Let us begin, as the Book of Ezekiel does, with God’s call to Ezekiel to become a prophet. When we meet Ezekiel, as a descendant of Jacob’s son Levi, he is by profession a priest (Ezek. 1:2). As such, his day-to-day work had previously lain in slaughtering, butchering and roasting the sacrificial animals brought by worshipers to the temple in Jerusalem. As a priest, he also served as a moral and spiritual guide to the people, teaching them God’s law and adjudicating disputes (Leviticus 10:11, Deuteronomy 17:8-10, 33:10).
However, his priesthood had been violently interrupted when he was taken as a captive to Babylon in the first deportation of Jews from Jerusalem in 605 B.C. In Babylon, the Jewish community of exile was preoccupied with two questions: “Has God been unjust to us?” and “What did we do to deserve this?” The desolation of these exiled Jews is captured well in Psalm 137:1-4: “By the rivers of Babylon — there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps. For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”
In exile in Babylon, Ezekiel receives a dramatic call from God. Like Isaiah’s call (Isaiah 6:1-8), Ezekiel’s begins with a vision of God (Ezek. 1:4-2:8) and concludes with God’s command to become a prophet. Direct calls to a particular kind of work are rare in the Bible, and Ezekiel’s is one of the most dramatic. Although Ezekiel’s original profession was the priesthood, God called him to a prophetic career that was primarily political, not religious. It is fitting that the vision in which he received his call includes political symbols such as chariot wheels (Ezek. 1:16), an army (Ezek. 1:24), a throne (Ezek. 1:26) and a sentinel (Ezek. 3:16), but no religious symbols. Ezekiel’s call should dispel any notion that calls from God are generally calls away from secular professions and into church ministry.
Ezekiel’s prophetic career begins in Babylonian exile eleven years before the final destruction of Jerusalem. His first charge from God is to refute the empty promises of false prophets who were assuring the exiles that Babylon would be defeated and they would soon go home. In the opening chapters of the book, Ezekiel is shown a series of visions depicting the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem and then the slaughter in the capture of the city.
Visions and dreams are God’s way of communicating with us. Stay alert, keenly focused in the spirit. When you fix your thoughts on God, God fixes your thoughts.
Focus on God, not your problem. Listen to God, not your insecurities. Rely on God, not your own strength.”
“My relationship with God is my number one focus. I know that if I take care of that, God will take care of everything else.”
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 finances, 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.”
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.”
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.
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.