Note: The following is Dr. Steve Greene's Greenelines column from the May issue of Charisma magazine:
As a young boy, I discovered the power of focus through the gift of a magnifying glass. I think it was a science experiment for school. You've probably tried the same test. I held the glass close to a fallen maple leaf and directed the sun's rays through the lens.
A small, bright dot appeared on the leaf. Within a just a few seconds it began to burn from the intensity of the targeted sunlight.
Light has amazing power. When amplified and focused, its power multiplies in increments difficult to measure.
The apostle Paul could not have foreseen the laser beam and the way it gathers and concentrates light as a tool to impact our lives. But he did understand focus.
"I don't mean to say that I've already achieved these things or that I've already reached perfection. But I press on to possess the perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I've not achieved it. But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Phil. 3:12-14, NLT).
Paul was probably the first Christian leader to teach the concept of spiritual focus. In the middle of verse 13, he says it clearly, "I focus on this one thing."
A single candle illuminates a dark passageway. One light bulb spreads light in every direction at once. The flip of a switch brightens an entire room.
We gather laser light and send it in one direction. The power of intense focus occurs when we gather a broad spectrum of a base component and forcefully push it toward a single point. Power.
Consider Jesus' laser-like prayer in a time of deep nee: "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and his sweat became the great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44, MEV).
Could it be that earnest prayer generates more focus light than general petitions such as, "Oh Lord, bless me, bless me, bless me?"
When Jesus' disciples whined about their lack of efficacy in ministry, He prescribed a laser. "He said to them, 'This kind cannot come out except by prayer and fasting'" (Mark 9:29).
In our passage from Philippians, Paul speaks about the gathering of light. "I press on to possess that perfection" (v. 12). In verse 14, he repeats the phrase "press on."
He doesn't sound diffused or confused but rather infused with the power of the Holy Spirit.
For the rest of Dr. Greene's column, listen to the podcast below.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.
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