Has this ever happened to you?
You’re shopping for a new car and decide on a model you’ve rarely seen on the road. But as soon as you drive it off the lot, you start seeing cars just like it everywhere you turn!
Life is funny that way. Whatever we start focusing on is what we’ll start seeing.
If we focus on all the bad things happening in the world, we’re going to see bad things happening. Everywhere.
If we focus on the good things that are happening, then that’s what will start standing out to us.
If we focus on how Satan is ruining lives and we decide the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket, then we’re going to see evil and destruction everywhere we turn. And we will feel hopeless.
If, on the other hand, we focus on how God is working in our lives and in our world, then guess what we’ll see as we go through life!
Yes, bad things happen. And, yes, we need to be aware and cautious. But that doesn’t mean they should consume our thoughts–or even take up much of our time, energy or emotions. There are a lot more important things God wants us to focus on.
Today’s verse says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 New International Version (NIV)
So how can you have a pure heart . . . so you can see God?
I believe one meaning of this is that when we surrender our lives to Jesus, He gives us a new heart. And that’s good news because we could never clean up our act enough to have a clean, pure heart on our own. And since we’ve surrendered our lives to Jesus and now have a pure heart, we will see God in Heaven.
But I also think there’s another meaning and that’s what I’ve been talking about.
Our outward life is a great reflection of what’s going on inside. We can’t hide it. We can change our behavior by sheer willpower only so much and for only so long. Then we go back to being our ‘true’ selves—living out what’s in our hearts and minds.
And if our heart and our thoughts are focused on negatives or evil or selfishness or lack, then that is what we will see around us and that is the atmosphere we will project around us.
That’s a scary thought!
But if we choose to keep our heart and our thoughts focused on . . . Wait! I think I saw a list of these somewhere!
Here it is:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)
You can even use the bad stuff you see as a reminder to pray for the situation and to declare that God is working in it. Then thank Him and praise Him for what He is going to do and start looking for evidence of it.
Do this and everywhere you turn, you will see God.