Where your focus is, your heart will follow. I have heard this before in many places, but it was highlighted this morning in my time in the opening portion of Genesis 11.
Many are familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel, how the men of the land of Shinar find the area and settled there. They begin to consult with one another rather than with the Lord. “They said to one another, ‘come, let us make bricks and burn them throughly.'” (Genesis 11:3 ESV)
I imagine one guy tells another and they begin to work on their plan and others join in and no one has turned their eyes to the Lord as weeks pass. The bricks gather and the men work hard, not even realizing all their effort is in vain.
Psalm 127 reminds us, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
As the piles of brick grow and their focus on self increases, the men then consult with one another again, “Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4 ESV)
How quickly our focus turns to self. We are so full of self that we are drowning in the depression, the sadness, the pridefulness, the selfishness. Our eyes are too enamored with what we see in the mirror to turn them upward to the only One worth gazing at. We think self loathing and shame help us be humble when all the while we are still self focused. We build towers to the heavens only to be our own gods and all the while our souls are rotting away in the sin of it all.
Oh to have the heart of the psalmist! “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1 ESV)
So where is your focus today? Are you navel gazing or hill gazing?
How does we turn these eyes back to the One we were made to look to? What if we literally looked up, cried out and asked Him, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderous things out of Your law. Fix my eyes on Your ways.” (Psalm 119:18, 16 ESV) He just might do as He promises and meet us where we are and give us eyes to see.