Looking Up

Looking Up: The Art of Focusing on God in a Distracted World

“In your walk with me, don’t forget to look up from the task you are fulfilling now and miss something important I want to communicate or impart. Look to me, watch me; observe carefully, I don’t want you to miss a thing.

Look down, tell me, what do you see?
If your focus is only on what is right in front of you, what you can see and what I have for you can only ever be peripheral.

Hunker down, what do you see?
What was once marginal is now unseen. Can you see me? Can you see all I have for you?
Stand up and look back, what do you see?

It is open and clear. The way is not obscured by anything. You can clearly see the path you have walked and nothing is hidden.

Look forward, tell me, what do you see?
Your view seems obscured because you see a bend in the road and you can’t quite see beyond it. Don’t focus on where you have been or how far you have come. Focus on what is ahead. You may not always see clearly and it may be unknown. But walk with me, let me lead and guide you. I will not lead you astray. I know the way, it is clear to me. Come, take my hand. I will not let you stumble.”

In our fast-paced and constantly evolving world, it is easy to become consumed by our tasks and responsibilities. Amid this busyness, we focus so intensely on the task at hand that we inadvertently lose sight of what matters—the presence of God and His divine guidance. It is time to lift our gaze from the hints of the peripheral, to observe carefully, and refocus our attention on the Father, and discover the profound significance of walking closely with Him. By doing this, we can avoid getting lost in the distractions of life and experience the richness of walking closely with our Creator. In this blog, we will look at ways of looking up in a distracting world.

The Danger of Tunnel Vision
In our pursuit of productivity and success, we often become preoccupied with a hyper-focus on a task or a struggle and are blind to what has now become the peripheral and we lose sight of what truly matters; our relationship with God. Imagine walking through a beautiful garden, but instead of taking in the breathtaking scenery and vibrant colors, you only catch fleeting glimpses out of the corner of your eye. Similarly, when we become consumed by the tasks and distractions of everyday life, our spiritual vision becomes limited to the peripheral. We may catch hints of God’s presence, but we miss the fullness of His wisdom, love, and guidance. The remedy to this spiritual myopia lies in consciously lifting our eyes and fixing our focus on God. As David declares, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1- 2, ESV).

Avoiding Distractions and Seeking God
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV). Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize seeking God’s presence and aligning ourselves with His purposes. When we fix our eyes on Him, everything else falls into place. Conversely, when we become too absorbed in our tasks, we risk missing the still, small voice of God amidst the noise of the world. In Isaiah 30:21, we find encouragement: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (ESV). God is constantly speaking to us, but we need to be attentive and intentional in our listening. By observing and listening carefully, we can discern His guidance and walk in the path He sets before us.

Observing Carefully and Discerning His Voice
By directing our attention towards the Creator of the universe, we acknowledge His sovereignty, power, and infinite wisdom. Looking up to God is not a passive act as it requires intentional observation and attentiveness. Just as a skilled artist studies their subject meticulously, we must observe God’s character, His Word, and the gentle whispers of His Spirit. David urges us, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek his face always” (Psalm 105:4, ESV). Moreover, by carefully observing God’s ways, we gain a deeper understanding of His purpose for our lives. When we fix our gaze on God, we learn to let go of the burdens and mistakes of our past.

Leaving the Past Behind and Focusing on God
Paul exhorts, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV). Sometimes, we find ourselves trapped in the past—reliving past mistakes, failures, or even successes. However, dwelling on what is behind us can hinder our progress and prevent us from fully experiencing God’s presence in the present. Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us” (ESV). So if the Father has forgiven us and has removed sin and mistakes from our record, then there should be no reason for us to hold onto them. Letting go of the past enables us to focus on the journey ahead, walking hand in hand with our Heavenly Father. Remember, David was a sinful, fallible man, yet 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22 tell us God saw him as a man after His own heart.

The Importance of Walking with God
Looking to God and observing carefully requires that we walk closely with Him. Walking with Him symbolizes a continual, deliberate, and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. As the prophet Micah aptly puts it, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV). By aligning our steps with God’s will, we discover purpose, fulfillment, and a deepening connection with our Creator. Walking with God implies an intimate relationship, a consistent communion with Him. When we walk closely with God, we enter into a deep fellowship with Him and experience His transformative power in our lives. We are invited to walk hand in hand with the Creator of the universe.

As we navigate the demands of our daily lives in a world that constantly seeks to distract and divert our attention, it is crucial that we look up from the tasks at hand and fix our focus on God. By observing carefully, leaving the past behind, and walking closely with Him, we open ourselves to the transformative power of His presence in our lives, and we can experience His presence in profound and life-changing ways. Let us make a conscious effort to lift our eyes, seek His face, and listen attentively to what He has to say today. In doing so, we will experience a profound sense of purpose, guidance, and unshakable peace that can only come from our unwavering devotion to God. Psalm 27:8, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’” May our hearts echo this sentiment as we strive to live a life that continually seeks and delights in God’s presence.
-written by Valeta Baty

1 Comment

Jenny Davidson - July 8th, 2023 at 4:17pm

Thank you! Just what I needed to hear & be reminded of - as always, God’s timing is perfect.

A verse that came to mind for me:

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.





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