“Watch OUT!” “Look OUT!” “Watch where you’re going!”
Take a moment to think about when you may have heard these words. These words are usually spoken to someone who is obviously distracted and unaware of an undesirable consequence or result of their misaligned focus and attention.
In today’s disturbing and chaotic times, there are SO MANY people who are ANXIOUS and/or battling DEPRESSION day in and day out. At best, they are on an emotional rollercoaster that has their head spinning in confusion and buried in feelings of hopelessness. In fact, they feel stuck in a DEEP, DEEP DARK place with NO WAY out! Worse still, they feel lonely and misunderstood. So, they suffer alone. I KNOW, because I’ve been there. It’s NOT a good FEELING and it’s not a good THING.
Well, first, let me clarify something. LOOKING down is not the same as temporarily GLANCING down. We can all have moments of sadness or disappointments from time to time.
However, when you start feeling “DOWN,” you tend to LOOK down and when you LOOK down TOO long, you tend to feel MORE “DOWN.” It’s a vicious cycle, because “DOWN” is the posture of “DEFEAT.”
1 Peter 5:8 warns us to, “Be ALERT and of SOBER MIND. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion LOOKING for someone to DEVOUR.”
During those DOWN times, you are unable to recognize ANYTHING that is positive or that is still going well, because your focus is solely on the thing or situation that has you… “DOWN.” Consequently, you will begin to feel a sense of HOPELESSNESS, because you can no longer see POSSIBILITIES. Possibilities are just… NOT… down there. “Down there” is where you’re currently looking, NOT where you have to stay.
Looking down can result in you running into something or someone, because you can’t see where you are headed. More likely than not, when you are walking with your head down, you are usually headed into a DANGEROUS situation. You can easily hit a brick wall that will stop you dead in your tracks. Put bluntly, by looking down too long, you can end up in a worse situation than you were currently in. In fact, the only way to “safely” look DOWN, is to come to a FULL STOP… a standstill (if you will). That means, NO PROGRESS.
At BEST, looking down will SLOW YOU DOWN simply because you are unsure of where you are headed and the safety of your next step. Focusing solely on your CURRENT situation prevents you from being able to move forward or progress to the NEXT level. You become so CONSUMED with your current situation that other possibilities elude you. This becomes detrimental to a positive future.
Now, if you’re NOT in this grim mindset right now, how can you AVOID IT?
If you ARE in this state of mind now, how can you GET OUT OF IT?
First of all, don’t go it alone! Don’t suffer in silence! Know where to find help.
Disclaimer: Depending on the severity of your situation, you MAY need medical counsel and assistance, in addition to the information that I am about to share with you. Believe it or not, the Devil can mess with the chemistry of your brain when you have TOO MUCH (down) time with him.
Jesus warns us that “The thief (AKA your enemy, the Devil) comes only to STEAL and KILL and DESTROY; I have come that (you) may have LIFE, and have it TO THE FULL.” John 10:10
The GOOD NEWS is that no matter what your negative situation is, JESUS is there to LIFT you OUT! He is the LIFTER of your head!
However, MOST people today just need to ADJUST THEIR FOCUS. So, how do we do it?
- Look OUT!- Take your eyes off of your feet…your negative circumstances. Don’t sit alone in misery. Look around you for those who are full of the spirit of God, those who help you to see the beauty in your life and build you up in spirit. Engage in uplifting activities and experiences. Help someone that’s LESS fortunate than you. Spend time in the company of God’s people and KNOW that you’re on the WINNING side! You… have… HOPE!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will LIFT UP his fellow. But woe to him who is ALONE when he falls and has not another to LIFT HIM UP!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Jesus says, “For where TWO or THREE are gathered together in my name, there am I in the MIDST of them.” Matt. 18:20
- Spend time in the WORD of TRUTH– READ God’s word and OBEY it IN FAITH. Commit to memory the verses of promise that speak life over your situation. Recite them OUT LOUD until you believe EVERY… WORD!
You don’t HAVE to feel LOST! You don’t HAVE to believe the LIES of Satan and you don’t HAVE to GIVE UP ON LIFE!
Jesus declares, “I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE.” John 14:6a
- Look UP– If you’ve lost sight of God, it is most likely because you have your gaze focused on something or someone else. Look UP! He is there. Look UP to the God of HOPE and WISDOM.
“I will LIFT UP mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh MY HELP.
MY HELP cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Ps. 121: 1,2
“It is the LORD who goes BEFORE you. HE WILL BE WITH YOU; HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU or forsake you. Do not FEAR or be DISMAYED.” Deut. 31:8
Did you SEE that? Did you CATCH that? God has gone BEFORE YOU to LEAD YOU to your next level…don’t LAG BEHIND!
Pay attention to where you are GOING, not where you currently are. You are moving…You are in motion!
If not, I encourage you NOW to GET MOVING! Ask the Lord for strength as you follow his WILL and his LEAD and put one foot in front of the other.
Remember, you can only make progress when you are MOVING. You don’t HAVE to be in a particular spot or situation PERMANENTLY. Even SLOW progress in the right direction is STILL …PROGRESS! Look for the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. Remind yourself that there IS a way out…and his name is JESUS!
Even if you think you are STUCK in your situation, God has a word for YOU TOO!
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is FAITHFUL, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, that ye may BE ABLE to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
Hold on to HOPE! Seek God for the answers to your problems TODAY! Be intentional about noticing things that you can be GRATEFUL for in life, despite the negativity around you right now. Focus on JESUS and where he is TAKING you.
Be reminded that, “The Lord is NEAR to the brokenhearted and SAVES the crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18
If you’ve been struggling in this area, please listen to this light-hearted, uplifting song from one of my favorite Christian recording artists and BE BLESSED!