I mean, we get this deal: “If God really loves me, how could He have a fire burn up my business?”  Maybe He loves you so much that that business is an idol in your life, and He needed to burn down your business so He could get your heart. I didn’t. Making the choice to understand, initiate and consciously utilize the power of focus will provide you with a quality of life that you may have previously "perceived" to be unattainable. Action Item: Plan out your evening and set a bedtime. Yet, the vast majority of us don’t own our calendars, guard our time, minimize distractions, or spend anywhere enough time focused on the very things/tasks that truly move the needle. And so, he’s back in the jail, and an earthquake happens, and he and Silas are singing in the back room. I want it to be upward, but I’m going to be honest with you. Pressure and Pleasure are the Greatest Enemies of Focus. He says, “Having been filled.”  And put a parentheses around having been filled. Focus means concentrating and bringing all your attention to one issue. Life was bad. People ask, “What’s going on with you?”  He said, “I think God’s in control.”  He said, “I think God can cause things to burn down, but I think He can cause to build them back up. And he developed his own little company; he was a master cabinet builder. Well, where? She did that to protect the church.”  He said, “Can you imagine being counted so worthy to suffer for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus?”. There’s no room for self-pity when your hearts are full of people. When it comes to focus, my hero is Steve Jobs. You’re going to grow. Goal Setting Advice and Tips - Understanding the Power of Focus. You were taken from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. No phoniness. Perspective, blessing others, people asking, “Is there something wrong with you?”  Because he handled it so well. Was it upward or inward? Understanding the Power of Focus. Join Chip Ingram as he opens God's Word to Philippians 1 and explains how we all can enhance and enrich our relationship with God through living above our daily circumstances. Your Strength is amplified at the point of your focus. Let’s learn from him. Whoever puts away the most stuff wins! This is what I don’t have. So, he prays, “I want your love and affection to grow in the real, personal, intimate knowledge of God, and I want you to have this ability to discern what’s good, what’s not.”. I’m thankful for the mentor and the friend that had been there and I could share it with. He actually was a testimony this time, instead of a disgrace to the Gospel. And it was like, that was the breakthrough moment – Bang! Hey! . And so, here’s the fundamental question for the next three weeks. And based on how I look at them, should I do this, or should I do that?’  I want you to have such a sense of how loved you are and what you possess, that your desire for God and ability, so that you could approve, test, live a life that’s excellent, in your speech and in your behavior and in your relationships.”. Two or three times he’s had what they call 39 lashes, and if you saw the Passion, the movie, Paul had that experience a couple, three times. But then how do you explain child prodigies who fade into "average" adults? You can choose to be grateful, and you can choose to start remembering the significant people in your life, the things that God has done, the things that really matter, the things that circumstances, no matter how difficult, can’t take away from you, the people that you love, and the people that love you. Action Item: Think about 3 things that you’re thankful for right now. Round number one, his focus was completely inward. You can look at the half full of the health problems you don’t have, even though some of the ones you do have are a struggle. So you have to develop the focus habit of thinking about what you want – vividly. You can clean it, and it looks real clean, and then, the sun comes up, and what’s it do? Understand and apply the power of focus. If your focus is upward, I guarantee, in time – you just choose; your feelings will follow. Notice five concepts that are alike. He said, “A sheer act of the will, this is what I did. Whatever we focus on – upward, outward – our feelings follow it. Action Item: Make a to-do list for today (you do have one don’t you?) No image casting. Tags: Spirituality. But what you do have, and what I do have – you have a hundred percent control over your perspective. . So, there’s feeling. Eventually, over time, he started to rebound. People. What oozes out of him is affection. He uses this word, and then, he intensifies it with a prefix, so it’s like, “I want you to have a super intimate knowledge. Discovering the Bible's answers is the focus of Living on the Edge, the discipleship ministry of Chip Ingram. You have accomplished things, and this improves your focus! When you're sitting in the car. What would you say to God if you wanted these kind of things to happen in your life?”, And what you’re going to see, just in these last three little verses is, you’re going to get to eavesdrop. I got mine all written: “Dear Philippians, this is Chip. You’re accepted. Check out Raza’s book, “30 Days of Focus” on Amazon.com. Read my reviews for new titles to find what's worth download to your e-reader device. I had a great day. Focus on making sure your spine is straight. I’m confident that He’s in charge.”  But notice, now, his outward focus, in the next section, here. . I’ve gotten good at it. He lost a half million dollars in that fire, just in material. The feeling of accomplishment and confidence will enhance your focus – not deplete it. I had a great day. For God is my witness, how I long for you . letting distractions creep up on and steal your attention, 200+ of the Best Self-Help and Personal Development Books, 71 Morning Routine Ideas to Successfully Start Your Day, Learn Something New: 101 New Skills to Learn Starting Today, Best Pedometer Watch (and Wearable) Review for 2020. I’m telling you, that guy clings to them. Please do your own research before making any online purchase. And then, notice, there’s a purpose statement. And then, he meets Lydia, and then, he starts preaching, and a little revival breaks out, and she comes to Christ. Now, notice, in parentheses, he’s “offering prayer with joy in [his] every prayer for you all.”  Why? As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Not whenever you “feel tired”. – “because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. You read the text over a few times, and then, you make observations. See what 33 experts claim is their single most important success habit. Thank You, for those of you that have a wife, that You have given me a wife. And then, he ends it: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of [Jesus Christ],” until the day Christ returns. All I can tell you, it was a gleam of the sense of the awe of God. Lord, help me out with my family. Would you like to know how to develop an upward focus? I mean, I’m not going to look up right now, because you might think you’re really talking to me, and I’m not going to raise my hand, but in my heart of hearts, It’s not upward. It is available to purchase on our store. And then, you say, “Well, I just can’t. I had a great day because I chose, I prayed, I had confidence in God’s promises – upward, outward focus. That's why the power of focus is such a valuable skill to have. You’re loved. That way you still feel good about yourself and are able to channel those positive feelings towards your goals again this will help you maintain your focus. If you're fatigued and not eating well you won't be able to put your energy intent and focus on the critical task at hand most of us don't eat properly or get enough sleep. And he said, you know, “I’ve been arrested three or four times and been beaten.”  And listen, you talk about the power of perspective. How can I be thankful?”  How? And how do you pray? In fact, I didn’t want to get up this morning. The moral of the story is we need to consistently focus on what we want and we need to realize that : What thoughts we focus on we FEEL, therefore our thoughts have a direct effect on our emotions What we focus on and feel we attract in our lives. Notice, in your notes, on the page that’s across, it says, “How to develop an upward focus.”  Number one, it’s a choice. Tweet. Blessed, happy are you when you are persecuted for My sake. I really know my kids, and they wouldn’t want to go to a camp like that; they’d want to go…”  It’s a knowledge by way of personal relationship. I had a great day. And that’s what it is. And this particular fellow was a house church pastor. Yo, I’m bummed. There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. I Choose Joy: How to Live Life Above Your Circumstances, 34m 05sec. But man, I’ll tell you what, he was an entrepreneur, and he could flat out make money. It’s like a video tape just went on, and I could just see myself sitting here, and Abraham, and him telling me this story. Four keys and four questions. This change in focus can show you just how powerful your consciousness is and can give you the kind of hope that you need, by showing you how to change anything in your life with mere words. Think about what it'll take to get it. In round two, he learned, people came out. You get to choose, Am I going to look at what’s half full in my life in this situation, or am I going to focus on the half empty? Share. Paul’s _____ focus 3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the You have a hundred percent control, in every circumstance, no matter how difficult – you get to make a choice. Remember the Philippian jailer? What was the result? There’s a different word for know, like, “I really know my wife, and she wouldn’t want that color; she would want this color. Focus means paying attention. It’s dark, it’s dirty, it’s damp. with the affection of Christ Jesus.”. Is this glass half empty, or is it half full? It doesn’t feel like it. Simple. My circumstances stink. The Masters- Understanding the Power of Focus What makes Tiger Woods different from you and me? “For God is my witness” – notice the word how I long – “how I long for you all” – and then, circle the word affection. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. He says there’s a resource. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  And he said, “All my emotions were raging, and what I lost, and my money, and what I’m going to do, and then, all I thought about is how down I got, and where I went before.”  And he said, “I walked around the block. They create. And so, that’s what he says, “That’s what I pray.”. So get in the habit of being grateful for your goal before you’ve achieved it. So focus on the structure of your evenings so that you naturally go to bed when your body is telling you that it needs rest. Focus helps you to direct the energy of your life for higher impact. Because what I want you to do is, I want you to get that clear in your mind before we start the teaching time, because what the Spirit of God, I pray, will do this morning is begin a journey, where you can progressively and habitually learn to look at the glass of life that is half full, instead of half empty. And then, notice what happens. And you’re morally pure – no Internet stops. But notice why. In this first message, from Philippians, Chapter 1, Chip tells us it begins with focus. Notice, he didn’t pray that they would never have any more persecution. In your notes, it says, “Living above my circumstances occurs when my perspective interprets my circumstances, rather than my circumstances determining my perspective.”  That’s the gist of what we’re going to talk about in the whole series. Great. He lost another half million dollars. And then, because a revival breaks out, they throw him in jail. This is radical – “prayer with joy.”  He says, “I’m getting kind of a spiritual buzz when I pray for you guys, when I remember you and think what happened. Look at the reason. And I said, “Man, what in – what happened?”  And he said, “I’ll tell you what happened.”  He said, “I’ve been down this road before. But you know what? The guy shot a 48 for nine holes when he was three years old. Give your life to what matters. Improved focus improves a wide variety of goals: Focus is improved by overcoming the temporary discomfort challenges and inevitable setbacks to stay on task. Chip Ingram I Choose Joy: How to Live Life Above Your Circumstances … You test things, and you test them in such a way, where, moment by moment, day by day, you make little, incremental decisions, so that your life progressively is sincere and blameless. Be thankful for your hardships. I think what was going through Paul’s mind – he thought about Lydia, and he thought about the jailer, and he thought about the revival, and he thought about the relationships, and he thought about what God did, and he thought about when he got out of jail, and he got to tell the mayor or the officials, “You know what? I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Focus, Part 1. Philippians chapter 1 opens up, “Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and [the] deacons” – the elders and the deacons. And then we’re going to talk about how that works, and the impact that it makes. and focus on getting your most critical tasks done! No talking one way, living another way. He had a number of carpenters that worked for him. Lord, You know that You want to use my spiritual gifts in some day, some way in my church, because, you know, I heard that and I felt a little guilty, but I can go into denial. I’d like to learn to pray those kind of prayers. And I was humbled by that man. Another tip for how to improve focus that I've learned is that when you do get distracted, or don't complete items on your to-do list or don't keep a commitment that you've made yourself there needs to be a consequence. SHARE. In order to tap into that power at its highest level, we must also tap into our deepest feelings. Ruthlessly cut out “fluff” tasks and focus on the main items to … In verse 9, he’s going to say, “I’ve got a request for these people, God.”  In verse 10, he’s going to say, “God, here’s my reason for this request.”  And then, in verse 11, he said, “Here’s the resource I know they already have, so I know You’re going to answer it.”. His business is going great. This time – this is a true story – this time, he developed a new team, and there was a guy that decided, on Saturday, he wanted to help the boss. Everything he owned was in ashes. Copyright 2019 by Oldtown Publishing LLC. The No 1 reason that stops people from getting what they want is lack of focus. What’s the most difficult circumstance in your life right now? And as he’s doing exactly what God wants him to do, the will of God has him land in a jail. Maybe there’s more to life than great vacations. you [can] approve” – or test – “the things that are excellent.”  The word for approve was, they would take metal, and you would drop certain acid on a metal to find out how much gold is in it or the quality of the gold. And I just had to think of what my real, private thoughts were, and I thought to myself – and made no facial expression – Buddy, there are two people in this room that are believers in this conversation, and there’s one really, really mature one, and there’s one not too very mature. By focusing and being aware of putting your attraction and desire towards your spouse, rather than allowing it to be siphoned outside of your relationship, you’re not only building discipline and focus, but you’re building positive feelings and happiness that will further help you with staying focused on your goals. It’s inward. But, you know, Ingram, you’re a pastor, and you’ve been doing this thing a little bit longer than me, and, you know – you kind of know how to pray. And we had dinner one night, and we did a bunch of teaching. Learn to Be Ruthless With Your Time. The first is this: Difficult circumstances reveal our true affections. Nothing zaps focus like clutter and disorganization. It means channelling your energy in one direction to achieve a specific goal. By the way, the reason I have you underline and circle stuff, the way I get insights from Scripture is the way God gives it to you: You do basic Bible study. Description. And the reason is, is because I would be focusing on what’s half full, because that would be so traumatic. You know, I just want to go, Ughh! By way of illustration, my friend – fire number one, where was his focus? Thank You that Christ died for me.’”, And he said, “For about a half hour or 40 minutes, I did nothing but willfully choose to thank God and to praise God and to thank God and to praise God for what I did have: ‘Thank You that I have a wife that has stood by me. You know, my circumstances didn’t change one iota. It is one of the most incredible stories that you’ll ever hear, and it sounds so much like it fits the illustration, what I want to talk about, you will assume I made this up. And you are more aware of what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. So, he went in to the cabinet and thought he would clean up a little bit, and he was sweeping all the sawdust. Lord, you know, I don’t have time for You. As we wrap it up, I’d like you to think about that most difficult circumstance, and I want to give you 30 seconds to decide where you’re going to put your focus, your perspective, before we close. You ready to do a little Bible study? In round one, my brother had a fire; things came out. And I’d like you to write in the word gratitude. See All. You know, a lot of people have had a day’s work with no sleep, and I bet I can do it too, by Your grace. I think this pity party is over. But how you choose to look at it makes all the difference, because you can’t change your circumstances. A great tool to do this is to join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest FREE, informative news from this website.). And so, here’s a guy that’s got scars all over his body, who has a commission to tell people about the great news, that God came to the planet, in the person of Jesus. This happens at a time in his life where he’s already been beaten a couple times, stoned already, left for dead, spent about three years in Arabia, ten years in Tarsus. It is one of the many powers that we possess that enables us to live as creators. Our focus determines everything. It’s not just upward to God. The Power of Focus. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I was writing a letter to a church – remember, Philippi. Notice, he didn’t pray that everything would turn out right. Action Item: Right now, as you’re reading this article, straighten your back, pull your shoulders back, and keep your head upright. And instead of spiraling, it will do something very significant in your life, even if the half empty is very painful. You’re authentic. He got the lift. The jailer’s going to kill himself – “Stop, don’t kill yourself.”  Another little revival happens; he comes to Christ. That’s the news of the Gospel. Feel, heart, partaker, longing, affection – he has an outward focus. I just finished reading The Power of Focus.The book was published in 2000 and has sold millions of copies. “I’m a bondservant of Christ. See All. Check out Understanding the Power of Focus by Chip Ingram on Amazon Music. Etc. Is it me, or is it others? A guilty conscience is utterly counter-productive. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. Follow. This time, within 24 hours – because he was looking not at the glass half empty, but he looked at the glass half full. I mean, I don’t have 4.7 million of the people – or the 4.8 or 5 million people in Atlanta saying, “Hey, we heard you and Theresa maybe were going to be driving later. Discover Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Daily Podcast I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Focus, Part 1. This friend, I got to know –He’s a guy that was not really walking with the Lord, was not going to church, was not in the Scriptures, prayed some, cared about his wife – a good, decent, moral guy, but not really walking with God. Fire number one – you know what my neighbor’s affections were? They can allow you to experience peace in the midst of your most perplexing problems. But you know what you can do? I have zero control over my circumstances. You don't want any unnecessary distractions to deplete your focus. (Side note: Another positive way to improve your life is to read and learn something new every day. And now, in his mind’s eye and in his memory, he’s thinking about those relationships that he had, and he’s writing them a letter from a prison cell. Perfect tense, in Greek means this: “Something occurred in the past that has – an actual event occurs in the past, with continuing impact into the present, and on into the future.”, He says, “I’m praying this for you, so that you can live this kind of life, out of this kind of knowledge.”  And then, he says – here’s the resource – “Having been filled.”  The moment you received Jesus Christ, you were justified. It might sound strange, but gratitude helps to develop focus because when you're grateful, you train your mind to look for the good in every situation. In fact, you want to get a picture of where his focus is? I know it’s really important. Think about it no one ever achieves their goal by sulking, complaining, and feeling sorry for themselves. If you have your pen, I want you to circle three words that I think give us the real focus of Paul’s attitude. It was upward. This is good; this is better. And if you focus on what’s half full, and what God is doing, and what He has done, and what He has given you, and what He is about, it produces a different kind of person, with a different set of emotions. He had zero insurance. And then, one night, we got to kind of wind down – and his name is Abraham. I don’t like rats. He opens up, and he’s going to talk to them. People I look up to have a common characteristic: focus. This ever happen to you, where God kind of pushes a button? TWEET. It  helps you be healthier. Write that down. If you want to get your feelings readjusted, your feelings always follow your focus. You are like a sponge, and I’m like a sponge, and there’s something in your sponge. Because I thought, If my wife got beaten, I would not be where I’m at in my life, rejoicing at the fact that it was an awesome privilege to suffer for the Gospel of Christ. The second observation is, living above our circumstances occurs when our hearts are so full of people there is no room for self-pity. Posted Jul 13, 2010 . I’d like to have that kind of perspective. I have zero control over what happens in the economy – unless you have a very influential situation that the rest of us don’t. Give your life to what counts. You know what? My wrist is killing me because this chain is too tight. Must Watch. MonkeySee. About The Author Donna Jean. It has the power to determine if we see ourselves as oppressed and powerless…or if we see ourselves connected to the power of God. The three timeless principles I’ll give you – we’ve hit them, but just by way of review – is that our feelings always follow our focus. And what I realized is, when you are squeezed and have an outward focus, your heart is so full of people, there’s no room for self-pity. Goals expert Gary Ryan Blair discusses the importance of focus in goal setting, including how to get focused, how to stay focused, and how to regain focus. This will increase your willpower and self-belief so that you can stay focused and accomplish your goals. He got clinically depressed. Feelings are what I live with – get my focus upward and outward, they’ll follow. He looks at it through the lens of Scripture, and he said, “You know something? And when he got done sweeping all the sawdust, there was – you know one of the things that you weld with? Thank You that You love me. And we never got there. . To make it even more valuable, think of 3 obstacles you’re facing and list reasons why you’re grateful for them (perhaps you’re learning a lesson from them), [See what 33 experts claim is their single most important success habit.]. Upward. No delayed second, third, and fourth looks at the lady with the very tight sweater and the even tighter skirt. This is wrong; this is right, in this decision, in this business deal, with your child, with your time, with your priorities. And so do you. And those little dilly prayers that you pray, you know, in traffic, like, “Lord, bless me a little bit. By channeling your attraction for others back into your relationship, you'll notice yourself treating your spouse with increased kindness, complimenting them on their appearance, and generally being more thankful to them. Will of God has him land in a jail to strengthen that old focus “ muscle ” punish ”.... Notice the word gratitude s dark, it was like, that guy clings to them God sees as! Question is, you make observations peaceful, and he said, know... On the web, iPad, iPhone and Android the final way to do very tight sweater and one... Would be, what you already possess can drink that think this way our. Reading the Power of focus what steps you need to take to achieve goals... 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