Notes Taken By: Denisse J – (Thanks Rosita!!)
EQ: How can we stay focused on God? How can we do a better job at staying focused?
In the last ten years, the average human attention span has gone from 12 minutes to 5 minutes.
Technology creates an environment in which immediate, rapt attention is always demanded of us, thus reducing this generation’s attention span. A short burst effort has become just enough in order to get what we need. The teens of this generation have no staying power – unsuitable condition for a spirit of meditation.
How do you keep Christ in the focus of everything?
God should be your life. Your focus in life should be on God alone. As a Christian, your faith should be at the center of everything you do and strive for. Instead of cutting out un-Godly things from your life in order to make more “room” for God, Jesus tells us that we aren’t of this world just as He isn‘t (John 17:16). If you’re of God, why are there things in your life that aren’t?
Romans 12:2- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Instead of conforming to the “patterns of this world” and doing what society finds acceptable – choose to renew your mind. How do you renew your mind? By reading God’s word ! Then you’ll be transformed, and able to enjoy God’s will in your life as you submit to His ways and no one else’s.
Psalm 1:1-2 – “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
Watch the company you keep – if you’re constantly surrounded by people who cause you to sin, or tempt you in anyway to do the wrong thing, you’re only hurting yourself. Blessed is the one who walks instead with the righteous, and people who will bless him and encourage him in spiritual growth.
Meditating on God’s law- That’s the standard the Bible sets for us as Christians. Spending time in God’s Word should be a priority. Meditating on God’s Word means to be in a state of concentrated focus in order to enhance spiritual growth, and we’re meant to do this day and night.
How can we possibly get to this state if we’re always distracted?
What are we focusing on instead of God?
Obviously, ignoring His word isn’t an option. Our culture’s distractions – Facebook, twitter, blogging websites, You Tube – aren’t an excuse. Jesus clearly said that we have nothing to do with the the world- He has chosen us out of it (John 15:19).
Every excuse is worthless to God, who sent His son to DIE for you, expressing His love through the ultimate sacrifice. You cannot let the world dictate what you should do as a Christian .
2 Timothy 2:1-7 – You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
The athletes of these times were professionals who trained for the Olympics, for a minimum of 6 months, in order to simply qualify for a certain event. Training was brutal, and these athletes were probably never satisfied with just “good enough.”. Dedication and hard work got them to their race, and perseverance and endurance bought them to the finish line.
The farmers of these times had to work 20 hours a day, because they fully depended on their crops to survive. They did not simply wait around, expecting rain and growth. They had to work the ground and take care of it, day after day, in order to get a good crop.
What did these two individuals have in common? They did not sit around and wait for success or breakthrough- they were completely focused on their goal and intent on achieving it. They did not wait idly, but instead used their time wisely. The athlete improved his skill, and the farmer improved his crop.
They were perseverant in their patience.
James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
God asks us to wait and stay focused on HIM so that when He moves you will be blessed, mature and complete in Him. God does not want a divided heart . Don’t chase after your own desires if you’re eager to fulfill His.
Do not say you’re being patient about a situation and sit in denial about what’s really going on. You cannot ignore a storm !
The storm stilled when Jesus simply said, “Quiet, Be still !” Acknowledging the existence of Jesus Himself within any storm should be enough to bring your focus onto Him and magnify the fact that God is bigger than your problem.
And lastly, when you feel the storm overwhelm you, and you feel like giving up- remember who you live for. You live for Jesus, the One who died for you, and His Holy Spirit gives us armor so we can get up and fight our battles. Faith requires strength and power. Use these and you’ll be able to fend off any attack on your mental, emotional and spiritual well being.
(Ephesians 6: 10-18)