May I Please Have Your Undivided Attention

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A few days ago I was talking to a male friend of mine and we were laughing about the fact that most men have a one-track-mind while women can carry on multiple conversations, wipe snotty noses, tie shoes, and cook dinner all at the same time. Women are just wired that way. I’m an incredible multitasker. When I worked at the hospital, I could answer phones, fax face sheets, enter insurance numbers, and have a face-to-face conversation with other patients, all at the same time. I’m not one to brag, but that takes skill. In my devotions this morning, though, I read this: Your relationship with the Lord must always have top priority over everything else. God wants your undivided attention. When we don’t seek God first, our life gets out of control and as a result, our lives start ruling us instead of us being in charge of them. I often find myself planning out my day in the back of my mind when I’m reading my devotions in the morning. I’ll get half way through a page and realize that I have no idea what I just read. And I’m only cheating myself because I’m missing out on a valuable lesson that God is trying to teach me. He wants my undivided attention, so much so that when He speaks in a still, small voice, I hear Him. I get so busy at times that I tune Him out and that’s when I begin to think that I don’t need to pray, I don’t need to read my bible, or I’m too tired to do my devotions. In Isaiah 43, I read that a danger of maturation, or growth in our relationship with God, is that we become calcified. If we are not giving our undivided attention to walking in submission to God and seeking His will for our life, I think it’s really easy to get content or hardened where we’re at. As I was reading the commentary in Isaiah 43, it talked about when we do become calcified, or content in our walk with God, when we aren’t actively seeking His will for our life, the result can be that we think we don’t need faith anymore—or that we don’t need anymore faith. We know the questions and the answers, so God, who seems to enjoy disturbing the comfortable, should keep His distance. This becomes our mentality. I don’t like it when people try to rock my boat. If I’m comfortable, I don’t want to be disturbed. But God’s word teaches us that when we’re just comfortable, we’re in a dangerous spot. This is the point at which God comes to us and dares us to believe Him for a “new thing” in our lives, something that will force us to let go of the hard-won strings of control, daring us to let HIM stretch our vision. Isaiah 43:18-19 says this, “Forget the former things, don’t dwell on the past. See, I’m doing a new thing; now it springs up. Do you not understand it? I’m making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” I’ll be the first to admit that I have a hard time with reading my bible every single day. There are some mornings that the snooze button wins and my devotions consist of reciting John 3:16 because it’s the only verse that comes to my mind. Then I feel like I’ve almost failed God. But God doesn’t want us to just read his word and pray so He can feel good about it. His word was written as a map for our lives, a guidebook of sorts, for us to live and learn by. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions and I remember them no more.” Is there a greater love? I don’t know of many people that can truly forgive my faults and then completely and totally just forget about them. I try to practice the “forgive and forget” policy but I know that there are things that will remind me of something someone did in the past or something that was said and for a moment, it still stings. I’m human. I’ll never completely forget. But Christ does. He forgives me and you and anyone who asks him to and then He totally forgets about it. He doesn’t throw it in your face at a later date when you screw up again and say, “Remember when you did this or that? I knew you’d do it again!!” Nope, he just forgives us again when we have a repentant heart. And I don’t know about you, but a love like that is one that causes me to want to give my undivided attention. Like I said, I’m not always great at stopping everything I’m doing, turning my mind off to everything but Him. I find myself, more often than not, at a place of contentment, or with the mindset that simply trusting Him with my life is not enough.

I love Isaiah 43:1. It simply says, “Don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called you by name; you are mine.” Why He would ever choose to be so merciful and gracious with me is something I will never understand. But my prayer today is that I would become better at giving Him my undivided attention so that when He calls me by name, I hear His voice. His patience is incapable of being matched. And I’m so thankful for that.

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