Have you ever wondered why a pigeon walks
so funny? According to an interesting article in the Detroit Free Press,
a pigeon walks the way it does so it can see where it's going. It can't
adjust its focus as it moves, the pigeon actually has to bring its head
to a complete stop between steps in order to refocus. This is the way it
walks: head forward, stop; head back, stop. Don't laugh--that's how it
We often have the same problem with focus
as the pigeon. We live life on the move, or should we say on the run, and
it makes it hard to focus our lives. Occasionally we need to stop and refocus
A focused life has to do with what the
mind’s eye is set on. There is a saying: "Whatever your mind can
conceive and believe, you can achieve." I believe there is much truth in
this statement. It says much about human potential; but it says much more
about the focus of our lives. What we conceive has to do with focusing
our minds. The sharper your focus---the greater your chances of reaching
Faith is believing in what we conceive.
willingness to believe in what our minds conceive is an essential element
in achieving. There can be no focus without faith. For what
we place our faith in becomes the focus of our lives. Faith has to do with
what we strive for. Belief implies a strong-minded pursuit of what our
heart is set on.
Achievement is realized when we set
our hearts on what we conceive. "Whatever your mind can conceives
and believes, you can achieve." The only shortcoming of this
statement is that it doesn’t give us anything to focus our lives on beyond
human potential. It only speaks of conceiving and believing as a means
to achieving our potential.
This statement doesn’t stress the importance
of the object of our faith. It doesn’t stress the importance of
what is achieved. However, it is what we believe in that matters most of
all. The important question is: "Is my mind focused and what is my mind
Your life deserves to be focused on the highest
possible goal time and eternity affords. Why settle for any less, when
the best is within your reach.
The greatest vision you can have for
your life is to see your life through the lens of God's eyes, seeing situations
as he sees them. Too often we see things not as they are, but as
we are. Isaiah writes, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your
thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
There is a richness God offers that
no human ingenuity or effort can provide. We may be able to learn
from the mistakes or successes of the past, but there is no power in the
past that will lift us above the circumstances of the present. Only God
can provide this kind of enabling power.
Focusing on God's Grace
The apostle Peter writes, "Therefore, prepare
your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace
to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:13 NIV)
The greatest concept one can focus one's
heart and mind on is God. Peter writes to troubled Christians encouraging
them to keep their minds focused on God's grace. When we focus on God's
grace we are forced to focus on God's enabling power for living in the
present. We have a choice to focus our lives trusting human potential or
to focus our lives on Almighty God. There is no comparison between human
potential and God's power. Granted, a person can accomplish unbelievable
things while believing in what he or she conceives. But God is the one
who set life in motion from the beginning. Our greatest potential lies
in conceiving and believing in the plan of God. Let us focus our lives
on God's grace. Only God deserves the focus your life demands.
Paul wrote, "I want to know Christ and
the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in
his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain
to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all
this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of
that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider
myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting
what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press
on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a
view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God
will make clear to you. (Philippians 3:10-15 NIV)
Paul had a central focal point for his
life. Paul focused his life on God's power revealed in the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead. Focusing our lives on the power of God is
more than merely hoping in our future resurrection from the dead. It is
a hope revealing God's power for the present. It has to do with becoming
like him in his death while living for him in the present.
Forgetting What Is Behind
Paul chose to forget what was behind.
spend so much time brooding over what might have been. It doesn't really
matter about the accomplishments or failures of the past, or the circumstances
of the present.
Paul saw beyond the momentary.
Paul said, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already
been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ
Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken
hold of it."
We can become so engrossed in what we have
accomplished in the present that we lose sight of the future. Many are
only living for the present. They may think the present is all-important.
The present prevents them from seeing their future.
Paul focused on the future.
Paul forgets what is behind, looks beyond the moment and "straining
toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which
God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." I wish I could convince
individuals that their greatest potential lays in their future not in their
past or present. The remainder of our lives will be lived in the future.
That is where our focus must be as we live in the present.
The world's criterion for success seems
to be an illusive dream for the majority. Our world has a way of
limiting the potential of the majority. We believe our past and present
put limitations on our future. Our world leaves us thinking everything
has to do with ability or ingenuity. When we focus on God our future is
yet to be realized. It is not dependent upon the past or the present, and
it is not dependent on our ability or ingenuity, but on God’s enabling
Where Do We Begin?
Have you thought about focusing your
life? Have you thought about focusing your life on something that
will help you reach your greatest potential?
We focus our lives on God by focusing
our lives on Jesus Christ through obedience to his word. Jesus
said, "’I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show
us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don't you
know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone
who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?’"
(John 14:5-9 NIV)
The greatest achievement this life has
to offer is through conceiving of God’s potential for your life.
We must believe in the powerful new life God offers through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead.
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning
so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live
in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into
Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with
him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised
from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly
also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self
was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died
has been freed from sin." (Romans 6:1-7 NIV)