WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 30, 2021
TOPIC: RIGHT FOCUS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you” (Proverbs 4:25 New Living Translation).
Focus is not the absence of distractions. It is following a particular course or pursuing a mission despite distractions. Focus means single-mindedness, concentration.
In 1 Kings 20:39-40, a man was busy going here and there and lost what was kept in his custody. You can’t make a great impact in life if you’re here and there and if you dabble into everything. “Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place” (Proverbs 27:8 New King James Version).
A student can’t be in Art class today, move to Science tomorrow, then go to Social Sciences the next day, start the circle again, and hope to come out with good grades. How can he? He doesn’t even know where he belongs. You must determine the right course of action you want to pursue and pursue it and remain focused. Focus means that you go in one direction to the exclusion of others. Someone can’t go here and there and arrive at a predetermined destination. He will arrive somewhere but not at a destination he would like.
Whether it is in the Ministry, academics, business, or any venture, you must have the right focus. Don’t just be focused but have the right focus. Be focused on the right thing. An average person with the right focus will achieve more than a highly cerebral and multi-talented person without focus. The latter will be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.
It takes discipline to be focused because many other things will call for your attention. People will invite you to participate in different things that you can do or have the aptitude for, skills to do, or are knowledgeable about. If you’re focused, you won’t respond to everything. You will tell them that those things are not for you but for other persons.
But a person who is not focused is available for everything. He could turn up before asking those who invited him why they’re there and what role he is supposed to play. Don’t be available for everything. Have clear goals and objectives and pursue them.
Decide how you want to live your life, the direction you want to go, the things you won’t do, those you won’t go out with, and so on. Commit yourself to follow your decisions. If you’ve given your life to Jesus and you’re a student of the Bible, these decisions will be influenced by your faith in Jesus Christ and His Word. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 New King James Version).
People achieve more with less effort when they’re focused than when they’re not focused. But they waste time, money, and other resources, especially their lives, when they’re not focused. You must focus on what is needful, and not what is convenient. “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 King James Version).
Set your face like a flint and you’ll be able to make a great impact. Isaiah 50:7 says, “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (New King James Version).
In Luke 9:51, the Bible tells us the steadfastness of Jesus in the pursuit of his life’s assignment. “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” That means nothing could stop Jesus because He was focused on going to Jerusalem. You need to be steadfast like that.
In 2 Kings 12, because of the focus of Hazael king of Syria – he set his face to go up to Jerusalem for war – Jehoash king of Judah was so intimidated that he did what was wrong. He took all the sacred things that his fathers, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things and all the gold found in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the king’s house and sent them to Hazael king of Syria. That was the only reason Hazael went away from Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17-18).
No one will make much impact in life who lacks focus. Those who set their face like a flint tend to achieve more than those who don’t. The four men who brought the paralytic to Jesus for healing in Mark 2:1-12 exemplified this. When the crowd posed a barrier to getting the paralytic to Jesus to heal, they uncovered the roof of the house where Jesus was ministering and lowered him.
They could have made excuses and return home with the sick man, saying they tried their best but the crowd wouldn’t allow them to enter. But the crowd couldn’t stop them. As it is often said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Their approach was unconventional, and it demonstrated their faith and focus. Mark 2:5 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (New King James Version).
Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector, was also a focused man. He didn’t allow the large crowd, his height, or his social status to hinder him from seeing Jesus. He did what he had to do by climbing a sycamore tree to see Him. He didn’t just see Jesus, Jesus saw him, and went to his house – salvation came to his house (Luke 19:1-10).
Don’t dabble into different things. Be focused. The apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 American Standard Version).
Proverbs 4:25 says, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you” (New Living Translation). Also, in Colossians 3:2, Paul says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (English Standard Version).
In your walk with God, have the right focus. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24 New King James Version). This is relevant to having the right focus. Is your focus money or God? Are you serving God or gold? That doesn’t mean serving God is synonymous with living in misery. It means you make God your number one and He determines all your other choices.
What or who is your focus? What or who are you fixing your eyes on? Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:5 New King James Version). Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). God will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him because he trusts in Him (Isaiah 26:4).
Have the right focus.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not have the wrong focus but the right focus in Jesus’ name. Father, help me to look straight ahead and fix my eyes on what lies before me. Let me recognize and choose what is needful. Let me not choose things that constitute distractions. I shall not wander from my place in Jesus’ name. I will look to God and I will be radiant, and my face shall not be ashamed.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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