Photo Credit: Paul Skorupskas via Unsplash
It is often about this time where the shiny and new is wearing off the new year. You’ve made goals and perhaps like me you’ve not done quite as well as you had hoped. Maybe you are beginning to feel discouraged and you wonder should I simply give up. Perhaps like me you are questioning the wisdom in the theme you chose for the year. Take heart my friend. You have made some forward progress, haven’t you? God applauds our progress. So why are you beating yourself up?
The problem is easy to fix. It is a matter of focus and perspective. It can be so easy to lose our focus. It happens to me more than I care to admit. I begin to look at all the obstacles in my way and I lose sight of where I was heading in the first place.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 14:25-33. Here we see Jesus coming to the disciples walking on the water. Peter says, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus says, “Come.” Peter was focused on going to his Lord. He knew if Jesus commanded him that he could do it. He had faith in Jesus ability to allow him to do the impossible. Jesus gave him the command he asked for. Peter was excited and enthusiastic this was his chance. He started out well. He was doing it! He was seeing progress. This is where we all get a bit off course. As he was making progress and feeling pretty good he stopped focusing on Jesus. He began looking around, he saw the wind and the waves. I imagine he looked back at his friends and then it hit him this is impossible. What was I thinking? He looked at his inability. It was then that he began to sink. As he was going down, much like we do when we see trouble, he cried out “Lord, save me.” He focused on Jesus and Jesus lifted him out saying “O You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Did you catch the correlation? Where we place our focus determines our faith. If I focus on the obstacles then suddenly I have more faith that they will stop me. Instead of Jesus helping me to overcome.
Today as you look at your progress and goals for this year ask yourself where have you put your focus? Are you focusing on your abilities and talents or on God’s ability?
There is another thing about focus. As believers we all have one primary focus. But often we can get distracted by the secondary focuses in our lives and we get derailed. Our primary focus should be on Jesus and being obedient to Him. Now beneath that we will all have many other smaller goals that we are directed to implement. They vary based on where and how God is leading us. At times I can become guilty of focusing on one of those smaller goals and making it the biggest focus. Every believer has one thing that is needful and necessary, listening to Jesus and following in obedience.
How are your goals that you have set for this year helping you with your primary focus for your life?