“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Believe it or not, I am virtually clueless regarding training dogs. Despite having had up to 15 to 20 dogs at a time for almost 20 years due to being involved in animal rescue, I never took interest in learning how to train them. My heart with the dogs above all else was to help those with special needs. I only took one dog training class to train one dog. I still recall the most important lesson. It can be summed up in one word – the same word that is vitally important to all of us who have our hearts set on spending eternity with God by believing in and following the Lord Jesus Christ.
FOCUS. The dog trainer taught us humans the most important thing we would teach our dogs was for them to FOCUS on us so they could hear and follow our commands. Without FOCUSING on us as their masters, how could they hear and obey us? If they were distracted by the noises, sights, smells, chaos, and temptations of the world around them, how could they look to us for direction? They would not. Every other command we learned in that class was contingent on making sure our dogs would FOCUS on us as soon as we spoke the FOCUS command. Our dogs weren’t intended to merely FOCUS on us for their provision of food, shelter, and water. They needed to learn to come to us so we could help them to live, to be safe, and to enjoy our company and their lives. They needed to learn to FOCUS on us and to submit to our leadership and obey.
Our world is so loud. The distractions endless. The lure for our senses to be tied up in the world around us relentless. If we do not FOCUS on God, and on His Word, if we do not consciously, determinately, devotedly with great resolve and passion continually turn our FOCUS to God and the Bible when we find our FOCUS has fallen away, we will not only miss all of God’s commands and directions for our lives. We will miss the amazing intimacy that can be had when we fully, wholly, unreservedly, unhesitatingly, unashamedly make Him the greatest priority and FOCUS of our lives. God’s number one command is to love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. All else is contingent on FOCUSING on and loving and obeying Him. Just as I taught my dog to FOCUS on me, ever reminding her to FOCUS when her attention fell away, I am learning to do the same with God – ever by His Spirit being reminded to turn my FOCUS back to Him as He pours His love into me and teaches me His ways everlasting and leads me into eternity with Him. FOCUS on the Lord!