Focus leads to Victory

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

I Peter 5:8-9 NLT

An unfocused life is seldom a productive life; whether in work, school, or relationships, focus is vital to success in any endeavor.  Nowhere is this truer than in our walk with God – which impacts every area of our lives. 

And nothing saps spiritual energy and focus like distractions.  To survive and thrive spiritually and emotionally amid the crazy, hectic world in which we live, we need undistracted time in God’s Word and presence every day. 

So as we begin a new year, Let’s clean out the temple… We are God’s very own temple which He bought with Jesus’ sinless Blood, and in which He desires to dwell constantly

Do you now know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,

whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

I Corinthians 6:19 NKJV

In 2017, let your highest calling and purpose become your first focus and top prioritybeing a temple for the presence the Lord, dwelling daily with Him, and growing in the love and power of God

Practical steps toward a more focused 2017:

  1. Do one thing at a time. Generally speaking, “multi-tasking” is a myth that leads to distracted driving and diminishing returns – but being “all there” and giving our full attention to the task before us (in any area of life) leads to a more focused mind and peaceful heart, and makes it easier to stay tuned into the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.
  1. Don’t skip breakfast and leave the house unarmed. God’s Word is our spiritual bread and meat, and much of our spiritual weakness and defeat can be traced to failing to invest focused, intentional time in God’s Word (no, the “30 second devotional” readings don’t substitute for getting in the Word, and letting the Word get in you). If you want a more successful and fruitful year in 2017, then follow God’s pathway for success:

“…but you shall meditate in it (God’s Word) day and night,

 that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.

For then you will make your way prosperous,

and then you will have good success.” 

Joshua 1:8 NKJV

Keeping the Word before us – whether that’s a sticky on our desk at work or dashboard of the car, listening to the Bible app during commute time, etc. – is an investment that yields great rewards in our hearts, minds, health, and labors

  1. Set your pace & silence your distractions. Carve out times in which you shut out the distractions of life – don’t react to every call, text, or email as they come. You set the pace at which you live, and where your mind will focus.  The greater focus you enjoy in your time with Jesus, the more focus you’ll see amid the busyness of lifeMake staying in touch with Jesus your top priority – and in doing so, all else will become more balanced and blessed. 

Let’s face it: every time we leave our home, we’re like a fish swimming upstream against the current of this world. And the more spiritually hostile your environment, the more it’s like little fishy is swimming in toxic waters, too! 

As the day grows darker and the distinction between light and darkness in our nation becomes more stark, the world is demanding “Christians” and churches that are willing to compromise God’s Word for the sake of being accepted and liked by the World.  Remember Jesus’ words:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. 

Yet because you are not of the world,

but I chose you out of the world,

therefore the world hates you.” 

John 15:19

The watered-down gospel message offered by many American churches today is useless to save lost souls and powerless to make true disciples of Jesus.  Jesus said that following Him means carrying a cross – dying to self-interest and self-rule, so Jesus can live and be glorified through us.  Only such a life will possess the true power, love, and presence of Christ that lost souls are dying to know. 

Let’s choose now to be temples set apart for His presence, to be disciples willing to deny ourselves and carry our cross, and to be followers of Jesus that make the wisest investment in the whole world: investing daily time alone with Him. 

May the Holy Spirit fall upon your life with fresh anointing and holy fire this week,

 

Pastor Matthew (Casey) Langston

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2017

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