my eyes on Jesus alone, I can’t and haven’t EVER felt defeated. When I intentionally fix my focus on Him, my hope was restored and my fight to keep going was ignited again.
It also helps to remember that I have:
…pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on. Heb. 12:1
The Message Bible
Instead of fear, I felt that I could walk on water.
I experienced that peace that He promises when our minds are stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3).
So now I ask you:
Sis, where are you looking?
When the storms of life seem to be raging on forever, when your hope seems to have been misplaced or you just feel blah about life altogether, where are you choosing to look? To focus?
This is the key to living an undefeated life, even if you may feel that way or not at the time.
I encourage you to intentionally and conciously fix your focus on Christ and everything else that matters will come into focus.
Begin assessing what you are looking at, i.e. what you are reading (feeding your spirit man), what you are listening to, what you are watching, where you are going and who you have in your ear or around you.
What conclusions do you draw?
What connections do you see between your assessments and where you are emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally, financially, or even physically in life right now?
What do you need to adjust?
Father, help me to fix my focus on You and You alone, even if I have to fight to keep my eyes on you.