Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Object of our Focus


September 2, 2008 IOW

“The key to either great purpose or great destruction lies in where we choose to sustain our focus. Knowing this fact should move us to jealously guard our intimacy with the Lord.” by Bill Johnson - Sr. Pastor, Bethel Church - Redding, CA (from “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord,”)

It’s hard to believe there is such a close line between great purpose and destruction. The line according to Bill Johnson is where we choose to maintain our focus. Are we going to look towards being successful or are we always going to look as if our life and efforts are nothing but a great destruction of worthless time and energy.

In thinking about focus my mind goes back to the classical example of Peter and the situation he found himself in on the lake one evening in Matthew 14:25-33. Peter started out on the right foot (ha ha, no pun intended) but he lost his focus. Catching sight of Jesus walking on the water Peter told him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Immediately Jesus told him, “Come.” I wish I could have seen the expression on Peter’s face just then. In spite of what may have stirred inside of him you don’t read where he replied or remarked, “Come? Now? Oh you mean me? Let me get the fish off my fishing line first. Did He really say, come!” No, Peter got out of the boat and proceeded to walk on the water to Jesus.

As usual what caught Peter’s attention or focus were the wind and the waves of the roaring sea. Soon it didn’t take him long to begin to sink crying out, “Lord save me!” Sound familiar? It should. We seem to start out on the right foot but then we get away from what our original focus started out to be, walking to Jesus. Soon we find Jesus stretching out His hand catching us and He did Peter saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

That very question from Jesus leads us to another classical thing, the question of, “why?” Why do we allow ourselves to lose our focus? Why do we doubt when we know better. Why do we give permission to our emotions, circumstances, doubt, frustration, sin, foolishness, and pride to take us away from where we need to be, closer to Christ? That million dollar question may stay an unanswered classical question forever.

Like a good quarterback in a football game we can’t focus on the things that are coming at us. To be effective we need to look out beyond all that to Jesus and where we choose to put our center of attention. Satan will always try to get us to lose our focus by walking in front of the camera of our life making the picture temporarily blurry. However if we allow these moments to pass the picture becomes clear once again.

Perhaps what we need to do is to take ourselves off “automatic focus” and put it strictly on focusing on God, the object of our focus. When we do that, as Satan or other things in this life step in front of the picture, we don’t robotically change focus while our vision of Christ goes blurry.

No, we definitely need to jealousy guard our close relationship with the Lord. Standing firm in our convictions that because we have Christ on our side we can have successes we never dreamed of having. The temporary setbacks we run across should only serve as momentums to try even harder. The choice once again falls on us and where we place our heart and the control knobs of our lives. What are we striving for, Satan’s grin or God’s smile? The object of our focus will tell us which we have chosen.


Our host today is Michelle over at her site at Because I Love You. Hobble on over there and read and share with others on today’s quote. In the meantime let us join our voices of prayer together and pray for Michelle's son Chaz who was in a serious accident recently.

5 comments:

Michelle Bentham said...

"we definitely need to jealousy guard our close relationship with the Lord. Standing firm in our convictions that because we have Christ on our side we can have successes we never dreamed of having."

Love this! Karen, this is a wonderful post, and I love the story about Peter. He was, after all, the only one who was willing to "get out of the boat."

Mr. Linky is up over at my blog if you would like to come over and add your link.

Denise said...

This was such a wonderful, and truth filled post dear one.

Michelle Bentham said...

He's not my son, He is a friend of my daughter's. Sorry to give the impression he was my son... My son passed a few years ago and Chaz was so sweet to me during that time!

Great Post, by the way - Karen. Thank you for joining me IOW today.

Blessings.

Laurie Ann said...

Excellent post! I love how you drive home the point to make God our focus. Amen, sister!

Patricia Warren said...

"Perhaps what we need to do is to take ourselves off “automatic focus” and put it strictly on focusing on God"

Yes, yes! So often it is hard to explain to others what you put so succinctly here. Great post!