Focus

Apr 30, 2023

Focus is a mindset. It’s a conscious filter of our thoughts, affecting how we perceive, remember, learn, reason, and make choices. Without a focused mindset – being fully IN the moment – our ability to think clearly suffers, and our efforts to reach our best goals are frustrated. But, it takes work. Focus is like a mental muscle; you have to train it to keep sifting and shifting your perspective toward what is TRULY important in achieving positive results.

What I’m suggesting is learning to apply a kind of perpetual “overlay” through which we perceive everything – to sharpen our focus not simply on the moment itself, but on WHOM that is in the moment. In other words, continually focusing our mindset on JESUS – His way, His will, His Word, His work – applied in the moment to what we see, do, and remember.

God has a “mission” for our lives essentially by the working of the Holy Spirit through the three “virtues of life” – faith, hope, and love. (1 Cor. 13:13) He desires that we live our lives with these abiding virtues “in focus.” Further, I believe each of these virtues can refer to a different aspect of our life’s timeline. The three aspects join, but never overlap. For example: LOVE is our present state – the active NOW; HOPE is all our tomorrows – the FUTURE; and FAITH is all our yesterdays – our PAST. As we navigate through life, passing moment-by-moment, day-by-day from our past into our future, like a boat on the water, GOD is calling us to consider a higher purpose by sharpening our FOCUS continually on Him. By mindfully keeping Jesus (rather than Self) at the center, we naturally become less selfish – that He might increase, and we might decrease.

In each separate time/virtue aspect, here’s how we can actively and continually FOCUS on Jesus:

LOVE – In your PRESENT: “Focus on Me.”
Jesus says, “See all that you do today as an act of love – MY love accomplished through you. Extend MY love purposely through your deeds to those I put within your reach. Keep doing good. Let love emanate like light from a grateful heart. Let everyone in your circle of influence feel MY love from your hand. Love through ME.”

• “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)

FAITH – In your PAST: “Focus on Me.”
Jesus says, “As you look back over your life to this point, identify and remember the times MY grace and near presence was clearly evident. I have been your ever-present help in trouble. I have never left you. I have shown Myself faithful, again and again, working in you and for you. Don’t forget what I’ve done – that is your faith. Let that faith build in you to strengthen you and encourage others. Believe ME.”

• “This I recall to mind … the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)

HOPE – In your FUTURE: “Focus on Me.”
Jesus says, “I see what you cannot. I know what your future holds – but, it’s not for you to know. I’m already there. I’ve already written your life story. It’s hidden to you, but not to ME. Don’t prophesy negativity into your future. Don’t lose hope. I’m in control of your future, and your hope is secure in ME. I will prepare you for all your tomorrows. Trust ME.”

• “You, LORD, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in Your hands.” Psalm 16:5 (GNT)

The BEST of it is THIS! … that through this simple exercise, Jesus will be continually GLORIFIED … in you, through you, to those who are in your circle of influence. Where do you find faith, hope, and love for yourself? for others? Jesus says: “FOCUS ON ME!” Overcome doubt with FAITH! Discouragement with HOPE! Anger and apathy with LOVE! The degree to which we FOCUS on JESUS in everything we see and do is directly commensurate with the extent to which He will be GLORIFIED!

Pray with me: “Dear LORD, pack my perception with things that I KNOW – not with emotions that I FEEL. Let my mind’s engine run on pure TRUTH. Set my mind on things ABOVE as I hold my FOCUS on You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”