Question from a Site Viewer
I am distracted. I am 19 years old and studying in college. There is a guy in my church who I’m interested in. I really like this guy and can’t focus on anything else. I have even lost my fire for the Lord and I’ve lost my focus on Jesus. I want my focus to be on God and on my studies. Help!
Thanks for sending us your dilemma. You are not alone. All sorts of things can break our focus on Jesus and many people encounter similar situations. Your attraction to the guy is not the problem. But you put your finger right on the problem. In your attraction for this other person, you have lost your focus on Jesus the fire you had for the Lord.
It is natural for us to find ourselves attracted to others. It is natural for us to think about the one to whom we are attracted. Such is the way God has made us. But when the thoughts lead us away from Christ, this is not a good situation.
I have a general suggestion and then a specific suggestion for dealing with your present struggle. First, the general suggestion. As we mature, it sometimes comes as a shock to us that we are not victims of our thoughts. We should not be passive in our thought life. With the power of God working in us, we can control what we think. This is part of what Scripture means by self-control. Paul tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing and bringing into captivity every thought for the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Paul also tells us to choose what we think about (Philippians 4:8).
One thing that has been very helpful to me in my Christian walk is the use of association of thoughts. When a thought comes in that I do not want, I work at associating it with a thought that I do want. For instance, when I think that the enemy is tempting me, I like to use the temptation as a trigger to pray for someone else. That way, I feel that I am turning his arrows against him by using the temptation to engage in the battle for another soul. These associations of thoughts have been a tremendous help to me in my Christian walk. Now, I am not perfect. But I have learned that we can control what we think, if we are willing to engage in the battle for the mind.
Another thing that has been helpful is trying to live out Colossians 3:17. I want to bring Jesus into everything. If I feel that I cannot bring Jesus into a thought, then I do not want to think that thought. If I can bring Jesus into the thought, then that is what I want to do.
Not every thought is bad. We do not need to engage in these intense battles with every thought. We simply need to be on the watch for those thoughts that exalt themselves against God. Move always to focus on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:2). And always cultivate a life of thankfulness to God!
Back, then, to your specific question. It is not wrong for you to be attracted to this guy. What is wrong is that you are losing your fire for the Lord. Here is my specific suggestion. Whenever you think about this guy, which may be a great deal of the time, go immediately to Christ. Share your thoughts about the guy with God. Talk to Him. Ask for His wisdom and counsel. Let Him know your desires. Ask Him to be a Father to you. Make Him your confidant in this matter. Give God a part in this attraction of yours. Ask the Father to send His blessings on this guy. Ask the Father to use this guy in His kingdom. Be a prayer warrior for him. And it is okay to put out feelers to see if this guy has any similar attraction to you. But do everything with prayer. If it is of God, God will work on his heart and yours. If God has something better for you and him, then retain a willingness ultimately to do what God wants.
I think you will find that by bringing God into the midst of this matter, your heart will again be warmed towards God. You will find that He is not against you. He does not see this guy as competition for your affections. He created men and women to have attraction and love for one another. But, like our earthly fathers, He simply does not want to be left out. He knows that if you ultimately get married, that you will not have a single-hearted devotion to Him. You will have a dual devotion, one to please your husband and one to please God. This is what Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 7:32-33. But this dual devotion is not sin (1 Corinthians 7:28). It is the way God designed us to be. There are some to whom God has given grace to live lives of singleness with a wholehearted devotion to Christ. But for the most part, we are designed to be in a husband-wife relationship.
I trust that as you bring your thoughts about this guy before God and ask God to keep your fire warm for Him, and as you choose to think positively about Christ and be thankful to Him, you will find that your love for Christ will abound as well as your love for others. And, if God gives favor to the relationship, you will be a blessing to God and to this man.
May the Lord Jesus and His Spirit guide your heart in all things,
a fellow pilgrim,