South Africa

Undivided Attention

“Please give me your undivided attention!”

At the beginning of each of my lessons I request that my students give me their undivided attention. That means every part of their body should be focused on me. Their eyes should be on me. So wherever I move their eyes must follow. Their ears should be focused on me. That means they should be listening to every thing I am saying. Their hands and other body parts should be focused on me. That means nothing should be in their hands like a pencil. They should not be playing with anything inside, under, or on top of their desk. And most importantly they should be thinking about the things I am showing them. Third grade is a crucial time for my students because they are expected to demonstrate all that they have learned on a state test. If they do not pass the test then they will have to go to summer school and possibly be retained.
God expects the same focus from us. He demands our undivided attention. Every part of us should be focused on Him. He is trying to speak to us and show us something during this season. So the only way we won’t miss what He is saying and what He is doing is by giving Him our undivided attention.
1. Eyes
We must focus on God with our eyes. Some of my students love to say “I’m listening” when I ask them for their undivided attention even if they aren’t looking at me. They may be listening to me and the things I’m saying, but the majority of my teaching (if not all) is me modeling a skill or strategy that they are going to use during their work period. So it is extremely important that look at what I am doing.
God demands the same from us. He wants our eyes focused on what He is doing. God is sending us signs and signals and if we aren’t focused on these things we will not know what to do when it’s time for our work period. He is modeling how we should live. He is demonstrating the skill and strategy we will need in order to be successful in our work period. Our work period is when we demonstrate what God has already modeled for us. We aren’t able to be successful if our eyes are focused on something or someone else.
Sometimes its difficult to hear God, so we must look at His movements. He is trying to show us the next move, so we must focus on Him with our eyes.
2. Ears
Sometimes I start a lesson and some of my students are talking to a neighbor. If they are talking to a neighbor they can’t hear what I am saying. They are too focused on their conversation to hear what I am saying. So I stop talking and wait until they realize that the lesson is beginning and for them to stop talking. Sometimes they quickly notice that I have stopped talking and give me their attention. Sometimes I have to call their name and tell them to be quiet so they can hear what I am saying.
God behaves in the same manner. Many times He is ready to begin our life lesson but we can’t hear His voice because we are too busy talking to someone else. Sometimes we seek an answer from everyone else but we never go to God in prayer for an answer. So, what does He do, He stops talking and sometimes we realize that He is waiting for us to be quiet and listen. But sometimes He has to call our name to get our attention. He says for us to come to Him in prayer. Lay down our burdens to Him.
Sometimes when I am explaining a concept some of my students like to jump in and tell me what they know and talk over me. So I have to explain to them that if they want to say something they must raise their hand and wait to be called on first. But they need to just need to be quiet and listen to me first. I am interested in what they have to say, but sometimes they just need to sit quietly and listen to the expert.
God is our expert! A lot of times when we go to Him and prayer we try to do all the talking. But sometimes He just wants us to Be still and know. Just sit still and allow Him to speak. He is the expert. He is interested in what we have to say, but we have said enough. Now its time to listen to what He has to say.
3. Hands (And Other Body Parts)
Many times my students will sit and play with things in their desk while I am teaching. This really drives me crazy. Because I know they are so focused on what they are playing with that all of their attention is going to playing and not listening and learning. So I will quietly walk by and take away whatever they are playing with. Many times I don’t even miss a beat in what I’m saying. But they know that Ms. Williams is serious and they better focus on the lesson.
God works in a similar way. When He is trying to get our attention, He will remove distractions from our view and our hands. He will close doors and remove people and situations from our life so we can focus all of our energy on what He is saying. Many times He doesn’t miss a beat. It may be hard at first but in the end we know that this is only for our good. He knows that we can’t hear Him and see Him when our hands (and other body parts) are focused on other things. So He removes and blocks the distractions.
God is calling out to you. He is calling you by name. He has something to show you, tell you, and prepare you for. So we must give Him our undivided attention. Our focus must be on Him and Him alone. We must remove all of the distractions from our view so we can hear and see all that He is trying to tell us and show us. God is our teacher in this class called life. He is preparing us for the ultimate exam. He is showing us strategies and skills we will need to be successful.
But we must give Him our undivided attention. We cannot divided our attention between God and other gods. When we give some of our attention to little g’s (gods) then we leave room for the enemy to lead us down the wrong path and we miss out on what God has for us.
He’s calling you. He’s calling you. Tell me what are you going to do. Your time has come for life brand new. He is calling you.
Will you give Him all of your attention?

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