Good morning friends, it’s Tuesday again, and I can not believe how quickly the summer is flying by! Tomorrow will be August 1st, and my mind keeps thinking it’s about mid-June. Perhaps it’s because our family is in wedding planning mode for TWO weddings in the next couple months. The first one is in 38 days, the second one in 89, but who’s counting? I’m just saying I have a mind swirling with flowers, favors, tulle, parties and lace! By the end of October we will have had all four of our children married within 2 years. Yes, we are going to live to tell about it! Or, get side jobs at Walmart to pay for it !
But, this post isn’t about weddings or summer, it’s about keeping our focus in the middle of real life. It’s easy to lose focus.Scripture speaks of “setting our minds” and I tend to think that most of us need to challenge our daily mental set-point.
Where do you set your mind? Where do you find your focus drifting off to? What attitudes are you battling that might have more to do with YOU and your pattern of thinking than your actual circumstances?
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
The key words here are set, hearts and minds.
Set, is from the Greek word that means, to direct one’s mind to a thing, to feel, to think, to strive for. In the Webster’s Dictionary it states the definition of “set” as, to put into a particular position or place.
We are being taught in Colossians to put our heart and our mind in a particular position or place, to direct them. Often, if I am to be honest, I don’t direct them, I follow them. Following our heart and our mind could get us in trouble because often following them is in opposition to following the Lord and His Spirit. Why? Because each of us have developed patterns of thinking that are of the flesh rather than of the spirit. If that were not so, we would not be given teaching on setting them and directing them, right?
What does spiritual focus look like? Is it dreaming of clouds and cherubim? Pretty sure that’s not it. God’s Word is practical and fit for ordinary every day use. Spiritual focus is going about our day, doing the things of the day, and pulling our focus back to the Lord many times in the process. It’s about eternal focus, which is setting our heart on the truth in God’s word, seeing the reality of His presence in our every day lives, and remembering that He himself is living within each of us to accomplish His work and plan here on earth.
So, if you wake up tired, spill your morning coffee, have to clean up baby puke before you finish that coffee, are disappointed because friends aren’t there when you need them, the husband is grouchy, there is not enough money for the week and to top it all off you realize you gained five extra pounds…Look Up!
Learn to SET your heart and Mind.
What do you see when you look at the image to the right? I see white dots. Yes, I see blue background but my focus is drawn to the dots not the background.We often focus on all the dots in our life and fail to pay attention to the foundational backdrop of God’s love always and faithfully with us in each scene and circumstance of life. I think, simplistically put, setting our minds is drawing our attention to that blue, or the backdrop, the foundation holding the picture of our lives together. Jesus Christ. Rather than obsessing over the dots!
In relating to people, we often see them as a picture of “dots” or things we pick apart. We see the imperfections and flaws and often focus on that. What if we focused on the backdrop of their story too? What if we focused on all the love and grace that surrounds them?
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things.”
Try setting your cell phone for a every few hours to remind you to focus on a Scripture, or Truth that you need right now. Or perhaps the reminder is just to stop for a moment and look up ( in your mind) and thank God for being with you this day. Do this several times a day and you will begin to have an entirely different focus and viewpoint, or set point.
Instead, begin the discipline of looking for the good and dwelling there. If you do, Scripture promises that the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. And, that my friend, is like a sea of blue surrounding us with the spectacular love and presence of a God we can not see, but who is always at work in our lives. He isn’t just the backdrop of the story, He is the story.
Praying for you this week,