Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Where on Earth is Your Focus?

At the beginning of the year, I felt my word for 2015 would be "Expectancy."  It is not.  The Committed Thoughts word of the year is:

Focus
It's all about our focus.

Countless distractions battle for my attention; too often, the distractions win, and I find my focus on the things of this world.  As if the news is not bad enough on its own, the media will sensationalize the headlines to make sure and grab my attention.   I don’t recommend burying your head in the sand, but I do want to caution you not to let the world’s atrocities steal your focus from where it should be.  No matter how bad it gets, God still sits on the throne…the foundation of which is justice and righteousness.

Focus-thieves are not just in the news.  They happen in my day to day life.   I rarely like to step outside my box, and the thief knows where I park my box...right in the middle of my comfort zone.  For years, my focus has been my “Hate-to-Love-You” relationship with food.  Instead of putting God first in my problem, I put the problem first, and my focus was centered around one thing:  Food.

My thoughts were not committed…they were a jumbled collage of “I’m on a diet/I need to be on a diet/I shouldn’t be eating this/I’ll eat this today and restart tomorrow/what else can I eat/I can’t eat that…” and on and on it went.  I was a roller coaster of counting calories, counting fat, counting carbs, measuring and weighing, and I was mentally exhausted all the time.  I was also drowning in a pit of helplessness, hopelessness and despair.

I couldn’t even enjoy a meal because I was either thinking of the diet I would surely start on Monday, or “Is there enough junk in the house to last me through the night?”
It takes an effort to have committed thoughts.  You have to take those fiery darts captive the moment they assail your brain (…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5).  Otherwise, they will steal your focus.  What has your focus?  No matter how big the problem is, never forget that He, indeed, is in control.

Our focus…

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:2 NIV

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV


I believe in freedom…true, pure, God-given freedom.  To go further (even beyond the point that most people will agree with me): I believe that we can be set free without our having to put effort into it.   Completely free.  Why?  Because IF we, on our own, could have conquered the chains that keep us bound, we would have already.  

In order to have victory in the areas of our lives that have us bound, whether it be food, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, sex, lies, or a combination of things…whatever it is…to have victory, we must change our focus to Him.  He doesn’t want us to be in control of our lives, He wants to be in loving control, and He wants us to be obedient.  I have to allow Him to change/conquer those things that keep me bound, and I have to obey what he tells me to do.  He never intended for me to be caught up in every calorie/fat gram/carb I swallow, nor does he intend for you to be caught up fighting and struggling in your chains.  Our battles belong to the Lord.

...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33 NKJV

This final thought: 
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 NIV

Remain in Him and have victory over even the most difficult of situations in your life.


6 comments:

  1. First, CONGRATULATIONS on the weight loss! :D

    Second. I sort of disagree with your statement that "we can be set free without our having to put effort into it."

    I think we have to do the following:

    "In order to have victory in the areas of our lives that have us bound...we must change our focus to Him."

    " I have to allow Him to change/conquer those things that keep me bound..."

    "...I have to obey what he tells me to do. "

    " I gave up sugar"

    " I began a road to change my focus. "

    "It takes an effort to have committed thoughts."

    "You have to take those fiery darts captive the moment they assail your brain"

    :} Just sayin'

    Deb

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    1. I agree with your disagreement! I think all of the above is part of seeking Him first...I don't think that's the effort of getting free...I think that's the effort of putting on His righteousness...putting self aside. The "giving up sugar" is a whole 'nother post that I'm about to write.

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    2. Yes. I knew that's what you meant. It's just that--you know, since I seem to have now taken on the role of clarity ambassador--I didn't want a reader to think that by "no effort" they could just sit on the couch, put up their feet, and wait for an angel to show up with a magic wand. Way different kinds of effort between self-effort and the effort of discipline and willingness to submit to God. Which HE gives us the ability to do,anyway. If we let Him.

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  2. P.S.

    Despite my above comment, I loved the post, and I wholeheartedly agree as to Who must do the work of freedom.

    Back when I first started blogging, and probably several times later, I wrote that whether
    you're obsessed with eating food or obsessed with NOT eating food, you're still obsessed with food.

    It just seemed to me that many WL bloggers were totally immersed in food even tho they were losing weight. They were pouring over cookbooks, eating "substitute" food for the treats they formerly ate like making cookies out of almond flour (which meant they were still eating for sport), exercising for hours, etc. It was just food, food, food and weight loss.

    It just seemed to me to be the other side of the same coin. A healthier side, perhaps, but still food obsession or "focus" as you put it on food.

    It's a trap, a snare for our feet. Which is why I appreciate this post. If we put all of our energy effort, and focus into fixing our weight, we are still in bondage. (Which I'm pretty sure was your point.)

    Only God can set us free. Completely free.

    So...Amen, sister.


    Deb.

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  3. I think your word is a good word. I look forward to your thoughts as you share them over time as you change your thought process and your focus and learn to be free as God would intend you to be :)

    betty

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  4. I'm so proud of you Margaret. Willpower works better with a boost from the Lord. I was very uplifted & empowered by your 700 word blog. I loved the following scripture you focused on. It sums up everything that happens to us in our lives. I Will Keep this most Beautiful Promise the Lord made to US foremost in my heart & mind.

    "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 5:15 NIV"

    God Bless, Victoria

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