Focus –


Ok, I admit it, I can sometimes be very distracted. It just seems like all around me are things that scream to be completed, or demand attention. Bills that need to be paid, a lawn that needs to be mowed, dishes that wait to be washed, the list seems to never come to an end. In fact it seems that as I get two or three items checked off the list, four or five are added.

Plus, even in the midst of working on one task, if I walk to get a drink of water, there are two or three things that grab my attention on the way there or back! At times it is just maddening.

We live in a society, and in a day when one of our major battles is the battle for focus. And this is certainly true among believers today as well. And it is one of the major reasons for our inability to get to that place of intimacy with the Lord that brings us into the place of loving Him with all our heart and soul and strength and mind (Matthew 22:38). There is no way we can nurture intimacy with God if we do not make time to spend focused on Him, His Word and His character. It is an essential to the development of an intimate relationship, time and focus. Jesus said, “Abide in Me…abide in My love” (John 15:7,9). Love is more than an adjective that describes God. The love of God is God Himself: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The love of God here is His presence around us. That presence is cultivated and grown as we spend dedicated time with Him. We cannot cultivate the depth of relationship without spending focused time in His Presence, and learning about Him.

We suffer from such a level of distraction that it is almost impossible at our usual pace to spend enough time to be able, as the Scripture states, to,..”be still and know” that He is God – or who He is, develop that relationship of intimacy (Psalm 46:10). Because of the pace of “modern” society, it takes a great deal of discipline and motivation to say “NO” to the myriad of voices that cry for our attention. This is a two-sided dilemma for us. On one side, we cannot deepen our intimacy without time… yet when we spend time, we find the intimacy that motivates us to spend more time. When we neglect the time, we lose the intimacy and the motivation to spend the time we need to grow the intimacy. So how to be deal with this issue of distractions?

Each of us have different areas of distraction. A mother with young children will have totally different points of distraction than a retired person living alone. However, for each of us, may I suggest that we find, “Anchor Points” in our days that we can tie our lives to.

An “Anchor Point” is some physical location within our home, or perhaps our yard, or some other location, that is dedicated to be the place we spend time with Him. An “Anchor Point” is also associated, not just with location, but with memories. Memories of times when the Lord has touched us or spoken clearly to us. Touch points that draw us back in anticipation of hearing from Him, meeting with Him. In Song of Solomon 6, the Sulamite knew that her beloved could be found in his garden. Find or make some “Anchor Point” for you to dedicate to be where you anticipate His arrival, listen for His voice, and long for His touch. He will come and meet you there. Focus on him, and you can say, “You who dwell in the gardens, The companions listen for your voice – Let me hear it!” – Song of Solomon 8:13.

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An Unconventional War — Continues


Last Friday, April 27th, The Sentinel Group released a short 8 minute video addressing the issues that have been raised with the Kony2012 viral video.

You can watch the message presented by George Otis, Jr. at IHOP-Kansas City here; Our Response

The explosive Kony 2012 ( Kony2012 ) video was launched  by Invisible Children, Inc. to raise the awareness of the atrocities that have been done by this very evil man and his followers. It has raised world wide attention, but has not communicated all of the story.

The Sentinel Group, produced a DVD several years ago documenting the amazing story of how God gave divine strategies to His people that resulted in Kony leaving Uganda and not returning.

Friday night, George Otis, Jr. Director of The Sentinel Group gave a powerful challenge via the webcast from IHOP – Kansas City regarding the truths behind what God did in Uganda. He stated that today, we have “traded God and prayer for social media numbers.” He told how the people of Uganda became desperate for God to do something in their situation, that they began to pray with perseverance, and were willing to give their very lives to see God bring a resolution.

In the light of the several social challenges that face our nation and our world, George challenged us to “return to what worked.”  I would strongly encourage you to visit the website, watch the 8 minute video and explore the four responses that The Sentinel Group and others have put before us in these days.

I fully support the message and the challenge that George brought in his message and in the four responses (Watch, Pray, Learn, Go), but I would like to put forth a caution. The caution is this; In our enthusiasm to “change history,” to respond to the challenge to see God work in other places in our world today as He did in Uganda, in our enthusiasm to seek God to bring Joseph Kony to justice, let us not fall into familiar patterns. Allow me to explain.

Why is it that we have an abundance of “activities” and yet do not see the kinds of breakthroughs that are being experienced in transformed communities around the world? It is because our natural tendency is to hear such a challenge as An Unconventional War presents to us, and we revert to relying even on our “activities” and meetings rather than remembering that what God is looking for has to do, not with activity, but character. He is looking not at our calendars, but at our hearts. It is immensely critical that as we seek for the apprehension of Kony, or the solution for other key social issues that we remember to allow God to examine our hearts.

Are we guarding our hearts against the distractions that divert our absolute attention to His agenda? We are so easily distracted by all the other “important” issues that swirl around us. God requires that we be singular in our focus on Him, and His Kingdom agenda.

Are we diligently seeking a position of humility and brokenness? God’s presence is attracted to the humble hearts. Yet we, even as the people of God, do not seek after humility. Even as we pray for bringing Kony to justice, we can have an attitude of how superior we are to him. We so easily lose sight of our own attitudes as we seek God to do what we want Him to do in our society.

Are we asking God to instruct us how to pray? Are we really interested in what is on His heart? Or are we cemented to our “agendas” of what God should be doing in answer to our prayers? God will speak if we will listen.

Are we truly expectant that He will answer? There can be an underlying skepticism that invades our prayers. Not many in the West have experienced the kinds of supernatural answers that we hear about, for example in An Unconventional War, so we have an underlying doubt whether God really wants to work that way, or that He will.

I share these cautions because there is nothing I want MORE than for God to rally His people in humble, expectant, unity to ask Him to be the answer to the awful problems of our times. We already have demonstrated that we do not have the answers to these issues. Now is the time for the people of God to turn to Him to intervene for the Glory of His Name. Only let us not revert to our usual patterns.  God will come as we align ourselves with His heart and His requirements.







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