Almost a year ago, I was sitting in my office and our student pastor, Jamie, was sitting on the couch and we were talking. The couch in my office is a dark grey/black and Jamie was wearing a black hoodie. At some point during our conversation, I noticed that I couldn't tell where his jacket ended and the couch began. I realized that I needed to suck it up and go to the eye doctor. Long story short...I now have glasses that...(hang on a second), I am wearing right now.
In that moment, I wasn't able to focus and distinguish between the objects in front of me. My focus was out of place and not where it needed to be in order for me to see clearly the world in front of me. Our spiritual lives function in much the same way.
Colossians 3:1&2 - If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
At some point or another we have all dealt with a struggle, habit, sin, or attitude that has not been the optimal way to experience life. We can easily become consumed by those struggles. We think and focus on how not to be defeated by them, how not to fall to temptation, and how to “beat” whatever it is. Here’s the kicker…when we are trying so hard to not do those things and to defeat them, they are our primary focus. We are focusing on the problem instead of the one who can solve the problem.
This passage in Colossians tells us to set our minds on the things that are above, not on things here on earth. We read in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When God is our primary focus, our struggles and attitudes seem to fall in line. That’s not to say that it is easy, it is still a challenge for sure. However, when we are focusing on God and his glorious might, those other things fade in comparison to him. It’s a simple, focus on the positive, not the negative scenario.
I pray that God would help us to focus on Him and his glory. As a Christ follower, our pursuit of God and the knowledge of who he is one of the key steps in our continued growth and maturity. Another step is engaging in telling God’s story. Instead of focusing on the problems, struggles, and sin…focus on God and take those struggles to him and find great rest, strength, and peace from that.