Without focus we wind up running on our own steam. And that's when I received a clear picture of momentum from God. It's like being in a soapbox racing cart at the top of the hill. You get that push to get you going and then you sail down the rest of the way, relying on the steepness of the road and gravity to keep you going as long as possible.
But then things level out a bit and your momentum begins to wain. Before long, your cart peters out and you come to a stop.
As I received this imagery I could hear God say, "You went back to relying on your own strength." Yep, I did. And I didn't even realize it until my cart came to a stop.
That's one of the dangers we have to be aware of. We have these great starts in whatever area God is calling us to walk. All the pieces seem to flow together and we can see so clearly the path God is calling us to walk. We move forward and take off, but then seem to lose our oomph.
Somewhere along the line we've shifted from functioning in God's strength to using our own. It's subtle and sneaky. I think this is one reason why God doesn't give us the complete picture when He draws us to a path because He knows how easily we switch to our own ability and perspective.
Our reliance on Him for every step may feel like weakness, but I find it takes greater strength, commitment and focus to wait on God in this manner than to barrel forward with my own plan.
And waiting on God is by no means a lack of movement or direction. It is our most challenging state of action as Believers in Christ and our highest form of trust and worship.
You know, God has the best ways of letting us know He's right there with us. As I sat and worked through this and prayed for His strength, my phone buzzed.
This was on the screen: "@JesusStrength is now following you."
I’m shaking my head and laughing. God even uses Twitter. There are no true barriers to God's presence and strength. I'm reminded again of that verse that says we have not because we ask not (James 4:2-3).
I firmly believe God loves it and is highly honored when we ask for more of Him, of His strength and His presence. He knows our own momentum will only carry us so far and He loves us so much that He will allow us to peter out to understand the difference between His unending strength and momentum verses our own limited capacity. In fact, I sense His great delight when I step back into His presence and ask Him to take over again. And that delight never seems to wain or diminish either. No matter how many times I have to ask.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. — 1 John 3:21-22
And what are His commands?
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. — 1 John 3:23-24
I think we complicate things sometimes, thinking we have to meet a performance standard. I know I still struggle with this at times. I judge the state of my relationship with God with how I feel, what my circumstances look like and from my own perspective of how “well I am doing things.”
Where is my focus when I do this?
God breaks it down so easily for us. Believe Jesus and love each other. It’s all about abiding in Him, focusing on Him. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about keeping our focus on God and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. We need constant reminders.
So, my precious friends, I leave you (and me!) with this mental image as a reminder. You’re in that go cart and God is about to give you a mighty shove down the track. That cart holding and protecting you along with that surge of excitement is the Holy Spirit in and around you. And Jesus is there at the finish line, cheering you on. As long as you hunker down (abide) and keep your eyes on Him (focus), you won’t lose momentum.
Grab your helmet and get ready to fly!
Image credit: 3quarks / 123RF Stock Photo