Focus

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18,19)

Many of us in the body of Christ sense that God is preparing His people to change direction. Our natural tendency is to seek comfort and avoid change; therefore, to respond properly and promptly to His leading, we must disregard what has been comfortable for us, and keep our eyes fixed on our Shepherd.

The Lord gave us immeasurable grace as we extracted certain aspects of truth from the Word and taught them as if they were the entire truth. We exalted the prosperity message and the healing message and the prophetic message, and we built big churches around them. The Lord seems to be saying we have gone as far as He will let us go on those pathways.

Those messages are true, but we took the truth and used it to our own benefit. Our focus has been upon how to become better human beings, rather than how to exalt the Father. We stand in line for an hour, waiting for someone to prophesy over us. We attend meeting after meeting, hoping God will heal us. There is nothing wrong with receiving prophecy, or wanting to be healed, but is our focus on the healing, or on the Healer?

When we focus upon only one facet of God's truth, we dilute the whole truth. In limiting our vision, we obstruct our ability to see the whole. We remain in darkness until we accept that God was not made for man, man was made for God.

We hear much talk about restoring the New Testament church, but is that what God really wants? He says He will do a new thing. Are we missing His purpose when we attempt to restore something that took place a couple thousand years ago? He did say He would build His church. (Zechariah 6:12)

Because we deify our intellect, we try desperately to understand God, but He never lets us understand until after the fact. Understanding eliminates the need for faith, and we all know without faith it is impossible to please God. In trying to understand God, we use our knowledge as a point of reference. This causes us to miss God's perspective entirely, because His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

Many Christians spend countless hours agonizing to know God's will for their lives. This is subtle deception. We received the knowledge of good in the Garden of Eden. We believe it is good to know God's will. But if we knew God's will we would immediately set about to perform it. That would put us in the driver's seat. We would be free to take the controls out of God's hands. Our logic rationalizes that because of our good works, our activity would automatically be blessed by God.

Such motivation is self-centered. The actual result of good works is that we become our own god. We no longer have to depend upon God for direction. This is reason enough for Him to withhold His divine specific will from us. Instead, He wants us to depend upon Him from moment to moment.

Unless we set our focus as Jesus did, we'll never get beyond John 3:16 in our walk with God. God did not create man to fall. Salvation was not part of God's original plan. If our doctrine is limited to salvation, we miss the eternal perspective.

Salvation is necessary because of the fall, but there is a purpose behind it.

Just as He chose us before the foundation of the world....(Ephesians 1:4)

An eternal dimension is behind those words. They go beyond time, they say nothing about our sin or our dysfunction. We are part of the eternal plan of God. This was more difficult to see prior to Christ's redemptive work, but spiritual blindness is inexcusable today. Our eyes open and we see the heavenly perspective when we focus upon Christ instead of ourselves.

Sin in the Garden interrupted the original plan, but God made His adjustment and it is as if sin had not occurred. He made provision to wipe the slate clean. This truth is hidden from us if we allow our focus to stay upon ourselves. Satan uses temptation and deception to distract us from reality, but the truth is true, whether we see it or not.

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will....(Ephesians 1:5)

Only when we allow ourselves to be tempted or deceived, do we miss the destiny of God in our lives. Our God is a relational God. He wants us to treat Him as our Father. The desire of His heart is that we come to Him as little children. He is to become our all in all.

It would probably delight Him to see us take on a puppy-dog mentality. The puppy sleeps with one eye open. It is impossible to leave the room without the puppy's knowledge. He is constantly under our feet and in our lap, never satisfied with less than our full attention.

If what we sense is true, if God is preparing us to do a new thing, our focus must be as intense as the focus of the puppy. Jesus said He did nothing unless He received direction from the Father. He called us to be His disciples, His disciplined followers; therefore, our focus must be as His focus was.

If God is to carve out a roadway in the wilderness and put rivers in the desert, He will use man to accomplish it. Will we be part of His team? The answer lies in our focus. Is it on ourselves, or on Him?

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: Where has my focus been today?