One important ingredient to living a fulfilled Christian life is focus. The reason for this is because as Christians, we are constantly in a race (2 Timothy 4:7) and as with all sports, you cannot win without focus. To focus means to concentrate your interest and/or activity on something. It also means that you are committed to doing something or dedicated to it without any form of distraction. When you focus on something, that thing which you focus on becomes your centre of interest and/or activity. Your entire being revolves nonstop around it. In this regard, if you desire to live a fulfilled Christian life, then your centre of interest, which is where your focus is, must be directed towards God.
When God created man, He placed man in the garden of Eden surrounded by beautiful flowers, fruit-bearing trees, hills, lakes, rivers, among other things. God provided for man’s every need and also ensured that man does not lose focus on Him. He also instructed man not to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. It was when man lost focus on God that he ate of the tree of life. He wanted to be like God, knowing right from wrong (Genesis 3: 6-7). After this, man went on to hide from God. This is the danger of losing focus. You also lose the connection with the Supreme.
Now, in modern Christian living, running the race as Christians is not a walk in the park. It requires a lot of focus and commitment. This is because there are countless obstacles on the way and their sole purpose is to make you lose focus. These obstacles become distractions to our focus on God and running the heavenly race. They are like the serpent that tempted man. These distractions are numerous and some of them could be:
- The quest for material fulfilment
- Spousal abuse
- Stubborn children
- Inconsiderate bosses
- Sexual temptation
That we have distractions is not the problem. The problem is when we lose focus by concentrating on them. When we do this, we allow the problems to rule us rather than letting the One who is greater than all things to help us (Isaiah 40:31).
In the first place, we must always focus on God and never allow life’s issues distract us. The minute it does, we begin to rely on our own strength thereby allowing the devil easy access to our lives. (John 10:10). When the devil gains access to our lives, he not only destroys us, but he also makes us become distractions to others. We become stumbling blocks that hinder others from running their race to the full and fulfilling their destinies. We will be likened to Peter when he wanted to stop Jesus Christ from fulfilling his destiny. Christ replied by saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:23).
No matter how overwhelming the distractions may be, we must never lose focus because we have a God who cares for us. “For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33). And as you run your race with focus, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Amen.