Summary: It is impossible to be victorious in the Christian life without focus.
Video clip from “Hook” (first 5 minutes). Beginning with daughters play...ending when he answers his cell phone at the ball field.
Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we don’t seem to focus our time on the things that are most important.
Joke: In 1990, a woman entered a Haagen-Dazs store in Kansas City for an ice cream cone. While she was ordering, another customer entered the store. She placed her order, turned and found herself staring face to face with Paul Newman. He was in town filming a movie. His blue eyes made her knees buckle. She finished paying and quickly walked out of the store with her heart still pounding. Gaining her composure she suddenly realized that she didn’t have her cone. She turned to go back in. At the door she met Paul Newman who was coming out. He said to her, “Are you looking for your ice cream cone?” Unable to utter a word she nodded yes. “You put it in your purse with your change.”
This morning we are continuing our series “Running to Win” and today we will be looking at the importance of FOCUS.
Let me use one more illustration on the importance of FOCUS
Try this; Hold your hand up in front of your face where you can see me beside your hand.
Now focus on your hand. Everything else beyond your hand looks fuzzy doesn’t it?
Now, focus on me. What happens to your view of your hand? It gets fuzzy.
Why? Because your eye can only focus on things at one distance at a time.
Focus can be our best friend or worst enemy, when we keep our focus on positive things it is a true friend, when we focus on the negative it becomes our worst enemy
It matters WHERE you focus your heart, soul and mind.
This story will help you to understand.
Everyone in this story is focused… intensely focused… but where makes the difference.
MT 14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." "Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
I. The focus of Jesus – The Father
Jesus sends the disciples away so he can FOCUS on ONE thing
Jesus wanted to be alone… to focus
Jesus Dismisses the crowds
The people needed to be dismissed because their focus was wrong… on food
Jesus was squelching the negative atmosphere
2. Jesus needed to be alone
The whole reason that He came to this place was to be alone
Jesus gets alone to pray:
Notice that the focus of Jesus takes Him back to the Father
Jesus takes this time to spiritually renew Himself
• It is impossible to give if your cup is empty
Jesus was able to HEAL… to feed 5000+… to walk on water
Why? His FOCUS
“Some things come only by MUCH prayer and fasting” (INTENSE FOCUS)
II. The Focus of the Disciples -
The disciples were afraid:
Fear had set in
The disciples were battling a major storm and they were in great danger
They had been in the boat between 6-8 hours and had made zero progress
They were discouraged, disgusted, disheartened and disappointed
They were focusing on the PROBLEMS… waves, wind, lightening, death
They had just witnessed a miracle
Should have focused on JESUS and HIS ABILITY
What if they had focused on Jesus and His ability?
Still in an major storm
Still 6-8 hours with 0 progress
BUT NOT DISHEARTENED, NOT DISGUSTED, NOT DISAPPOINTED
I’m not going to tell you that FOCUS will necessarily change your circumstances… BUT IT WILL CHANGE YOUR HEART in the circumstances.