I am not going to lie and say that God and I have been on great terms lately. In fact, if I am being completely honest there has been radio silence on my end for almost a year now.
I have no excuses or reasons but just the mere fact that I slipped into a mindset of carelessness.
So what changed? My focus did.
Have you ever tried to take a picture and for some reason no matter how hard you try the camera won’t focus on the object on the other side of the lens?
Well, my life was the object on the other side of the lens and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get it to focus. My life seemed blurry, unclear, and out of focus.
Usually when a camera tries to capture an image and has a hard time focusing it's because there is movement in the shot. Well, there was a movement in my life and lots of it.
I have this nasty habit of asking God for clarity or advice on a situation but not sitting still or staying quiet long enough to hear the answer. So while God was talking to me I was letting the movement in the background become the focus.
As a result, I pulled further away from God while allowing myself to believe that He simply did not care or have the time to address my problems. But you see while I was pulling away from God he was latching on tighter just when I thought I had lost myself he reminded me of where and who I was. He was gentle and spoke softly reminding me to adjust my lens and refocus.
There is this story in the Bible that helped me through this transition of refocusing my lens.
In Numbers, chapter 13 the Lord spoke to Moses “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
Moses obeying the lord chose twelve leaders one from each ancestral tribe and said to them, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.”
When the twelve leaders returned after surveying the land for forty days they reported back to Moses “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along with the Jordan.”
However, Caleb responded differently and spoke to Moses saying:
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
When I was younger my Sunday school teacher taught me that the ten leaders that responded in fear were essentially “bad” and that we were to be more like Joshua and Caleb who responded in faith.
I wish that I could say that I would have responded like Joshua and Caleb but as I reread the story I focused on the directions that God gave Moses
“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
God told Moses that he was GIVING the Israelites Canaan.
Now imagine if Moses had translated the directions he received word for word to ancestral tribe leaders.
Perhaps they would have responded in faith rather than fear.
When they saw the powerful people and the large fortified cities they would have saw THEIR powerful people and THEIR large fortified cities.
It is so easy to let our wishes, thoughts, and desires muddy what God has spoken to us.
I can not tell you how many times God has asked me to do something and my response has been “But God what about..” or “God that’s impossible!”
When God tells me his plan for me I easily let my thoughts and background noise become the focus.
If I listen to what God is saying I too would respond like Caleb and Joshua.
It is important to remember what your lens is focusing on, so your image stays clear.
Moving forward I encourage myself and others to practice these three steps:
1. Thinking the right thoughts: Keep your lens clean don’t allow for smudges
2. Hearing the right report: Allow God’s word to triumph over the background noise in your life.
3. Saying the right words: The words you speak are a reflection of what your heart believes. Spend time in God’s word.