Putting your life in order I
Putting your life together (focus)
Synopsis of Bible Study 01/07/15
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
No matter where you think you are spiritually, focus is a challenge for the best of us. First let me share a story: There was a preacher in a funeral processional headed to the cemetery to bury the deceased. He lost focus and begin to get frustrated, because the car in front of him was going so slow. As a result, he passed the car and went home. Minutes later, he realized that he was supposed to be at the cemetery for the burial. This is an example of what can happen if you lose focus.
Focus is the ability to stay on track with the plan of God for your life. It is staying consistently faithful and functioning according to purpose, without being distracted.
Phil 3:12-14 says 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – The goal is the key. Having a goal means that there is something that I am after. I press towards the goal of Christ Jesus. Without a goal, there can’t be focus.
Focus is maintaining – The reason we tap out is because our focus is divided between too many things and as a result, we can’t focus on the thing we’re really supposed to be working on.
Phil 1:6 says 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; – You have to have the assurance that God will finish the work he started in you. Our objective then, is to complete what He has started in our life. Remain focused and don’t lose sight of the goal!
How can you tell when you are losing focus?
- If am doing something secretly that is classified as sin in the bible.
- When what I say God told me to do is not defined in the word.
- When what I am doing is contrary to what I am telling others to do.
- When my purposeful actions require that I get from under ordained authority. I don’t want to be checked on anything.
- When I begin to tell half-truths and lies in order to explain what I’m doing.
- When I begin to challenge and magnify imperfections in authority.
- When I begin connecting with disgruntled others.
How did you do? How many items do you struggle with from the list above?
How do I eliminate distractions?
Distractions cause disconnects and delays. Heb 12:3 says 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.-Jesus started and finished it! God don’t give a goal that isn’t complete in him. Focus means I keep the end in sight. Be aware that the middle (the point between where you started and where you are going) can cause you to attract distractions. The middle can cause you to lose years off of the journey to your goal. Don’t get trapped on the stuff in-between (the middle). The distractions in-between is a setback, but our setbacks are only temporary.
Nehemiah experienced percussion and distractions while he was on his assignment- Neh 6:3 says 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” – Nehemiah’s assignment was the wall he was building. Nehemiah is trying to tell the people that are trying to distract him, “You are not worthy enough for me to come down. My work is so great; it doesn’t warrant me leaving my good work”. You don’t owe your haters your attention. We spend too much energy trying to entertain people that try to distract us. Don’t come down from your wall.
Martha got distracted – Luke 10:41-42 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, ” Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”– We equate being busy with productiveness. You have to realize that just because you are busy, don’t mean you are productive. You can be busy and never produce anything.
Dealing with Distractions
- Know what distracts you – Take a moment and write down 3 things that distract you. For some of us, it is social media.
- Prevent distractions from invading – Learn to create boundaries. Everyone that says it’s an emergency, doesn’t always have an emergency. You can’t own everyone’s emergency. Ask yourself if you are willing to shut your phone off for 2 hrs? Don’t let everyone’s emergency, become your emergency.
- Hide reminders of distractions. Just the thought of something that distracts you, can be a distraction.
- Start tracking this stuff – What if you made a note of all the distractions that has distracted you. This might let you know where some of your time is going. You may find that you have enough time to do the things you want to do, but you have Time Gremlins working against you. You have to know that if it’s not pushing you towards your destiny, it’s not worthy of your time.
Focus is a mindset
Phil 4:7 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – When you think about peace, what do you think about? Some may say things like peace, quiet, rest, tranquility etc… The truth is, these things aren’t really peace. Instead it is what peace produces. What is peace really? It is the revelation of God in my presence. The revelation that God is present, trains my mind to go in another direction. My mind naturally wants to face the things that I confront. The good news is my revelation will make my mind subject to it, and then I have peace of mind. When you know God is present, you can really go sleep. Peace is not the absent of tension, but the revelation of God in the midst of it. It guards your heart and your mind. The revelation guards your heart from all things seeking to distract you.
How do you maintain focus? The answer is you stay focused on your vision. God says, “My people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge… “- Once you discover what you are, you know what to do, once you know what to do, you know how to do it. Once you know how to do it, then you know when to do it. If you don’t have vison, you don’t have purpose. If you don’t have purpose, you don’t know who you are. The moment you get revelation of what and who you are, vision is birth.
Vision is a picture – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by word of God. Faith is also the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. – Faith produces vison. God’s word will push a picture into your life (vision). How is the picture developed? Like a real picture, you have to go into a darkroom. After that, everything God does, constantly feeds your vision. The word of God then should push you towards your goal, not away from it.
Pay attention to what God’s word says to you. Prov 4:20 says 20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.- Once I get word, that word snaps a picture in my spirit. That word shows me what is possible, keeping my heart in the midst of it. Prov 4:21 says 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
Revelation to what God’s word is for your life will help you focus. Prov 4:22 – 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.-You got to understand your assignment, because you will live a long time. God used a bush on fire to show Moses his purpose. The bush was on fire, but didn’t burn up. The revelation here is, the vison should make you burn, but not burn you out. If you stay in your vison, you will not burn out. In fact Bishop staffs to all the stuff outside his vision, so he can stay focused. Ex – Lazarus was Jesus’ assignment on one occasion. Don’t you think everyone in the graveyard wanted to be raised from that dead? God only raised Lazarus, because Lazarus was his assignment. You got to ask yourself how much of what you do is you and how much of it is vision? If you don’t have boundaries, others will control and run your life. Know your assignment. Don’t let life live you, live life!
Learn some God talk!
You have to learn some God talk for things that happen in the earth.
Look not as the words sees, but as the word of God declares.
Be open-minded and committed.
Run to win – 1 Cor 9 24-27 – 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus:not with uncertainty. Thus I fight:not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. – What is one major thing that can cause you to miss your goal? The answer is doubt.
James 1:6-7- 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;-What is holding up the blessing in your life? Is your doubt. Heb 11:6-7 says 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and Became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.– Faith is essential for maintaining focus.-don’t go to God if you don’t think he will do it. No good thing will he withhold from them that walk upright.
Zig Ziggler a popular motivational speaker says “Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have 24 hr days…” – What Zig Ziggler is really saying is the problem is a lack of direction. Ex- Bishop Walker explains that he makes an agenda for the day, every day. This gives him direction and accountability for his time. He lives also by a principle called OHIO which means only handle it once. If you go to check your email, check them all right then. Answer all of them right then too. Only handle it once!
Steve Jobs says, “focusing is about saying no.”- No is an answer. Just because I tell you no, doesn’t mean I don’t love you. James 1:5 says 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.- God will let us know when we need to say no. Sometimes, just not saying “no” can lead to distractions.
8 things that happen when a believer loses focus and strays off course
- They embarrass the Kingdom of God.
- They forfeit participation in the Kingdom of God
- They get involved in gimmicks and get rich quick schemes.
- They become upset with those who hold their course and stay focused.
- You force the kingdom to make unnecessary adjustments and operate short term and shorthanded.
- They cause the plan of God to be delayed.
- They set in motion the course and consequence of disobedience.
- They are subject to run from church to church to find a theology that agrees with what they are doing.
Embrace your thinking
Elevate your thinking Col 3:2- 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
It’s about how you think. Prov 16:3– 3 Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.– How did the cat catch the bird? The cat stared it down; distracted it with tricks, and pretty soon, the bird forgot it could fly. How would a cat on the ground, catch a bird that could fly (off the ground)? It was because the bird forgot it could fly. In live manner, how can the devil end up catching somebody on your level? Don’t forget that you can fly.
Matt 14:22-33 – 22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there., Psa 37:23-24 says 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. – Understand every step in your life should be towards destiny. If you’re not walking towards your goal, you’re just walking. You will never get the years that you got from being distracted. Distractions can cost you years.
Peter wanted to walk on the water to meet Jesus. The moment Jesus said, “It is I”, Peter got faith. He got a picture of himself walking on water. Vision allows you to step out of confining situations and courage to do what others wouldn’t do.
When the winds were boisterous, Peter got afraid and sank. We would have gotten fearful right off, but Peter could walk because he was focused on Jesus. The goal was bigger than the water or the process. We have to magnify the goal larger than process.
The problem was, when the winds come, Peter got fearful. Notice the distractions come when you get real close to the goal. When the distractions come, Peter teaches us not to let the distractions get larger than the goal. Once the sickness or setback gets larger than the goal, you will start sinking.
Jesus pulled Peter up, even though he lost his focus. Even though we lose focus sometimes, God never loses focuses of us. God couldn’t let Peter go down and drown, because Peter would be the one that defend Pentecost, the one he would Jesus would leave keys to the power too. Jesus knew what was in Peter’s heart. A lack of focus does not necessarily mean a lack of faith.
What can we learn from all of this? We learn that we can never lose focus again.