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Your Focus Matters
I remember the first time I drove a car. I was filled with nervous excitement that this long-awaited day had finally arrived. This milestone meant I would no longer have to bargain with my parents over how I would get to my ‘very important’ teenaged social engagements. During that first driving lesson my dad explained to me how important it was for me to keep my attention focused on the road in front of me. If I began to fix my attention on the on-coming cars, or on the trees along the side of the road, I would gradually veer towards them. This new lesson was a flashback experience to when I learned how to ride a bike. In both cases, I learned that I would inevitably steer towards whatever I was focussed on…
The same is true in all of life. Whatever we fix our attention on will eventually set the course of our lives.
Your focus matters.
In Romans chapter 8, the apostle Paul shows us the importance of what we think about, and how our thoughts will lead to life if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our minds. This comes right after the verses that show us that we are no long condemned if we are “in Christ.” Being in Christ is the prerequisite to fixing our focus.
Pastor Dave did a fantastic job unpacking this incredible truth. If you haven’t seen it already, you need to watch it here.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things,
but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
So, letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death.
But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
The apostle Paul also shows us how to move ahead with the correct focus, and the result will be a good and holy life. You see, you have the God-given power to become the type of person that God has created you to be. Our job is to focus on God’s ways, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us down the road in front of us. In fact, Paul tells us in verse 11 that the same power (Spirit of God) that raised Christ from that dead lives in us! We have the life-giving Spirit IN us!
But there’s a catch.
You need to think about…. what you think about. In order to access this power, we need to change our focus. Paul gives us a helpful guide on the type of thinking that pleases God.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right,
and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. -Philippians 4:8
We CAN kick the destructive habits and selfish desires out of our lives IF we allow our minds to focus on the things that this verse talks about. We must remember that it is such a healthy exercise to take regular inventory of what we are focusing on.
Let’s continually ask ourselves:
What am I thinking about?
Do I focus on truth?
Are my thoughts honorable and pure?
What am I allowing into my mind?
Pastor Dave often reminds us that we need to be thought inspectors, and the apostle Paul shows us how to do so in this verse.
And the amazing news is that God will give you the power to change your focus and renew your mind to the truth found in his word.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.