Yesterday I dropped the lid to my crockpot and it shattered all over the kitchen floor. Of course, it happened at the worst time, when I was juggling several things (not the lid!) to try to get as much done as possible. I was feeling overwhelmed, and then the lid slips and pretty crystal bits of glass go everywhere!
Interestingly, the glass kept on popping and cracking after it broke. It sounded like Rise Crispies! It would even jump a bit.
But I digress. The lid breaking seemed to be a metaphor for how I was feeling. My focus was shattered.
An hour or so later, at yoga, the leader read a devotional that said, “Don’t let your focus be shattered. Keep your eyes and thoughts on Jesus.”
Wow. That word “shattered.” That exactly applied to me! The pressures of life make me feel fragmented. The smallest thing happens and I disintegrate.
I am trying to learn instead how to stay focused, centered, in that sweet spot where I am resting in Jesus, in tune with Him, connected to Him.
So I’m looking at how Jesus stayed centered. Here is one way:
“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.”
Jesus was centered by focusing on bringing glory to God.
Here’s another verse along that line that has been magical to me over the years:
“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” John 7:18
We are PURE, single-minded, when we seek God’s glory. We are not distracted by other motivations, most notably desire to please self or others.
To finish this morning’s devotional, I read the PERFECT thing — a selection from Gordon Ferguson’s book, “Golden Rule Leadership.” In it, Ferguson talks about how to focus on God better, and not on self. Here is what I loved that I read:
“Seeing great things happen in the church is not determined by the talent of the group. It is determined by our understanding of and our convictions about how to gain strength for the task.
“The biggest mistake we make as leaders is when we take stock of our strengths and weaknesses, and then we rely on our strengths. . . If we lead spiritually by relying on our strengths, we are doomed to fail. (This) leads to arrogance, pride, competitiveness and humanism.
“Spiritual leadership first and foremost involves being spiritual. And being spiritual first and foremost involves crucifying our dependence on self and replacing it with reliance on God. We truly rely on God by focusing on our weaknesses and on God’s call to lead his people. . . We will say, ‘Woe is me. I need help,’ like in Isaiah 6.”
Here are some awesome verses about this:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD. Is 31:1
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jer 17:5
But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors Hos 10:13
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. II Cor 1:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. II Cor 12:8-9
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. II Cor 3:4-5