Where is your focus?
Our focus determines our outlook!
Our outlook speaks of our mental view, or the way we see things in our mind. It also means our point of view or where we “point” our sight. Our outlook is our line of sight…
The apostle Paul prayed for the saints in Asia Minor this prayer found in Ephesians 1:17-19 ~
“17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Paul prayed for the first century saints, who were under the earthly rule of Rome yet more importantly were citizens of heaven, to receive “a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge [intimate awareness and connection to God] of Him [the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory].”
Please notice the order:
- “A spirit of wisdom” –
- “A spirit of revelation”
Wisdom must precede revelation so that we can rightly steward heaven’s downloads. Otherwise it is like a river without banks. The water just runs all over the place without clear direction or purpose.
Paul then proceeds to ask God to grant these saints with multiple citizenships [earthly and heavenly] eyes to see. The eyes he desired them to see out of are not the ones in their heads. These are the eyes of the heart, or of the regenerated new man, or new creation.
As citizens of heaven on earth we must see from heaven’s perspective or we will find it difficult to overcome life’s obstacles and earth’s limitations. Our faith [seeing what God sees and saying what God says] is what overcomes the world.
These “eyes of the heart” are to be enlightened, opened, illuminated, and focused on God, who is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of glory. In other words, we must see that the Father and the Son are truly One and the same. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.”
What did Jesus ever face that caused Him concern and consternation? It was never the problems of the planet such as sin, sickness, poverty, or lack of resources. His problem was with the perception of the people.
“Only believe” was a central theme of His ministry. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can . . . . “
Jesus never needs a lot to work with. He can take the little we offer Him and transform people, places and even the planet.
This synergistic understanding creates continuity in our heart and head which leads us to seeing Him who is invisible, understanding that He loves to do the impossible, that He has really good plans for us and tremendous resources available to us to bring transformation to the planet.
What are these resources?
- “The hope of His calling” – Do you realize that we have no calling apart from His calling. Our call in life is simply a product of His calling. His calling is redemptive and transformational. He came to bring heaven to earth not rescue His people off of the earth. “Occupy until I come” is a command. The purpose of an occupation force is for transforming the area and society where the “force” understands it’s mandate and enforces the will of the conquering King.
- “The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” – Did you ever stop to think that Jesus has an inheritance in us – His saints? We know that we have an eternal inheritance in Him but what about His inheritance in us? God has deposited in each of us a ton of grace, ability, intelligence, opportunity and a host of other beneficial resources. And He fully expects to receive “much good fruit” from us.
- “The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” – Think about what you just read!
- “Greatness of!”
- “His power!”
- “Who believe!”
And the problem is?
Our problem is not what opposes us! Our problem is our perception of what opposes us! Actually, our problem is us! “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us” [1970, Walt Kelly, author of the comic strip Pogo].
Apostolic and prophetic ministers pray prayers, write blogs and books, prophesy and preach sermons that redirect people’s focus off of themselves and whatever they face, and onto the only Source that provides solutions to the seemingly overwhelming problems that “appear” to be standing in their way.
Look at what the prophet Isaiah said 8 centuries before Jesus came in the flesh.
“1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. 5 Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.”
This text is a dichotomy!
On the one side are the obvious problems that Isaiah saw, which represent your target and your mission in life, which you are facing [have the opportunity to see].
- “Darkness covering earth” and
- “Deep darkness covering the peoples”
Memo to self ~ You are not responsible for what you cannot control!
On the other side is YOU!
In addition to you is all that you have at your disposal to dispose of the problems facing mankind.
Isaiah saw these as well. Genuine apostolic and prophetic ministry does not focus on the problems. They look right past the “dirt” and get to the gold!
You and I are responsible for utilizing the tools God gives us to approach life with faith and joyful expectation of success. This is where the grace gifts of apostle and prophet are vitally important. These gifts of Christ see the unseen [what God sees and says] and they release courage to face life in such a way that helps people overcome. Apostles and prophets, among other things, equip the saints to live from the superior, unseen spiritual world toward the natural world. Our faith is anchored in the spirit world, where God who is Spirit rules from His throne.
Isaiah saw and declared that we have:
- “Your light!”
- Your light represents your revelation and understanding of God
- Use the revelation and understanding of God that you have in a way that is productive
- “[That] Has come!”
- What are we waiting on?
- Using what we presently have ensures access to whatever we need now and in the future
- What are we waiting on?
- Your light represents your revelation and understanding of God
- “The Lord!”
- This should be enough, but along with Him comes all that He is and all that He possesses
- “The glory of the Lord [that] has risen upon you!”
- The Lord’s glory represents His manifest presence
- His manifest presence represents His tangible activity
- His tangible activity represents His supernatural interventions
- “The Lord will rise upon you!”
- This speaks of the baptism in the Holy Spirit
- We will touch on this in a minute
- “His [The Lord’s] glory will appear upon you!”
- I believe this is another way of stating the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the anointing that will flow out of you
You are responsible for YOU! You are to responsibly ~
- Get up! Stand up! Act up!
- Be bright, cheerful, full of expectation of imminent good!
- Be happy and joyful [full of joy]!
- “Lift up your eyes!”
- Look at the goal not the obstacle!
- Get God’s perspective!
- In the sport of track and field there is an event called the “100m and 110m hurdle race.” These races consist of a distance of 100m for the women and 110m for the men. For the race ten hurdles of a height of 83.8 cm [2.75 ft] are placed evenly spaced along a straight course. The racers know that the hurdles [obstacles] are there but they don’t focus on them. They focus on the goal [finish line] and visualize themselves hurdling [flying over] all of the hurdles [obstacles].
- “And see!”
- Really see! Or, see what is really real!
- See the solutions not the problems!
- See what you possess not what you are lacking!
- God asked Moses, “What do you have in your hand?” God wanted Moses to see what was available to him to carry out his mission.
What did [does] God want His people to see? He wanted [wants] them to see their harvest!
“Nations will come to you!” We know we are to go to the nations but what about expecting nations to come to us?
“Kings [will come] to the brightness of your rising!” Can you handle attracting people of influence and authority? Can you see powerful people being attracted to you and your business or ministry?
“They all gather together!” You will not have to go out and look for them. They will assemble themselves and make it easy for you to recognize them.
“They come to you!” Oh Yeah! I bet you did not know just how attractive you are in God’s eyes!
“Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms!” Distance, danger, discouragement, despair, dysfunction and disillusionment cannot keep your covenant family from getting to you. This is very important I believe because it appears Isaiah is predicting the arrival of “children” that have our DNA.
DNA is vital to furthering legacies and inheritances. Physical and spiritual DNA are critical components to handing off to future generations of “relatives” what we have worked hard to obtain. If we hand over our life’s work to someone that does not have our DNA then is could be squandered.
“Then you will see and be radiant!” The realization of what your faithfulness in dry and desperate seasons produced will result in you radiating the glory of God.
“Your heart will thrill and rejoice!” You will not be able to contain the unmitigated pleasure, excitement and joy of this moment of satisfaction in seeing for real what was really there all along.
“Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you!” Abundance? Yep! More than you can comprehend.
“The wealth of the nations will come to you!” Wealth? Yep! God is provision [pro – vision] and He will provide for His people of vision.
The Isaiah 60 text immediately follows what Isaiah saw and said in chapter 59. Let’s look at what immediately precedes verse 1-3 of chapter 60.
“19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives. 20 A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, declares the Lord. 21 ‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the Lord: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring ‘s offspring,’ says the Lord, ‘from now and forever.'”
Here Isaiah declares there will be a holy respect for God and His glory. He says the wind [Spirit – John 3] of the Lord will drive a rushing stream [move of God]. This move of God will result in “A Redeemer is coming to Zion, and to those who turn from their transgression in Jacob.” In the natural Zion is the Eretz Israel, or Land of Israel, the physical inheritance of a physical people who were to be in covenant with God, and Jacob is Israel according to the flesh.
In their completed form Zion is the Church, the community of blood bought saints of God who are rightly fitted, formed and fashioned into a spiritual house of worship [Hebrews 12; 1 Peter 2], and Jacob is the new creation, or the Israel of God [Galatians 6].
God’s promise to these repentant people is an eternal –
- Multi generational blessing of salvation and Holy Spirit baptism
- Multi generational blessing of respect for revelation of and in God’s Word
Notice the word “upon” is used by Isaiah to illustrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit upon the repentant ones in Jacob. Luke wrote that Jesus used this word in Luke 24 and Acts 1 to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “You shall receive power WHEN the Holy Spirit comes UPON you, and you shall . . . “
The initial fulfillment of this promise is found in Acts chapter 2.
“36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ —this Jesus whom you crucified. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Luke records this historical event by clearly communicating God’s intent for salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit to be multi generational. God’s Promise is to our literal and spiritual offspring.
So, what are you focusing on?
Is what you are focusing on creating confusion, consternation or confidence?
Just because there are obstacles does not mean you have missed God. Keep your eye on the goal and sail right over every hurdle.
Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!
Our Hunger And Thirst For God Escorts Us Into Deep Satisfaction In God!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury