Lord, help me to stay focused! How many times do we pray that pray each day, maybe even each hour, as we strive to do what God wants us to be and do? Our thoughts are so easily distracted. Staying busy isn’t the answer. Busy people are perfect prey for the enemy who enjoys throwing shiny objects of all kinds in our path. The enemy’s goal is planting thoughts in our mind, both good and bad, to throw us off track, derail the work given to us to lead, which often leads to the work being diminished in helping people find and follow Jesus. The enemy hates focused followers of Jesus!
As a leader of volunteers, I watched this happen last week. I gave a volunteer a specific, important task to do for an event. But he lost focused in a matter of minutes. He left his post to see what others were doing and joined them. He not only joined them but he took over! His clouded vision was more about looking good to others, so he went from station to station doing the work of other assigned volunteers as a way to “help” them. His lack of focus caused other focused followers to wonder if they were doing the right thing. In other words, his lack of focus brought confusion to the work instead of doing his part for the whole.
Dear friends, it happens all the time to all of us. Paul teaches the church to relentlessly focus on the goal, working with others who are relentless focused and who are “running this same course”. It is so much more enjoyable when focused people, with their eyes on God, desiring to work together, for the desired goal of helping others see, know and follow Christ. You will know these people by their focused love for Jesus with no desire of turning back to confusion of worldly thinking and behaving!
Philippians 3:12-21, The Message
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
You know my heart. I’m not saying I have it all together either, but this one thing I know, I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. I also know you loved me first and forever. I know I am redeemed of all sins. I know you are still willing to work on me, deep inside me so I will grow steadily in your love because of your mercy and grace. There IS far more to this life and that is preparing ourselves for your arrival! You are my everything. You are my relentless focus because of your relentless love for me. I am a citizen of heaven, your Kingdom, forever! Yes!
In Jesus Name, for Your Glory, Amen.