The Reality of Your Focus

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Notice the Theme

In Star Wars I: Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn directs young Anakin toward a way of thinking that really drives the entire movie series:

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”

This theme actually runs throughout many books and movies. In most cases, it stands out with little effort put toward seeing it. As a Christian, I also see this theme throughout Scripture.

The truth that “focus determines reality” stands out the most in the Old Testament as God’s people continually struggle with focus, casting it from God Almighty to foreign god’s multiple times.

“This disaster happened because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they had worshiped other gods. They had lived according to the customs of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites and the customs the kings of Israel had introduced.” (2 Kings 17:7-8)

The theme also comes alive in Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” (Proverbs 4:24)

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then your will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:2-5)

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

The theme shows up in the New Testament too.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)

Applying the Theme

FocusThis theme of “focus determines reality” has become one of continual application for me. And even though I regularly visit its status in my life, I still intentionally hone in on it a bit more at the start of every new year. This year, that deliberate focus came out in the form of three separate posts.

Pursuing a Quiet Life — A peaceful inner life permeates the outer, physical state of a person. It’s a deliberate effort that benefits not just our own lives but the lives of the people around us too by witnessing to the impact of the presence of God in a person’s life.

Balanced Goal Setting — We certainly should pursue our ideas and make plans as best we can. We also need to keep in mind that He ultimately accomplishes His will regardless of what we plan. With that, we need to leave room for the unexpected and be willing to love and pursue His will over our own.

Diligent, Peaceable and Occupied — These words give a deeper understanding toward what it means to focus on developing and living a quiet life. This focus also helps us accomplish the work God gives each individual in a productive and effective way.

My prayer is that this theme permeates your life too as you realize the importance of deciding your focus in the determination of your reality and how doing so falls within God’s design and plan for your life.

DISCUSSION: How have you seen the theme “your focus determines your reality” played out in your own life?

Note: For more Scripture examples, see “What the Bible says about staying focused.”

10 thoughts on “The Reality of Your Focus

  1. Without question it plays itself out. When I am less than focused I seem to wander aimlessly. Or I pursue things which are peripheral. Good points of application also Kari. Pursuing a Quiet Life is actually hard for me since I am an extrovert and love music and noise.
    My recent post Coincidence?

    • Thanks, Bill. Thinking in terms of external peace, the quiet life can definitely be difficult for an extrovert. However, I was speaking more in terms of a person's internal life, and I believe that can be quiet regardless of a person's disposition. Extroverts can do their thing and have their impact increased when it comes from a peaceful and quiet internal state, one that is focused and not easily deterred from the God's direction for their lives.

  2. I am new to Star Wars having gone to see what all the hype was about on the newest one. They my husband checked the order in which they were actually written and we have watched 2 more. I can see many Biblical themes written into the insanity of the movie. Such imagination! Such creativity! The evil vs good theme.
    As for focus, yes, if I keep my eyes on Jesus, I do well, but if I wander to other things, other gods, then I can quickly get in trouble. Yes, I can see where focus definitely impacts my reality, my actions, my words. thanks for the great post!

    • George Lucas actually wrote Star Wars with religious, political, social, etc. themes in it on purpose. My boys & I have used it to discuss Christian values before; movies can be a great way to talk with teens about the Bible. With focus, taking the time to check the status is important; otherwise, it's very easy to go astray. Thanks, Mary.

  3. Great post Kari! I've been disciplining myself to take more time on my faith and building a stronger relationships with God. This means reading the Bible, praying, worshiping, and reading faith based books on a daily basis. I find myself drawn to do more of these things so I can be closer to God.

    • Thanks, Dan. Isn't it cool how the more we get of God, the more we want of Him? It gets more and more exciting too. Never boring. He continually draws us, and I'm excited for you to experience more of that drawing. Thanks for the testimony!

  4. This focus makes me think of Hebrews 12:2 where we are to fix our attention on Jesus and Hebrews 2:1 where we are to pay the most careful attention so we don't drift away. We need this focus on Jesus and His word so that we live this life with intention. One who is on a river can find themselves lost because they drifted and if they did not keep focused on something on land they would not know where they were.

    • A lighthouse comes to mind here. We need stability – the Faithfulness of God – to keep us from drifting through life. Whether gentle waves or monstrous ones, we'll get lost without that focus to keep us on the best path. Great visual! Thanks, Mark!

  5. Hi Kari, How are you doing? I haven't been getting around to people's blog as much as I used to but glad to see you're still here! I love how you collected all those Bible verses on focus! Seeing them altogether really highlights how important it is to God. Plus I like your focus for the year.

    I just bought a planner called the Passion Planner that I love – it really helps with focus as there are places to put your focus for the months, weeks, and days. I also remember you one time saying you had different writing focuses on different days of the week and I'm trying that out as well. I feel like I get a lot more done that way – working on a Bible study some days, blogging other days, etc.

    Hope you're doing well and enjoying the new year! Also, I was wondering, what commenting system are you using? I like how you can subscribe to just the replies.

    My recent post A “Sleep Better” Renewing of the Mind Project

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