Writing a Different Future #8 – Focus
John D. Rockefeller made this observation: “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.”
Regarding Olympic athletes, Beth Daley added: “How fast someone runs, swims or rows; how high or long they jump; how accurately they hit a target; how well they balance; or how much weight they can lift depends to a significant extent on where they focus their attention.”
The prophet Ezekiel wrote about a time when God’s people were divided in their loyalties with God. He predicted a time when God would send his Spirit into the hearts of his people and their loyalty would be toward God alone.
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them” (Ezekiel 11:19).
As Christ followers we now have the Holy Spirit living within us, an advantage over God’s Old Testament people. Yet we can still struggle with a divided heart.
We can become distracted by the things of the world. Or drawn toward improper goals. Or seek short-term pleasures that don’t last.
In announcing that the kingdom of God had come, Jesus acknowledged competing kingdoms. And he calls us to seek his kingdom first – single-minded and undivided – because no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:33, 24).
Multiple interests – even good things, such as raising a family, education goals, vocation – can pull us away from God. Our simple devotion to Christ can become complicated by differing ideas. Our walk in the Spirit can be submerged by busyness and activity. We lack focus.
If your heart is divided in too many directions, how can you get back on track?
Begin and begin again: Make God the undivided focus of your life. Resolve that Christ will be the center of your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to nudge you when your God-life is being pushed to the margin.
A motto of Albert Simpson was “Jesus only”. He was making a statement of focus.
Take an honest look at interests and activities that occupy your time and energy without bringing you closer to God. What dominates your focus? What gets the most percentage of your time? Let something go. Learn to say no. Renew your decision to live your life with focus upon God.
~ Pastor Dave