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Friday, March 29, 2019

The Power of a Focused Life

In review of Proverbs 21:5 it says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (NLT).

Today’s verse is from Proverbs 21. It reminds me to plan carefully so that I will have plenty; hasty actions or acting too quickly on my part, will result in my not having enough.

The faithful completion of my mundane tasks is a great accomplishment. Such work is patiently carried out according to a plan. Diligence takes some work. I’m reminded (just like in the story of the Tortoise and the Hare) that steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation, action or shortcuts brings poverty. Diligence it is a result of strong character. Therefore I should never look for quick and easy answers. I need to strive to be a diligent servant of God.

If I want God to use me in great ways, I need focus. The more focused I am, the more effective I’ll be, and the more God will use me.

There’s awesome power in a focused life. Diffused light doesn’t have much of an effect on what it touches. But when I focus light, such as the rays of the sun through a magnifying glass, I can ignite a piece of paper or grass. If I can focus it even more, it becomes a laser. A laser can cut through steel and destroy cancer.

What I’m learning is that the same is true with my life. If I’m directionless, I’ll just drift through without much impact. But if I focus on a few key goals, then I can make a powerful impact on the world for God.

The Bible says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT).

One of the great examples of focus in the Bible is the story in Genesis 24. God had promised to create a great nation through Abraham’s own family. But Abraham was getting old, and his son, Isaac, still didn’t have any kids. He wasn’t even married yet. So Abraham gave his servant a goal of finding a wife for his son. Abraham told his servant, “Don’t get a wife from the Canaanites, who live around here. Go back to my country, to the land of my relatives, and find a wife for Isaac.”

Like all good goals, the servant’s goal was clear. He knew he needed to find Isaac a wife, and he knew exactly what kind of wife to look for. He needed to find a wife from Abraham’s homeland. I’ll never reach a vague goal because I’ll never know if I’ve completed it. Abraham’s servant didn’t have that problem.

For example, if my goal is to be a better grandparent, that’s vague. Even if I set the goal of spending more time with them, I’ll never really know if I’ve completed the goal.

But if I commit to spending an hour every Sunday afternoon, that’s specific. I’ll know whether or not I’ve completed it. Those kinds of goals are the ones that can change my life.

So what specific goal will I set for myself as I pursue a more focused life?

Bottom line:
Steady plodding will bring prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.

What this means to me:
If I plan carefully I will have plenty; if I act too quickly, I'll never have enough.

In summary, I need to plan carefully and not be hasty or quick acting. Steady plodding bring prosperity. Diligence is a result of strong character. To be used, I need to focus. Focus will bring power, diffusion will not have much effect. Being directionless, means that I just drift. Focus will have an impact.

Today I need to be intentional and specific about things I want to accomplish, i.e. being a good steward of the financial resources God has entrusted me, taking better care of my body and health, making a difference to those around me. Father I pray this morning for your guidance and wisdom in these areas. Help me to be specific in goal setting. Help me to accomplish some items I have had on the back burner for a while such as getting our “wills” in place. I thank you for today and the day off I have. Help me make the best of it. This I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!