Focus – the center of interest or activity; the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition; adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly; pay particular attention to.
II Corinthians 5:1 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Living in this world makes it hard to focus on spiritual things because we live in these five-senses oriented bodies and cannot see the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm governs the physical realm which is why we need to shift our focus from the physical, what we can see, to the spiritual, what we cannot see.
But how exactly do we do that?
We do that by exercising faith.
II Corinthinas 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Most of humanity walks according to sight, which is a figure for the five senses. Most of us make our decisions based on what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. It’s comfortable for us to do so, but we are missing the real world when we do. The real world is spiritual, and by faith we are able to focus on what’s real as opposed to what ‘seems’ real according to our five senses understanding of things.
But how do we get this faith so that we can see the unseen? So we can focus on spiritual realities instead of five-senses impressions?
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith is not something you produce by repeating affirmations over and over again.
Faith is not something that originates within your mind.
Faith comes only one way — by hearing the Word of God. Hearing means receiving and understanding; it involves putting the Word together, letting it interpret itself to us so we can clearly know what God is saying. It takes some work and God highly honors the workmen of His Word.
II Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that has nothing to be ashamed of, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The more you know of God’s Word, accurately, the more faith you will have. It’s that simple. Really. It’s not hard. Faith is not something you have to practice; it’s something that comes to you through the knowledge of God’s Word. In effect you could say, “Faith is imparted to you by receiving and understanding the accurate knowledge of God’s Word.”
Faith is Imparted to You
Faith isn’t something you produce yourself. Its imparted to you directly from God’s Word. God’s Word is a living book; it’s not just ink on paper. I used to be careful not to set my Bible on the floor because I felt I would be degrading the Word while in actual fact, the printed words on paper are only that. It’s when we absorb those words and believe them that faith is generated within our beings.
When you pray for something, do you have faith that God will answer your prayer?
Many will say, “yes”; many will say, “I hope so” or “I try.” Let me reveal one of the most unknown things about faith and prayer. Your faith should be in God’s Word, not in God answering your prayer. God always does His will. God always honors His promises revealed in His Word. Rather than believing God will answer your prayer, believe God’s Word is God’s Will and He has to bring His will to pass because of Who God is. God is faithful. He sent His Word and it will accomplish that which He desires.
Focus on Eternal Truth
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Ephesians 4:21 If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.
Truth is that which does not change — truth is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus Christ is truth, and when we focus on Jesus we walk in the light of truth and the truth will sustain us.
These are not glib, empty statements; these are statements confirmed by the very Word of God. When Jesus returns the whole world system will stop and the nations will be judged. Those found worthy will gain entrance into Christ’s millennial kingdom and those who fall short will be destined for ‘outer darkness’ until such a time that they do, from the heart, believe the truth in Jesus Christ.
However you and I, as Christians, have already been judged in Christ and will not go through the judgement I just spoke of. We’ve been cleared, justified, sanctified and redeemed. We have already received the atonement (we are at one with God) and rejoice in the hope of God, i.e. Christ’s return.
Focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who having been offered joy, endured the cross, despising the shame and was seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
What Changes When we Focus on Jesus?
What we are discussing sounds good and right, but what’s the difference between focusing on the temporal rather than the physical? What changes when we focus on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus?
Everything. Everything changes.
Your trust changes from yourself, people and circumstances to Jesus who is spiritually over all.
Your attitude changes from self-dependence to dependence on God for all you need and do.
Your ability to do whatever needs to be done increases with the power of God so you don’t have to rely on yourself or others.
You are transformed to a person who trusts and depends on your Father, God and your Lord Jesus Christ rather than a person who is on their own in this world.
Can you see the difference? Can you see the benefits of focusing on Jesus rather than yourself?
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.
That verse says it all. Focus on yourself and you can do nothing of any spiritual significance. Focus on Jesus and you can do all things through him who infuses you with inner strength.
One great thing God has given us is choice. Every one of us has the choice to receive God’s Word with meekness and to stand on it with conviction, or to ignore God’s Word and stand on our own. While it may seem easier to ignore the spiritual reality of life and depend on our five senses understanding of things, it is really much harder. God knows all, sees all and works all things together for good as He accomplishes His will on earth. When we focus on spiritual truth, God can work within us and direct us to the desired result.
Focus on Jesus! Focus on truth! Focus on that which is eternal, not that which is temporal. This is your calling and privilege which Jesus will help you aspire to. Be fruitful in your life by focusing on Jesus.