Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
The ability to focus is important for success. It is vital to follow through on what God works in our heart with diligence and concerted effort. Do you understand what I mean by concerted effort? Concerted means contrived or arranged by agreement, planned or devised together, or done or performed together or in cooperation. When you and God work together to arrange, plan or devise something, continue the concerted effort until it comes to pass. Hebrews 2:1 exhorts us to “give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” That takes focus.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” When we remain single-minded and focused on the Word of God that we have hid in our hearts, it fills us with light that effects our entire body. When our path is illuminated by the light of God’s Word, success is sure!
As second in command under Pharoah, Joseph was in the position to supply the food his family needed to survive during the famine. The dream Joseph had received so many years before was finally fulfilled. Although there were many twists and turns along the way Joseph remained faithful and he brought deliverance to his family and that entire region of the world.
The dreams and desires God gives us are not supposed to frustrate us, but rather to keep us on course for success. They help us stay focused even through the most difficult times — Joseph proved that. Working together with God requires agreement and concert. Once you settle on a course of action together do not act unilaterally to change it.
Don’t lose your way; remain faithful; don’t take the easy way out. Don’t exchange God-given dreams for what the world offers. James 4:4 warns, “that friendship with the world is enmity with God.” Those who discover God’s will, and then faithfully pursue it will receive God’s best.
Let’s, with resolve and focus, think God’s thoughts, pray His prayers (by the spirit), speak His Words and pursue the hopes and dreams He gives until they become reality. We cannot allow our God-given dreams and desires to die!
God’s challenge to us is not to simply control our behavior, but to control our thinking. If our thinking is sound, our behavior will be edifying. A person of integrity is concerned not only with doing the right thing, but also with maintaining right motives and right thinking.
Jesus taught Peter, James and John to watch and pray so that they did not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41). Part of watching is paying attention. When Peter confronted Ananias he asked, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God'” (Acts 5:3-4).
Ananias blew it because when he concocted this plan he never thought it through. He wasn’t just dealing with the church leadership he was dealing with God. Our words, attitudes, motives, and plans are all conceived in thought before being manifested in action. Our challenge is to choose properly when they are in the conception stage. When we are tempted to think wrongly we must arrest the thoughts. We always have a choice. We either accept or cast down our imaginations bringing them captive to the obedience of Christ.
When Jesus was talking to His disciples, in John 16:6, He said, “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” That was not his intent. Our hearts can be sad or happy, and the decision is ours. The truth should not bring sadness. It is only improperly thinking about it that draws sadness from it.
Let’s think about what we are thinking about. If it is not right; if it does not fit with the Word of God let’s cast it down. Watching and praying is a great way to avoid entering into temptation. Think and choose in agreement with the truth; let it support you and live in victory. Only you can make the choice―choose wisely.
By Wayne Clapp