Several years ago I attended a seminar and heard a guy, Mike, tell the story about going to a movie. The movie began and the projector wasn’t correctly focused so that the images on the screen were distorted. After a minute or so and the problem was not corrected, a fellow stood up and turned back toward the projectionist and yelled FOCUS!”
At that point Mike said his wife turned to him and in a loud stage whisper, said, “Sit down!”
When things are out of focus, it is frustrating. Irritating. Confusing. You know something is missing. But more importantly, when life get’s out of focus, it’s really frustrating. But even more seriously when our spiritual lives get out of focus, it can result in severe consequences that affect our relationship with God. Our fellowship in His family. Our effectiveness in ministry. And really our entire purpose for being a Christian.
Our society today has lost focus on what is really important in life. Things like virtue. Honor. Integrity. Moral standards. Spiritual values. And because we are all influenced by our culture, it impacts the Christian community. Instead of seeking to transform culture through Christ, it is often easy to become conformed to our culture
Because, it’s easy for Christians to forget who we are. Why we are here. And what our purpose is about.
There are so many things that can cloud our focus, divide our attention and dim our spiritual vision.
(1) Sin may have blinded us.
Christians sin? Yes! We are not perfect just pardoned! The Bible warns us about sin affecting our spiritual vision.
“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (I John 2:11) Darkness or sin will blind our eyes and cause us to lose focus.
We have heard the statement he is “blind with jealousy.” Or “blind rage.” Sins of disposition such as anger, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness blind us to God’s way.
(2) Our Vision may be clouded by cares of this world
Business concerns, family, activities, and personal interests can cloud our vision of spiritual things. Just trying to make it in this world can consume our time, effort and energy to the point where we fail to see beyond the world’s smog.
Jesus also warned about the “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches” (Matt 13:22-23). They can divert our focus. Blur our vision. Choke out the Word. And cause us to become unfruitful.
(3) We may have lost sight of our goal.
How often do we get caught up in the circumstances around us and lose sight of the goal? Rick Warren was right when he wrote, “Vision is the ability to see the opportunities within your current circumstances.”
Circumstances don’t have to be bad to divert our attention. Sometimes good fortune can lead us away from our values. All circumstances, good or bad, have the potential to help us on our spiritual journey. To draw us closer to God. To focus our attention on “the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls” (2 Peter 1:9).
(4)Emotional Distractions may have us focused on the wrong things.
Worry is a huge distraction . Worry saps our energy, weakens our resolve and dims our focus. In His Mountain Message Jesus said “don’t worry about tomorrow.”
Fear keeps us from focusing. Fear makes the thing we fear bigger than it is really is. Jesus says to us , “Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”
Discouragement can deflect our focus. Quit looking on outward things and focus on inward things. (2 Cor 4:16-18)
Have you have allowed your spiritual focus to become clouded, blurred, or even totally lost? Where do you begin to restore your focus?
The Psalmist said, Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law”(Ps 119:18)
God’s Word will restore spiritual sight to those blinded by sin, lift the fog that is obscuring your vision and enlighten your spiritual eyes.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman