When my oldest daughter was three, my wife and I purchased a telescope for her. It had several knobs and lenses, which I suppose make for a great telescope. Once we opened the packaging, we had to assemble a few pieces. We then set the telescope up at the window, aimed it at the moon, and took a peak. To our disappointment, nothing. Only darkness. Something wasn't right. I looked through what I had left—a couple of lenses. I started putting them on and eventually noticed a change.
One particular lens was what we needed. So, I took another peak. Ok. I see the moon now. But still, it's just a blurry white blob. Something still needed to be adjusted. I noticed a knob on the side that I had not touched yet. I began adjusting it. The blurry moon started to come into focus. Wow. We could now see the moon's cracks, craters, and crevices. But do you know what we could not see? The things that were right around us. We were so lost in the moon's beauty that everything around us did not matter much for a while. Oh, that we would get lost in the beauty of our Creator - "One thing have I desired...to behold the beauty of the Lord." (Ps 27:4).
Paul understood what it meant to desire after the Lord. To stay focused on the prize. He said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:14). Our old nature often causes us to wander from the Lord.
Do you ever feel your heart wandering from the Lord? It's not uncommon. But when we do, we have lost our focus. One cannot say, "God is to blame for my wandering heart." God has provided all that we need to finish our race. But one can say, "I've lost my focus."
To live a focused Christian life, every believer must take two essential actions:
Aim Your Life at God's Will
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
The term "seek" refers to aiming at a particular objective.
First, Paul teaches that one should "seek" because they have been "risen with Christ." Being risen with Christ involves salvation through repentance towards God (i.e., changing one's mind), calling on Jesus by faith, and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:3; Acts 11:16). As a result, you are adopted into God's family and become a child of God. As a child of God, we now walk in a new life because of the new man, Jesus Christ, who resides within us (Romans 3:10). Additionally, we grow spiritually by recognizing our position in Christ (Romans 6:6).
Now that we understand the importance of seeking things above, what does it mean to do so? As a child of God, one is mindful of God's will (Eph 5:17; Col 1:10-13). Therefore, we should seek what God desires.
Secondly, we should become the light of God in the world - "you were sometimes darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light" (Eph 5:8). This means we represent who God is to the world.
Lastly, we should continuously receive the grace of God (2 Cor 12:9). God has an endless supply of grace to provide to His children. We can receive it daily by seeking "those things which are above" through prayer, Bible reading, and obedience to God's will!
Start AIMING at God's will above your own to live a focused Christian life. Now, the last action required for focused Christian living.
Focus Your Attention On Godly Things
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
The phrase "set your affection" refers to focusing your mind on an object.
Consider my earlier story about the telescope. To "set your affections" on God, you must adjust the spiritual knob and FOCUS your life on Christ; Look through the eyepiece of your heart and adjust again. Similarly, Proverbs emphasizes the importance of seeking wisdom and understanding through diligent effort and focus (Pr 2:1-9).
To "set," you must strive to adjust your perspective and look beyond the material world. The book of Isaiah teaches us that knowledge and understanding are attained through a gradual learning process - "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk … For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: "(Isa 28:9-10).
Earthly pursuits such as material gain, social status, and other worldly desires often distract us from spiritual growth and purpose. As Paul wrote in Colossians, focus on things above, not on earthly things. Pursuing spiritual growth and aligning with God's will leads to a deeper sense of fulfillment and direction in life.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, crucify your old desires, and live a life that is guided by faith and love - "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20).
"Seek" is to aim at Heaven; "Set" is to focus on Heaven. Aiming is the first step. Aim your life at Christ. Then, focus on those things above. Focus comes through daily becoming what you are positionally in Christ.
The question then is, where are you positionally? Are you saved by trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone? If so, seek, set, aim, and focus on Jesus Christ, our Savior, King, and Lord.
Practical Ways To Enjoy Focused Christian Living:
Regular Church Attendance (Heb 10:23-25)
Regular Bible Reading (2 Tim 2:15)
Regular Prayer for God's Will and Others (1 Tim 2:1)
Serve In Ministries At Your Local Church (1 Cor 12:14-23)
Look for Opportunities To Help Others (Phil 2:4)