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We can almost hear events clamoring for our attention. Headline news, desired goals and personal dilemmas all speak the same language of right now. But you and I have to choose how to filter each event — and our decisions determine our focus.
I like the way the Get One Word devotional puts it,
“What gets your attention gets your focus; what gets your focus gets done.”
Done is a beautiful word when it applies to time spent with family, friends or fulfilling my life’s mission. But I’ll end up I’m undone, if I don’t look in the right direction.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2 MSG)
Focus is more than a casual glance at a moment; it’s a continual gaze at what matters.
Since He started and finished my race, I want to keep my eyes on Jesus. He sees the impact of each step and what’s around every turn. After all, He completed His own journey so well, “he could put up with anything along the way.”
And that’s the challenge. That’s my challenge.
When my next step is to focus on Him, I receive His strength for my “anything.” By His grace, I can “…advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (Psalm 18:29 NLT) However, when my focus is not on Him everything else seems to get in my way. Each person’s opinion starts to matter or every obstacle seems impassable.
Do you feel focused or scattered in this season of your life?
What or who helps you to stay on track with pursuing what’s vital?
It helps me to have “that exhilarating finish in and with God” in my sight. Most days I do, but without it I live impulsively and confused.
Focus is the laser beam for living out purpose. When it is on, it cuts through distractions. When it is not, distractions capture our attention.
Like a tractor beam, they pull us away from the path of God’s plan. Especially, if we struggle with the direction His plan takes:
The amount of time it takes.
The sacrifice it takes.
The road someone else takes.
When I consider my detours, I’m encouraged by these words from the Apostle Paul. He kept one thing in mind:
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” – Philippians 3:13 NLT
Paul’s declaration of focus emphasizes an important principle: Going forward means looking forward. However, forgetting the past is not a way to deny sinful behavior or avoid responsibility for it. But once we repent, looking forward and looking to Christ is the only way to walk out His redemption.
Ultimately, our focus (or the lack of it) shapes the way we live.
If I seek to accomplish my goals, I live for each achievement.
If I seek to benefit others, I live to be a blessing.
If I seek to please God, I live for His glory.
Then, His timing, requirement or someone else’s path doesn’t distract me; it inspires me.
So I’m submitting the noise of right now to the wisdom of His will. Because when my next step is to focus, my next steps are intentional — and in Christ, His intentions bring hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
For more on Joy’s NEXT STEP series go to joyAwilliams.com!