Pray - I know, it sounds like a no-brainer right? But how many times have you neglected to pray? Seriously, think about it...I'll wait. Yes, God already knows about everything going on in our lives but when we pray, we invite Him into the situation. Seek God through prayer to help identify your purpose and pray for clarity, guidance, and discernment every step of the way! Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (NKJV)
Prepare – There are rewards and challenges that accompany every choice in life. We have to plan mentally, spiritually, and financially for the road ahead. We must be equally as braced for the rewards as we are for the challenges. Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (TLB).
Pursue – Relentlessly seek your purpose. Be diligent and intentional in this quest to discover what you were put on earth to do! Do the work. Take the time to explore your gifts, discover your temperament, find your ‘sweet spot’, etc. and allow God to take care of the rest. Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (NJKV)
Grudges, resentment and an unforgiving heart are heavy loads to bare. As you move toward your purpose don’t let your inability to forgive keep you from living your best life.
Face it – My pastor always says ‘You can’t fix what you won’t face.’ In referencing the quote, I don’t mean confront the person that hurt you. I’m saying don’t sit in an unforgiving state; deal with whatever it is internally that is keeping you from forgiving. James 1:2-4, “2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (MSG).
Rely - Sometimes we find it difficult to forgive because we’re relying on our own will to do so. Our ability or inability to forgive has a great deal to do with reliance on God. It doesn’t have much at all to do with the person that hurt you. Forgiveness requires that you allow God to work on you from the inside. Proverbs 3:5-7, “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil” (NKJV).
Move forward - You’ve faced it, you’re relying on God; now move on. Stop dwelling on the past and look toward the future. Philippians 3:12-14, “12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (KJV).
As you move toward your purpose don’t let your inability to focus keep you from living your best life.
Write it down – Whether you’re starting the quest to identify your purpose, preparing to walk boldly in what you’ve been called to do, or gearing up to make significant positive changes in your life, write it all down. There is so much power in writing our plans and aspirations and it helps to keep us accountable which is also key to being able to focus. James 1:2-4, “And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time” (MSG).
Get Rid of Distractions – You can’t possibly focus with a million distractions. Identify the distractions and get rid of everything that is in the way. This includes fear, social media, worries, status, regrets, relationships, roles we’ve taken on that weren’t meant for us, etc. Luke 8:14, “ 14 The seed that fell among the thorny weeds is like those who hear God’s teaching, but they let the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life keep them from growing and producing good fruit.” (NCV).
Be committed and accountable- Too often we make these grand plans and resolutions only to quickly abandon the notion once the momentum fades. Commit to the plans set forth and do the work necessary. Hold yourself accountable and identify an accountability partner to support you on the journey. (1 Timothy 4:14-15) “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the [a]elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all.” (AMP).
Identify your main distractions – Over the next few weeks, note what stops you in your tracks as you’re trying to focus. Pay attention to the thoughts, people, phone apps, social media platforms, calls, feelings, etc. that thwart your progress and when it happens, write it down. In doing so, you will be able to better identify your weaknesses and largest distractions. While this is often the most difficult step because we don’t like to admit that certain things are keeping us from focusing on our goals; it is necessary because if we aren’t able to call something out as a distraction, there is no way we will be able to get rid of it. (1 Peter 1:13) “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (ESV).
Start slowly – Once the main distractions have been identified, choose one or two and begin working to eliminate. It’s important to adopt small changes that you can commit to initially and gradually increase over time as opposed to going ‘all in’ only for a short period. (Hebrews 12:1) “and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” (TLB)
Set boundaries- Your space can only be invaded if you allow it. Be willing to set boundaries for yourself and others as necessary to get rid of distractions. This may mean saying ‘no’ a lot more, disabling apps on your phone, being less social, etc. For example, If you find that every time you start to read the bible or devotional, spend time with your family, work on a business plan, etc. you get an urge to pick up your phone to check for text messages, it might be a good idea to set your phone to ‘do not disturb’ for periods of the day so that you can better focus. (Galatians 6:4) “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (NLT).
ENCOURAGE OTHERS- Celebrate others and push them to greatness. Be present through good and bad, speak up on their behalf as necessary, and remind them of their gifts as you help them to excel. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (NASB).
Seek A Mentor, Be A Student – We don’t have all the answers. Be humble and seek out those whom can make a positive impact on your life. (1 Corinthians 8:2 ) “If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know”
“There is no proof of ignorance more common than conceit of knowledge. Much may be known, when nothing is known to good purpose. And those who think they know anything, and grow vain thereon, are the least likely to make good use of their knowledge.” (Matthew Henry’s Precise Commentary)
Be a mentor- Pour into someone on a regular basis. Guide those who are not as far along and help them to avoid any mistakes you may have made. Share your experiences providing insight on what went well, what didn’t, and what you learned. (2nd Timothy 2:2) “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”” (NLT).