Listen to this devotional
This study can be done personally or with a friend. Check out the download section at the end of this study for offline and printable versions which include teacher’s notes.
“So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 VOICE
When our focus is to reach our goal – whether that’s to love God with our whole heart, build incredible relationships, and/or overcome a weakness we never thought possible, the setbacks and difficulties we see will not stop us to get to what we cannot see.
What is focus?
Focus is giving a lot of attention, time, energy, etc. to one particular person, group, or activity. It’s having the ability to do one thing at a time, and to do it well.
Do you have focus?
To focus spiritually means being able to give your entire attention to something you cannot see right now and may not see immediately after one action or effort. Focus means you single-mindedly pursue your goal and you let nothing distract you. You are able to repeatedly pursue that goal over and over no matter the obstacles, failure, or shortfalls until you achieve it.
- Do you have trouble focusing on one thing at a time? Or staying focused when you face setbacks?
Serena Williams – Tennis Player • No. 1, 23 Grand Slam Titles
Serena Williams, American tennis player who has been No. 1 in the world on multiple occasions and currently holds 23 Grand Slam titles, is a perfect example of excellent and dedicated focus. Struggles, hardships, pain, and even a near-death experience when she gave birth, have not stopped Serena from her focus of being number one in the world.
Her focus was to win the U.S. Open and despite failures and setbacks along the way, she kept her focus in front of her. With practice, perseverance, and courage, she made it.
What is one area in your life you want to focus on growing in?
Write out 3 goals you have for the next 3 months. Where would you like to grow or change? Why do you want to grow in those areas? Write out why it matters to you.
Focusing on God Eliminates Anxiety
A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace.
Romans 8:6 VOICE
This Scripture says we have two choices – we can focus our minds on the flesh or on the Spirit.
- Focusing on the flesh means we spend most of our time thinking about ourselves, how we feel, and what would make us feel good.
- Focusing on the Spirit means we spend most of our time thinking about God, the things he says in the Bible, what he wants for our lives, how he is taking care of us, and how he wants us to live.
God brings peace
When we focus on what God wants us to do and the dreams he has for our lives, we can have peace.
What have you been focused on?
Have you been more focused on your flesh (your emotions, worries, desires, thinking about what you want to get, thinking about everything you don’t have, etc.) or God?
Focus Ignores Distractions
Jesus passionately determined to leave for Jerusalem and let nothing distract him from fulfilling his mission there, for the time for him to be lifted up was drawing near.
Luke 9:51 TPT
But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls…
Ephesians 2:4-5a VOICE
Jesus was determined
Jesus was focused and determined to fulfill his goal because WE were his focus. His purpose was giving up his life so we could be free from sin and have a relationship with God. That motivated him to keep pushing forward.
God keeps us focused
He focuses on us so much and all that the things that make us worried, so that we won’t have to. His love reassures us and keeps us on track.
What’s holding you back?
What are the distractions in your life that you don’t let God take care of?
Extra note on social media: Multitasking and splitting our attention can actually make our anxiety increase because we can’t successfully maintain split focus. Living in the world system as we know it now, means that our attention is constantly being absorbed by Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, video games, etc. and even though we’re just sitting down on our phone or computer, our brains keep switching focus and we tire ourselves out from not doing anything physically. Thus the things that must get done, do not, and our anxiety increases.
Focus Moves Forward
I have not yet received all these things. I have not yet reached my goal. Christ Jesus took hold of me so that I could reach that goal. So I keep pushing myself forward to reach it.
Philippians 3:12 NIRV
Nothing can stop us
When we are focused on our goal instead of our mistakes and fears, nothing can stop us.
God helps us reach our goal
How can you let God encourage you to keep moving forward toward your goal?
I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and try to ignore the rest.
Talk it through: How do you need God to help you become more focused?
Take action: What are you going to change with God to become focused?
Walk through step by step what it would take to change. The leader should think through some of this ahead of time. Be as detailed as possible.
- What steps will this decision involve?
- When will you do them?
- Possible pitfalls?
- Who will you ask to help hold you accountable?
This section is meant to be done together over the next 1-2 weeks. Set up times to do some of these together or to do them separately and then talk about what you learned.
- Read together: The book of Hebrews – as you read, notice how their focus on hope gave the believers courage.
- Watch together: “Magical Distractions”
- Do together: Make a vision board to put up somewhere you will see every day to remind you of your goal. Add scriptures and quotes that help you.