Strategy 2 – Focus

This chapter was about learning to zero in and keep maintain our focus.

Bible Reading:   Keeping our eyes on Jesus:  Matthew 14:22-33

From personal experience when I sew or write under a deadline I have a need to get zoned out- so I can focus. I plug in my ear buds to shut out the world noises. To keep me from being distracted pulled away, and unfocused. I need to concentrate on the real problem at hand.  I devote all of my brain power, mind, and body to the immediate quest.  I get tunnel vision- I ignore all notifications, ringing, the western on the TV, and kids (yes, mine are big enough) – I put it all aside.

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Quoting Pricilla at the beginning of this strategy, “If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit— your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, and thing or anyone except me (the enemy).”

The true state of focus is when the world around is in chaos and you can step from here to the “heavenly places” and speak to the Lord on someone’s behalf.  I don’t think that we truly realize what an amazing opportunity it is to go before the supreme creator with our problems.   You have connections—we want to start using them to our advantage.

To focus is also– is zeroing in on your goal- being calm, deliberate, calculated, and pointed.  We want to apply this logic to our prayer life.

Some of you have heard this story… but here goes anyway.  Once upon a time… a marine sniper took Hunny and lil Sis out shooting.  He put them through interesting tests.  He sized up, they did target shooting first. Next ne instructed them to shoot no matter what happens around them.  The marine yelled, screamed, talked trash and tried to really rattle their cage.  He got loud with them at a distance a really close distance.  Hunny’s fires were general at first and then scattered all over the board.  The marine determined he was old, slow and dead– he need work.

Lil Sis took her turn with the same exact scenario.  She on the other hand- maintained under pressure.  Her firing got better, tighter groups, hitting in the same hole- his technique was ineffective on her. She was zoned out and excelled in the face of her task. The marine said she was young, accurate, and deadly.

This is how we need to aspire to be as Christians in our prayer life pointed, accurate, deliberate, and calm. When you pray to God with your fears, concerns, and irritations you are aligning your weak spirit with the full for force of the Holy Spirit. We are zeroing in on our target with our focus tuned in and the game face on.

The enemy wants us to be focused on those noise and distractions and chasing rabbit problems around us.  He doesn’t want us to read our Bible and pray.  Who has distractions in your life?  The kids fighting, a house that doesn’t clean itself, cranky husband, and never ending to do list isn’t that enough to fill your day?  Sure it is.

We aren’t saying that all things that are bad happen as a direct plot from the devil.  Somethings are just life.  Just plain ole tribulation that Jesus talks about.  The reap what you sow applies here too.  We still have to live with the consequences of our choices.

It is important to remember that Satan is described as an Angel of Light. Check out II Corinthians 11:14. He is all smoke and mirrors. He can come at many different angles using familiar things/people against you.  This is important to know because he’s A-1 at trying to make something bad look good.

So Hunny and I went to Ripley Believe it or Not and in there they had a room of mirrors.  We thought and said to one another this will be fun. We looked at one another and said, “I’m game if you are.”  We began going through the maze of mirrors and it seemed easy at first.  When we turned around we could easily see the way we came in from.  We got ¾ through the maze. We didn’t know that at the time.  NO longer could we recognize the entrance.  The mirrors reflected what we were looking for but couldn’t achieve it. We were holding hands for we didn’t want to get separated.  Secondly when we weren’t sure if we were going backwards or forwards, we felt like we were deep in the clutches of the mirror prison.  It wasn’t fun anymore. We felt nervous and impatient.  Then he said, look, let’s think about this. We looked for real clues.  The ceiling was our guide.  It was black and had no reflection we were able to navigate our way out by looking up to see the clear path.

Things aren’t always what they appear to be.  The view around us was playing tricks on us.  Our own eyes were not reliable for the task at hand.  There was nothing physically wrong with our eyes- but the situation around us had become confusing. We couldn’t decipher. We had to look up to find a guide.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12

By focusing on flesh problems (the reflection of the world around us) we are doing two things:

  • Wasting precious time and energy that ought to be reserved and refocused on the real enemy.
  • Trying to fight ferocious spiritual forces by using weapons that don’t faze them in the least- weapons that aren’t designed to hunt them                                (Shirer P. 43)

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.   (I Corinthians 14:33)

This verse one is important to book mark in your mind.  God does not create confusion- he is the author of peace.  Anytime there is a hairy commotion I can take a deep breath, pray- and calm my spirit to realign on the true target which is—Jesus.  My physical situation hasn’t changed- I can’t command it all.  The enemy gets no profit from stressing me out.

Have you ever had an uninvited guest? A real foe that’s not welcome and taken up residences in your home.  Nope I’m not talking about grandma or your cousin Vinny. It’s more like fleas, roaches, bed bugs, chiggers, mice, ants, and my personal favorite— snakes.

What do you do?  Do you throw them a welcoming party and invite them to stay with little party hats and balloons?  NO you wouldn’t do that.  You would use all means necessary short of burning down your house to irradiate that unwelcome nuisance. You wage a holy war against their kind. I would exhaust all of my resources.  I might read up on oils, listen wives tales, post on Facebook, tell your BFF, seek anyone’s advice, look for help, knowledge, I would spend $, wash everything that will fit in the washer, you do what it takes.

This is my point- We have a spiritual war waging and the enemy has taken the high ground and has infiltrated the camp.  What if we could see into the spirit world?  We would see the spirit forces that irritate others to do things. You could see, the evil whispering in your best friend’s ear about that temptation she struggles with.  We would pray differently wouldn’t we!  We must put on our decoder googles to see him.  We must see to fight for our families and friends. It’s time to call his bluff and open our spiritual eyes. It’s personal- he’s on our turf.

Since we don’t have spirit world decoder goggles to trace his movements how are we going to fight him?  He’s not of the flesh- so can we stabedy stab him,  throw money at him, fight him with a rise in position or power? Nope none of those- so let’s talk about what we can use.

 Armor of God – Read Ephesians 6:10-17

  • TRUTH         1.The Belt of Truth is the unchanging, objective benchmark of the Bible by which we govern and align our lives.
    • Where do we find the truth?  –The Bible
  • RIGHTEOUSNESS    2.  The Breast Plate of Righteousness means wise right living.  The process by which we apply this truth to our lives and by his spirit, produce conduct honoring and pleasing to God.
    • Where do we find his guidelines on how to live wisely right?  –The Bible
  • PEACE       3.  Our Feet shod with the Gospel of Peace.  Peace is the deep, inner, external stability the believer possessed by virtue of relationship with Jesus.  A sense of balance that’s not subject to external circumstance.  It’s also the quality that enables us to live harmoniously with others.
    • How do we find this peace?  Through Jesus from the the Bible
  • FAITH     4. Shield of Faith is the application of what one believes.  The process of putting feet to our beliefs and living in light of it in practical terms.
    • Where do we find our beliefs and guidelines on how to live? – The Bible
  • SALVATION  5. Helmet of Salvation is both our external security with Christ as well as full inheritance we’ve  been given because of our relationship with Him. It includes our blessings, status, and identity- everything we’ve received that enables us to live victoriously for Him
    • Where is salvation found?- In our heart -Through Jesus by way of the Bible and invitation of the Holy Spirit.
  • WORD OF GOD 6.  Sword of the Spirit is his present, relevant, personal word for us today.  The Bible may be an old book but God’s spirit makes it fresh, new and alive for us.
    • The Sword of the Spirit is what? God’s Word the Bible

Without our armor given to us from God, it is impossible for us to stand alone. It’s our protection so we can hold up to the pressures- to keep us from taking on water and sinking.

These weapons are not of the flesh but of the spirit.  When we use them we cut of the enemy plots and foil his plans. We cannot forget the key that fuses and fortifies the chinks in the armor together. –   PRAYER!

I challenge you, ladies, to think purposefully each day about putting on each piece of armor.  Maybe when you dress for the day each morning you could even pretend to put on each piece. When we purposefully visualize and try to put on God’s armor, I know we’ll be able to stand more firmly against the devil’s wily schemes.

When we step out on faith and walk with Jesus is that road easy? No

The Bible and Prayer go hand in hand on the journey with us- if we keep our eyes on Jesus.

Here are some points to think on when crafting this prayer strategy.

  • What areas of this study are you struggling with so far?
  • What’s been distracting you from your goals?
  • Ask God to show you where the enemy’s lies are
  • Ask God to give you clear focus and a clean heart.

 

Remember to Pray specific. Get real with yourself and God. Spend some quality time in the word reading and studying.  Pray for what is going on in your life and for the lives around you – Pray specifically not in generalities but where you want to see God do great wonders.

Pray Fervently!