Sunday sermon by Pastor Rajesh Mathew, 18th December, 2022
Proverbs 4: 25- 27- Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get side-tracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
Don’t allow your walk to be side tracked; don’t move to the left or right. But look straight- FOCUS.
- Charles Spurgeon said that the scripture Isaiah 45:22- “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath” shook him and made him turn to the Lord.
- This morning let your eye only be towards the Lord. Just fix your focus on the Lord who died for you on the Cross and be saved. “Lord, I look unto You who died for me on the Cross and shed your Blood for me. I look upon you Lord”. There is salvation, miracles, healing and power available for you when you look unto Jesus. May you experience the power of his saving grace.
- In a zoo, a trainer gets up on a stool to train on the lion. The lion looks at the four legs of the stool and gets distracted which is what the trainer uses to train.
- When the devil shows you several things to distract you, if you still just fix your eyes on Jesus, God will do great things for you.
We need to have brutal focus. A focus that can never be distracted. A focus that cannot be side-tracked.
- No matter how great an athlete he is, if he/she changes track, he is disqualified. There is a race track marked for you by the Lord. Stick to it, remain on it. No matter how fast you are, how athletic a body you have or how healthy you are, you need to still remain on that track. You need to be under the foundation of God’s Word. You need to journey only on the road God has marked for you. If you do so, the Lord’s hand will be for you and His grace will keep on increasing you.
The Lord gave a Command to the disciples: Stay in the city till you are clothed with power from on high.
- What was the focus? Stay and wait till you see the fulfilment of what God spoke. Why did they come together on the day of Pentecost? Not to drink tea or coffee and chat around but to wait in prayer for the promise of God to be fulfilled. The Lord has given a promise to this church, HE has given a promise to you. Today, don’t allow anybody or anyone to distract you from that focus.
- Is your focus on the Word of God and what HE says? If so, there will divine energy released back into your life, the tiredness will leave, bondages will break, sicknesses will leave. Out of the storm, you will praise God jumping up and singing and glorifying God. Any stall-fed calves here? You will jump up like stall-fed calves!
WHAT IS ‘FOCUS’?
- Focus is the channelizing of life’s energy and resources in the direction of the profitable and the valuable.
- You will channelize your energy towards what is useful- is worship profitable for you? Paul and Silas in the prison worshipped, they did not focus on their chains but on their worship unto God and when their focus changed to worship, there the presence of God came and the foundations of the prison were broken. Even this morning, your energy, your vision, your resources, your faculties must be focused on the presence of God. You will see earthquakes in your life, all unwanted foundations will be destroyed and the necessary foundations will manifest in your life to beckon God’s move.
- It is the act of concentrating interest or activity on something or on someone.
- In my ministry of 30 years, I preached to motivate you to focus only on Jesus. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and Martha was distracted with many things. Jesus said only ONE thing is needed and that is enough! When there is death and disease in your family, and you still decide to focus on the person of Jesus, you will see deliverance like Mary did.
- It is the state of undistracted and undiluted pursuit of an object
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. God is concerned about what you wear, what you eat, where you stay. But don’t go after that but Jesus said, your focus must be the kingdom of God and His righteousness, EVERYTHING else shall be added unto you! The Lord wants you to live well, wear good clothes, drive a good car but just go after His Kingdom and His righteousness. He will take care of the rest.
Cliff Barrows was a person who, for 51 years, introduced Billy Graham before he got on the stage to preach. George Beverly was the man who would lead worship before Billy Graham would start preaching on stage. Once a press reporter asked them, when will you start YOUR ministry? He said, ‘I will focus only on what God has called me for. I have no other honour beyond this. Beyond introducing this man of God, I have no other honour’.
If you understand your purpose, stand faithful in it, God will reward you for it.
Oral Roberts had a secretary for 49 years, named Ruth Brookes. He would always take the help from Ruth to respond to letters and requests from all over the world. The Lord would reveal to Ruth’s heart what would be going on in Oral Robert’s heart in response to each of those letters and she would then draft responses based on what the Lord would show her. imagine she doing this for 49 years! Chances were that she would have been hurt by people and also by the man of God but her focus was on the calling of God upon her life.
- There are people who have been coming to this church for 20 years or 10 years. Majority of you have been coming for years! Most of the hurts and pains come from close relationships and from people you have more acquaintances with. There are high chances that you will get hurt in familial and church relationships. But Give your pain to Jesus. No matter how deep your hurts and pains are, the Lord will pour out proportionally equal amount of oil upon those hurts and restore your soul. If you don’t give your hurts to Jesus, the flies will come
over it and lay eggs. The Lord of the flies is Belzeebub and you will be a mess. But the Good Samaritan Jesus Christ will pour forth wine and oil upon your hurts. The experience of the anointing oil will come forth.
Give your pain and hurts to Jesus. We have the Lord who will help us heal.
- May the ones how have given their hurts to God receive double portion. Let there be healing. Otherwise you will feel like hitting your mother in law, you will forget your calling, you will hate the church which is the body of Christ!
- In the time that Moses was born, Pharoah sent a dictate that all male children would have to be killed. The midwives had knives and they could decide whether they could keep the child alive or kill him. But when it came to Moses, something inside of them did not allow them to kill the child. You have knives in your hands. you can decide whether you want to kill your neighbour aunty or you can instead use that to release someone into their blessing and calling. God blessed the mid wives and gave them homes.
Don’t kill somebody with your words but make them live. If you do so, God will release and build something over your lives.
John Knox- a man of God in Scotland had only one prayer- “Give me Scotland or I will die”.The queen of that land had once said- More than the armies of Europe, I fear the prayer of John Knox.
John Calvin, a man of God in Switzerland had only one prayer- All the households in Geneva must know Jesus Christ. God did it in those days
Evan Roberts, who was used in the Whales Revival had prayed for 13 years for revival. 1904, the great Whales Revival took place. During this time, there were no cases in courts, the police had nothing to do, there was nobody to drink in bars. For 13 years he focused only on one thing revival and he prayed for it.
When Whales revival happened, the donkeys and the horses that were used in gold mines in that region, had to be taught once again. Until then they were trained through the use of bad language but after the revival they couldn’t do that, they had to find new ways to train the donkeys. Their language and character had changed. The Holy Spirit changed their character and they couldn’t
simply not utter such words even towards their donkeys and horses!
When the Holy Spirit moves in you, your language and your speech will change!
BENEFITS OF FOCUS
- If you have focus, you will be on fire for Jesusand burn with love for HIM 2. if there is focus there is speed. Habakkuk 2 says everyone who sees the vision will run.
Those who are tired of running are the ones who are stagnated by distraction! They have forgotten why they were called, why they were baptised or even why they come to church.
- May distractions leave your life. Let a season of speed unfold upon your lives. May you run ahead for God looking at the vision you have
- Focus will shield you from evil.
Proverbs 4:27 - Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
- If you have focus, protection will happen. There is a saying in English- An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. You don’t need to do anything, just sit idle and the devil will come unbeckoned!
- My mind and my thoughts are for the Lord. My mind shall not be idle. It will be a mind that is submitted to the Holy Spirit, to be filled with holy thoughts, to be filled with the oil and the anointing of the Lord let minds be free in Jesu name.
Junk, trash and garbage in your mind to leave in Jesus Name.
- Focus will begin to unveil to you the possibilitiesyou have in God.
- A man of God always preached only about baptism no matter what. Another man of God called him and invited him to preach in his church but said to him that he needed to preach from Luke 16 – the story of the rich man and Lazarus. He started doing so. Then finally came to the portion in verse 44So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire, the pastor ended up again talking about the fact that baptism was about dipping oneself fully in water. He was focused through all his sermons to get across the point on baptism. When he got an opportunity to preach the Lord, he did it. Whether it is in school, through skits.
You should be able to reveal Jesus wherever you are. May the Lord be revealed through you. Glory to God. Amen!
David focused on the Lord even when there was a Goliath. The focus was not on who he was but on who the Lord was. Others focused on Saul and on how big Goliath was and what he was wearing. But David focused on the Lord. The person who looks at the Lord will find everything else as little mosquitoes. No matter how big your mountain is, the demon is, your medical report is, if you are focused on the Lord Jesus, everything around you will look small and little.
What is making you fearful? What is making you worry?
Let the Holy Spirit of God reveal the mightiness of Jesus.
- Have you seen a sharp shooter or a sniper? They focus on one thing that may even be miles away. They shoot it down.
God said to me that in the last days he will bring forth an army that are super focused.
- There are people who are everywhere and end up nowhere. Don’t be like that. Stay focused. Lift your hands and praise God.
- Go only after God. Lord, help me and strengthen me to fulfil what you want me to. Jesus was very focused on what the Father wanted. He just paid attention only to that. Have that focus. Don’t be distracted from it. Let every distraction leave your life.
- Joseph’s own brothers put him in the pit. They removed his garments. They removed his robe of many colours. Even if his coat was taken away, he did not allow his dreams to be taken away. At the palace of Pharoah, he has more than enough coats!
If somebody has taken away something from you, don’t focus on that. Just focus on the Lord and God will restore to you what is lost.
- Joseph came out from the pit and was sold to the Ishmael traders for some money. Egyptians took Joseph on a camel and took him to Egypt. His brothers walked and returned home. But he was taken on a camel. Those with a dream, even when they go through difficulties, they
will go on camels. But the others went in guilt and shame and worried about what they will tell their father.
May the Lord once again awake your dreams!
WHAT MAKES YOU LOSE YOUR FOCUS?
- When you are confronted by oppositions.
- People who oppose you want to invite you to a strife.
Nehemiah 4:7-8- 7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it
- Nehemiah was building the walls. But the people were angry. Then they confronted. When you do the work of God, there will be oppositions but yourfocus should not be lost. You continue to do what you are called to do.
- One thing that comes along with revival is persecution.
If you cannot handle persecution, you can’t handle revival. If you cannot handle a persecution, you can’t handle a blessing.
- Jesus said, those who leave family and neighbour for my sake, will receive blessed in this life and together with-it persecution. You need to be able to handle persecution if you are to handle revival.
- Every servant of God who was responsible for revival was persecuted. Things were done and written against them, but if you continue to keep your focus on Jesus, He will take care of the other things. If you stand faithful in what you are called by God, there are days ahead where God will honour you.
People backbite because they are in the back.
- Competition distracts you.
- Competition to outdo or outshine somebody else. Competition is not good for the kingdom of God. It tries to distract you.
- The desire to want to do something that somebody else is doing is a distraction. The small finger and the index finger cannot desire to do the same thing. They both have a different role to play. They are designed differently.
Everyone had different calling and different purposes. You need to understand your calling.
In these day as you pray, God will show you and make you understand the roles that God has given you. The Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge and revelation about this.
A person came to Billy Graham and said Oral Roberts has started his own university and why don’t you start the “Billy Graham University”. Billy Graham replied, I am not called to build a university. I am called to only preach salvation.
- Healing revival in US happened the revival meetings were held in tents. If one tent had 15000, the next day another tent would announce 15500 people. The men of God would compete with each other. This becomes a distraction. The purpose is lost.
- Don’t be worried about what others are doing. One lady told me I prayed and fasted that their child will not become a collector. But God di not answer me! Don’t; pray such prayers.
- Sin is the biggest distractor.
- It will take away your focus from the Lord. That’s what happened to Samson. He went from one woman to another.
Hebrews 12:1-2- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Lay aside every sin and weight, and run the race looking unto Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
- Don’t go after sin, go after Jesus. You can then experience what god has kept for your life.