Bible verses about focusing on God
Are you focusing in your prayer life? Is focusing on the Lord a struggle for you? Is there something holding you back from the Lord? Do you remember the times when you used to be on fire for God?
Do you remember the days when you looked forward to worshiping the Lord? Are you easily distracted in worship?
Are you losing the fight that you once had and if so are you willing to fight for God? If you don’t fight for more of Him you’re going to lose Him.
Once you start losing the presence of God you have to fight. It’s time to make war!
- “What consumes your mind controls your life.”
- “Don’t focus on your adversaries. Focus on God’s possibilities.”
- “True faith is keeping your eyes on God when the world around you is falling apart.”
- “Instead of thinking about how hard the test is, we can instead focus on asking the Lord to enlarge our understanding.” Crystal McDowell
- “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties. And that is the only way to know real satisfaction.” John MacArthur
Are you focusing in worship?
You can yell like a lion and not say one thing to God. You can scream and pray boldly, but your prayer still won’t touch Heaven. Examine yourself! Are you just throwing words around or are you focusing? God looks at the heart. There are people who can ramble and say repetitive things and not think about God once. Does your heart align with the words that come out of your mouth?
Are you looking to God or are you praying to Him while your mind is on other things? You have to fight this. This doesn’t only apply to worship, but this also applies to all religious activities. We can serve at church while our hearts are away from the Lord. I’ve struggled with this. Sometimes you have to sit in prayer for an hour until your heart is aligned with Him. You have to wait for His presence. God I just want you. God I need you!
God help me focus I can’t live like this! We have to be desperate for God and if we are not desperate for Him that is a problem. Fight for more focus on Him! Not fiances, not family, not the ministry, but Him. Understand what I am saying. There is a time that we pray for these things, but worship is not about blessings. Worship is about God alone. It’s all about Him.
We have to get to a point where we can’t breath until we are so focused on Him and His presence. Do you want God? The one thing that you want in your life that you can’t live without, is it God? We must learn to treasure Him.
1. Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
2. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
3. Jeremiah 24:7 “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
4. Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”
5. John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
When you’re focused on God you will not focus on anything else.
Many of us struggle with so many things and many of us are being weighed down by the trials of life. If you would just focus on God you would understand that these things are just so little compared to Him. Why do you think God tells us to be still? When we are not still our mind is going to be filled with so much noise from the trials around us. Sometimes you have to run and be alone with the Lord and be still before Him. Allow Him to calm your fears and worries.
God is who He says He is. He is our shelter, our provider, our healer, our strength, etc. When you’re so focused on God in the midst of trials that shows a heart that trusts in the Lord. Nothing in Hell can scare a heart that trusts in the Lord, but you must focus on God. There are many times in your life when you sit and worry, but instead why aren’t you praying? I believe this is one of the main reasons why people struggle with depression. We dwell on the negative and we let these thoughts simmer into our soul instead of seeking our God. The best antidote for worry is worship.
There are many Christians who died for their faith. Many martyrs were burned at the stake. They died while singing hymns to the Lord. Most people would scream in pain and forsake God. Take a moment to imagine them burning, but instead of worrying they worshiped the Lord.
6. Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.”
7. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
8. Psalm 112:7 “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.”
9. Psalm 57:7 “My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!”
10. Psalm 91:14-15 “Because he has focused his love on me, I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in his distress. I will deliver him, and I will honor him.”
In this life and in America especially there are so many things that seek to distract you.
There are distractions everywhere. I believe one of the reasons that men are not being men and women are not acting like women is because of these distractions. Everything seeks to slow us down and keep us preoccupied. This world turns our heart away from God. That is why when many people worship their words don’t align with their heart.
We are so worried about video games that they take up a good majority of our life. Many are so trapped by their phones that they have no time to worship. The first thing people do is wake up and they go immediately to their phones and they check their text messages and their social media accounts and they don’t think about God once. We are so distracted by everything else and we forget God. We forget what is in front of us.
Jesus said it is hard for the rich to enter into Heaven. In America we’re rich. In some countries we are millionaires. All these lights, electronics, and luxuries are meant to distract us. I barely watch TV because I know how dangerous it is. It makes my love for the Lord grow cold because it can be so addicting. When you’re driving you’re not going to be focused on what is behind you because that is extremely dangerous. In the same way it is extremely dangerous to focus on the things of the world.
You will be hindered. You will not seek the Lord with all your heart because you have to keep on looking back. I encourage you to forget the past, sign off on your social media accounts, turn off the TV, and stop hanging around those that are hindering you. Fix your eyes on Christ. Allow Him to lead you more and more to Him. You can’t do God’s will while you are continually looking back.
11. Psalm 123:2 “We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.”
12. Colossians 3:1 “Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.”
13. Philippians 3:13-14 “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Think about Christ.
What are your thoughts being filled with? Is it Christ? We have to make war with our thoughts. Our mind loves to dwell on everything, but God and remain there. When my mind dwells on something besides the Lord for a long period of time I can become weary. Let’s pray for help with keeping our mind focused on Christ.
Let’s pray that God helps us to notice when our mind drifts off to something else. Let’s fight with our thoughts. I learned that preaching the gospel to yourself is a great way to keep your mind on Christ. Sometimes we have to take a moment to just praise Him and give Him thanks. A moment of genuine worship lasts a lifetime. It gets your focusing straight.
I also love listening to worship music throughout the day. I want my heart to beat for the Lord. I want to enjoy Him. If you struggle with this cry out for help. Help my thoughts to be filled with you and give me advice to help me my Lord.
14. Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
15. Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brothers, partners in a heavenly calling, keep your focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.”
When you’re not focused on God you will make mistakes.
God constantly tells His people to remember my words because our hearts are bent on going our own way. When you’re focused on the Lord you will be focused on His Word.
When you start to lose focus you stop making war with sin, your discernment will be off, you’re slow to do God’s will, you become impatient, etc.
Many times we see Christians start dating ungodly people because they take their focus off of God. Satan will seek to tempt you. Just do it one time, God doesn’t care, God is taking too long, etc.
We must be on guard and be strong in the Lord, but how can we be strong in the Lord if we are not focused on the Lord? Get into the Word daily and be a doer not a hearer. How can you know God’s instructions if you are not in His Word?
16. Proverbs 5:1-2 “My son, stay focused; listen to the wisdom I have gained; give attention to what I have learned about life So you may be able to make sensible judgments and speak with knowledge.”
17. Proverbs 4:25-27 “Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.”
18. 1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
19. Psalm 119:6 “Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.”
Don’t give up!
Stop trusting your circumstances. In my life I watched how God used pain to glorify His name and to answer other prayers. Just trust in Him. He will not forsake you. Never! Be still and wait on Him. God is always faithful. Put your focus back on Him.
20. Jonah 2:7 “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went to you in your holy Temple.”
21. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Pray for more focus on the Lord. I also encourage you to take extra steps to help you focus such as eat healthy, get more sleep, and refrain from alcohol. Sometimes fasting is needed. We hate the thought of fasting, but fasting has been such a blessing in my life.
Starving the flesh gets your focusing straight. Some people don’t know the Lord so never neglect Him. Cherish Him. Cherish every moment because every second in His presence is a blessing.
Saints of God, yesterday I saw a car tag “2FOCUS” for TO FOCUS!
When I saw that God emphasized again what we are to focus on in this hour, which is Jesus Christ and the power of the cross and his resurrection!
I see a great deception in the church that I have warned of over the years and know this well; I was there! I was so consumed with what the enemy was doing and all the failings of myself and the Church, that I became angry, disappointed and disheartened.
God warned me that the enemy was deceiving many to go down this road and told me to STOP!
He told me TO FOCUS on God’s goodness and love, and showed me that the wearing out the saints that is likened unto our hour, was not going to come from outside of the church but rather INSIDE of the church, from those given over to pride and feeding on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
People who are given over to pride, and think they are hearing God are hearing another spirit and are preaching another Gospel, as they have now been consumed with their own revelations and do not realize they are deceived having eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
These messages do not have life and are not life giving. I see many posts on Facebook by some “Watchmen” that are nothing more than FEAR disguised as a Word of the LORD, and the fruit of their ministry is PRIDE AND CONTENTION.
They are so consumed with believing that they are right that they will not humble themselves and seek the LORD God in great humility!
In ancient days, the prophets of old were humbled continually, in order that pride would not be able to penetrate their heart and that they would WEEP for ISRAEL!
The watchmen who are angry do not WEEP but rather inflict injury on God’s people and the church, not seeking souls to come out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light!
They are consumed with themselves and the promotion of their own ministry that they are deceived and preaching another gospel as they bewitch many, falling into works and not a Gospel of FAITH and GRACE!
From such please runaway and stay away! They only post News (bad news) that proves that they are right!
Run from these! Flee! We are to focus on the Word of God in power and truth! That is how we overcome all the power of this world, through Holy Spirit!
“Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and yearn to see, my delight and crown (wreath of victory), thus stand firm in the LORD, my beloved.
I entreat and advise Euodia and I entreat and advise Syntyche to agree and to work in harmony in the LORD.
And I exhort you too, genuine yokefellow, help these , for they have toiled along with me in the good news (the Gospel), as have Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.
Rejoice in the LORD always ; again I say, Rejoice!
Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The LORD is near .
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:1-7 AMP
A saint crying out to God for fullness of deliverance and the manifestation of salvation.
~ Robin Kirby Gatto
Robin Kirby-Gatto operates in the prophetic, bringing the testimony of Jesus into the earth through the scripture Revelation 19:10 “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Robin walks in God’s Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding and is brought into areas to bring a revelation of God’s Truth, The Word as the Holy Spirit brings forth God’s anointing into her ministry.
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My friend Bryan Chapell, in his fine book Christ-Centered Preaching,1 has argued that preaching is really about getting Jesus across to an audience as a worldview. If Christ is not preached, Chapell writes, it may be seriously questioned whether what we have heard is a Christian sermon or lesson. Chapell’s thesis agrees with a similar thought in the writings of another friend, Sidney Greidanus.2 Both Chapell and Greidanus allow that this does not mean that every verse or passage directly reveals Jesus Christ, but they do argue that every passage in the Bible has as its larger context the person, work and necessity of Christ. In like manner, Calvin Miller wants to know this about ever sermon: “Is the sermon about Christ?”3
So how shall we respond if the following 10 messages focus in their entirety on God the Father and not specifically on God the Son? Bryan Chapell does admit that there are thousands of passages that contain no direct reference to Christ. If that is so, then how is the teacher or preacher to remain Christ-centered in these texts that are silent on His person and work?
Chapell replies that when neither the scriptural text nor scriptural typology presents us with the Savior, the teacher or pastor must rely on the greater context of the Bible in order to bring out the redemption focus of that message.4 Usually this is done by appealing to the progressive nature of biblical revelation as it comes to full flower in the New Testament. But this is neither the theocentric method of teaching and preaching advocated by John Calvin nor the Christological method used by Luther. Instead, it is a redemptive-historical-christocentric method of preaching that views the “whole counsel of God” in light of Jesus Christ.5 Greidanus correctly noted that it is improper to read Christ back into the Old Testament, for that would be eisegesis, or reading meanings from the New Testament into the Old Testament text. That, of course, is the real issue that presents itself here, and that calls for great caution. So how does Greidanus propose to remedy this situation? He would have us “look for legitimate ways of preaching Christ from the Old Testament in the context of the New.”6 But what has happened to expository preaching in that case? It appears to begin with the text of the Old Testament, but it appears to rely on the New Testament for the real solid stuff, that is, the theology and principles we can apply directly to our lives. Even if this is not what is intended, this is what often results in the hands of many Christian teachers and preachers.
But how can we do such jumping from the Old Testament text to the New Testament without committing the methodological faux pas of eisegesis? Greidanus’ solution is that we must never take “an Old Testament text in isolation, but must always understand the text in the contexts of the whole Bible and redemptive history.”7 Simply to take an Old Testament text and preach on it is to preach an Old Testament sermon, Greidanus warns. Of course, that aphorism is noting more than a tautology: Old Testament texts yield Old Testament sermons! But who said that was bad or undesirable—as if someone other than God were the source and author of the Old Testament or that these texts had such temporality written over them that almost all of them were now passé and useful only as primers or sermon starters? And if that is true, then what of those audiences to whom these Old Testament messages were first preached who did not have a New Testament in the back of their Bibles?
What exactly is meant when we use the phrase “Old Testament sermon”? Do we simply mean a sermon that is derived entirely from the Old Testament? Or do we mean a sermon that was formerly valid but is no longer kosher for believers in the post-Old Testament era? How could those who lived in the Old Testament era have done any less, or any more, than to limit their teaching and preaching to what revelation was available up to that time? It is not as if the revelation did not come from God or that it was of some inferior quality, was it? Or did those Old Testament saints get it wrong?
What makes a sermon a Christian sermon or lesson? Must all sermons and lessons based on the Old Testament move inexorably on to the New Testament if they wish to earn a “Christian sermon rating” (CSR)?
But the discussion grows even more complicated. Greidanus boldly claims that redemptive-historical preaching does not ask, “What was the author’s intended meaning for his original hearers? But, how does the redemptive-historical context from creation to new creation inform the contemporary significance of this text?”8 In that same context, Greidanus favorably quotes Christopher Wright: “We may legitimately see in the event, or in the record of it, additional levels of significance in the light of the end of the story—i.e., in the light of Christ.”9 But notice that Wright carefully uses the word “significance.” Greidanus, however, goes on to affirm dangerously “that a passage understood in the contexts of the whole Bible and redemptive history may reveal more meaning than its author intended originally.”10 Such a view of the plurality of meaning that exceeds the truth-intentions or assertions of the original authors who stood in the counsel of God ultimately runs the risk of forfeiting the divine authority that is to be found in the passage; this view could be taken to imply that the human author wrote his text in a purely automatic and mechanical way, as if it were dictated or whispered word for word in his ear without the human author having a proper idea of its messianic or future redemptive meaning. But if the meaning God intended exceeds the meaning the human authors recorded, where shall we locate this additional surplus meaning? If it is not in the grammar and syntax, it must be somewhere between the lines! But if it is between the lines, whatever else it is, it is not written. And if it is not written, is it inspired? The apostle Paul makes it clear that only the graphe, what is written, is inspired (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Now we are really in a jam!
All too often the depth that many search for as contemporary believers, and the depth that God intended His human writers of Scripture to get—and which they did get, for they recorded it in the text—is missed in our day. As a result, too frequently we feel we must run to the New Testament as quickly as possible to enhance what some wrongly regard as the minimalistic Old Testament meaning with a super-spiritual meaning infused from the New Testament, thus adding Christian values to an otherwise “Judaistic sermon” to help the church or those in our modern world. But how wrong such judgments and procedures would be!
This is not to say that, after the meaning and message of the Old Testament has been established on its own terms, we must act as if the New Testament were not available at all. The New Testament really does exist, and we can (and must) often use it in our summaries to our major points and/or to the whole message, pointing out how the beginning, middle and end of the unified plan and message of God in the total Bible fits so nicely with what also is taught in the Old Testament text. I have argued elsewhere for the unity of the “promise-plan” of God that encompasses the whole Bible and therefore shows one divine mind, one plan and one story of salvation in all 66 books.11 It is against this backdrop of viewing the grand plan and story of the Bible that I find agreement with my friends Chapell, Greidanus and Miller. But I must not prematurely infuse New Testament values and meanings back into the Old Testament in order to sanctify it before I independently establish, on purely Old Testament grounds, the legitimate meaning of the Old Testament text. If I perform such an infusion, I only pretend that I am accurately giving the Word of God exactly as He wanted it taught and preached from the Old Testament passage. So let us first do our work of true exegesis on the Old Testament text. Then, having gotten the meaning God revealed at that point in time, let us see how our Lord developed that same word, if there is further development on into the rest of the Bible.
1. Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005).
2. Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999).
3. Calvin Miller, Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), 62-65.
4. Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, 281-88.
5. Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, 227-29.
6. Ibid., 228.
7. Ibid., 230.
8. Ibid., 232.
9. Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament: Rediscovering the Roots of Our Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 28.
10. Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, 233.
11.Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Toward an Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), and Kaiser, The Christian and the “Old” Testament (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1998).
From The Majesty of God in the Old Testamentby Walter C. Kaiser Jr. Copyright © 2007, Walter C. Kaiser Jr. Published by Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Preaching Magazine brings you insightful interviews with today’s top ministers, quality sermon ideas and sermon illustrations, reviews on all the latest resources, books and commentaries, plus humor and encouragement. Subscribe to Preaching Magazine here. This article originally appeared at Preaching.com. Used with Permission.