I shared this on our Youth group last month. I hope this can help you to focus on what you are doing now – your life, your study, your career, and your ministry. What is focus? How can we focus? Learn from Jesus and let’s focus on doing His will in our lives!
What is Focus?
This is focus:
Focus: “..the concentration of attention or energy on something”
Just like Stan the dog, focus is concentrating our attention or energy onto something – in his case, the cupcakes! We normally focus on what we do. If we are reading a book, we focus on reading it (and often ignoring our surroundings!).
How to Focus?
Read Mark 1:35-39. Let’s learn from Jesus. How could he stay focused when He was walking on earth many years ago?
How to Focus
1) Focus on God
Verse 35: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Okay, this may sound weird. We can focus in what we are doing by focusing on God? How can the two relate to each other? Well you see, by focusing on God, you know exactly what God wants. This keeps you motivated (or should make you) in what you are doing because you know that you are doing it for God. If you are losing focus in your study, you need to realize how great God is that He has given you the chance to study and that you should glorify Him by studying hard. Or when you no longer focus in pleasing God, focusing on God will bring you back to what you should be doing.
Jesus stayed focus in His life because He always spent His time with His father. In lots of events in the scriptures, you could see that He always took His quiet time with God in every situation. It doesn’t matter whether He was tired, busy, or struggling with His life.
Praying and spending time with God helps us to tune our focus in life. Having a good relationship with Him is our daily spiritual bread.
How to stay focus on God?
- Spend time daily with Him
- Go to church every Sunday, worship Him
- Join a cell group and grow together with the cell group members
- Always give thanks in every situation you are in, whatever you have
- Sing praises to God all the time
- Read spiritual books or listen to a sermon when you are travelling (rather than spending your time in train playing with your iPhone)
- Remember God in every “small things” that happen in your daily life
2) Avoid things that made us unfocused (distractions)
a. By understanding our “weaknesses”
Jesus cured the blind and the sick because He was full of compassion. If we are as compassionate as Jesus (and as powerful as Jesus), what do you think we’re going to do? We’re probably going to spend our lives busy healing people here and there. Even when that sounds good and holy, it may not what God wants from you. What you think is good to do may actually become your biggest distractions in life. Imagine if Jesus did this all the time when He was on earth. Wouldn’t that be nice? People would praise Him, would love Him, would follow Him. But He didn’t! He knew that it’s not what His Father sent Him for. He was to die on the cross for our sins, not to heal the sick! He knew He would be despised, insulted, and betrayed. Yet He chose that path because He knew His purpose.
What are your weaknesses? It may be a good characterthat turns into our biggest distrations in life without knowing it! Identify them!
b. By running from it
Verse 38 – “And he said to them, Let us go on to the next towns…”
I’m not saying that Jesus was running away. But surely, we could learn here that He avoided/ignored the masses of people and went out to do what He was called to do. He didn’t even bother to meet them to say sorry and all that. Do you think they would listen? No way! They all would follow Him where ever He went and asked to be cured or exorcised. Jesus focused in what His Father wanted Him to do, no excuses. If He kept feeling compassionate to these people, He might wonder around and never walked the path of the Cross.
Sometimes for us, it’s better to run than facing our weaknesses. Remember Joseph? He ran away at the end. If you can’t focus studying at home because of the distractions, go to the library! If your friends keep on distracting you when you are serving God, think again and avoid them if you must!
Even simple stuffs in life can distract us, little by little.
3) Know our priorities well
Mark 1:38 – “..that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
Know what’s important and what’s not!
As you may already know, there are 4 kinds of priorities:
- Important and urgent
- Important, but not urgent
- Not important, but urgent
- Not important and not urgent
We always aim to have priorities that are important but not urgent, of course.
Most of the time, we often get distracted by urgent matters. These urgent matters, although they sound very important, often are not. For example, Jesus’ disciples were trying to find Jesus, disturbing Him because they think that it was urgent for Jesus to serve these people. Well in a way, it might sound true. There had to be dying people in the crowds, trying to get Jesus to heal them. However, Jesus really knew what’s more important – to spread the Gospel, prepare His disciples, and bear the cross for our sins.
Even when it is urgent, it may not be important. Even when it’s urgent and important, you have to ask yourself – is this more important than my calling? Than what God wants me to do? Always ask God for wisdom, to find out what is more important! Focus on His calling! On His purpose in you!
Focus! Focus! Focus!