Finding God's Winning Spirit

Faith = Focus

October 29, 2013 | Greg Smith | Focus

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"I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants." — Zig Ziglar

 

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."

 — Aristotle Onassis

 

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee

 


 

I believe that one of the biggest differences between Jesus and you and me was his ability to stay focused.  It would have been easy for Jesus to become distracted or fall prey to the temptations of the world (basically all those things Satan threw at Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11). The material world was powerless over Christ because he had his eyes fixed on his call and future. The lesson in this for us is that, “Faith allows us to stay focused”.  

Living our daily lives grounded on the future may sound odd due to the fact that therapists (me included) are always telling clients to focus on today and worry less about tomorrow. After all, the Bible even tells us to live day-to-day.  There is no contradiction here really as we are able to focus on and live in today because we are assured of a successful, safe and victorious future.

The reason that Jesus was not seduced by the world was that he knew God’s plan and purpose for his life. Anything that came along that was not in line with that plan or purpose Jesus ignored and avoided.  He was able to focus and act appropriately in the present because he knew the ultimate outcome; simply put, He was not distracted (my definition of sin by the way is anything that distracts us from glorifying God).

To see the importance of faith as it relates to focus we need look no further than Peter in the boat in the stormy Sea of Galilee. As long as he was focused on Christ he was able to walk on water but as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink.  When we begin to get overwhelmed or feel like we are sinking there is a good chance that we too have lost sight of Christ. 

Sports Psychology says the ability to focus is vitally important to successful performance.  Christian athletes have a real advantage here. By using the model of Christ (sports theology) they are free to focus on the moment because their spiritual future is secure.  Through faith they know that God loves them, protects them and has a plan for their future, which frees them to play and perform without stress.  The outcome of the performance, although unknown, never alters God’s love and plan for their lives.  Christian athletes are free to focus on glorifying God through their performance.

The connection between a worry-free existence and a faith-based view of the future is huge.  Scripture tells us to focus on today because we are told that God will take care of tomorrow.  This only works if we believe what God tells us.  If we don’t – it won’t.

A stressed-out Christian is a contradiction of terms.  As a Christian counselor I am seeing more and more clients who struggle with anxiety and stress.  Secular therapists may say increased stress is expected due to the state of the economy and world affairs.  I say for Christians, who live each day secure in his or her salvation, worldly stressors matter less. Jack Nicklaus once said that, "Focus is a fine antidote to anxiety.” I would say faith is too.

As I said before, Jesus was able to focus on what was in front of him because he knew the ultimate outcome – so do we.

Greg these always come at a good point in my life! I am proud to call you friend and brother. Keep this going!
Posted by William Winstead on
great post Greg. So true!!!
Posted by terry slaughter on
Greg, I love your book! I'm telling all my friends about it. It would make a great Christmas gift for any teenager, man, woman, uh, everybody! I'm encouraging my daughter to read it to her 7 and 10 year old sons. It is such an honor to have met the man whose heart (God focused) inspired such a wonderful book! Thank you, Greg, for sharing your wisdom with all of us.
Posted by Diann Cruickshank on
You said it well. And we are not citizens of this world...we look toward our reward, which is an eternity with Christ, in a stress-free, redeemed perfect world!
Posted by Joelene Vickers on
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