“Find the Hammer” | Using the Power of Focus

Monday, May 03, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Phil 3:12 NIV (1)Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but (2)I press on to (3)take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But (4)one thing I do: (5)Forgetting what is behind and (6)straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to (7)win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only (8)let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 (9)Join with others in (10)following my example, brothers, and take note of those who (11)live according to the pattern we gave you.

In this text, Paul is sharing with the Philippian church, and all of us, his secret or philosophy of success. Paul endured a lot of suffering and challenges. He had experience many joyful highs, as well as many tragic lows. If every a man had a good excuse for complaining or quitting, it was Paul. Success is obedience to God and faithfulness to His purpose in your life.
In our text, Paul shares at least 11 faith and action items. These items formed the core of His focus. He uses verbs, action words, to convey his philosophy and strategy of success in God. These are not words to hear. These are words to live by.

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan

Find the hammer*. If you want to build something, it’s not enough to have a pile of lumber and a box of nails. Nothing’s going to get built until you find the hammer and start swinging it with clear focus on the plans and blueprints God has given you. (* The phrase "Find the hammer" was borrowed from a book written by Max Seigel, Esq, Know What Makes Them Tick.)

I have not attained all: Thank God for what He has done and for what I have, but I'm not stopping now. Wise people think all they say, fools say all they think. 

I Press on: Know that the hard times are preparation for better days (Max Seigel). Won't stand still. The current of these times and of this world is flowing in a negative direction. If I stop, I won't stand still, I'll go backwards. The best way around it is through it. 

I Take hold: Taking firm grasp of my realities, my responsibilities, and my relationships, 

I do one thing: If you try to chase two rabbits, both will escape. Do one thing at the time and do it well. Focus like a laser beam when necessary. Keep my mind stayed on Him. What calls you to action? When do you feel most competitive or most inspired? (Max Seigel) 

I forget what is behind: Forgive, forget, and move on. Give as little energy as possible to what might get me discouraged. (Max Seigel) "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity". Albert Einstein 

I reach forward: So if you aspire to go anywhere else, to be anything more, you need to look away from your present circumstances and focus on the future that inspires and energizes you. Never mistake activity for achievement. (Max Seigel) 

I win the prize: "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed." David Viscott. Always look ahead, try to run through the line, not just run up to it and stop 

I live up: Look like, sound like and act like a child of the King. When it comes to getting quality, there are no shortcuts.(Max Seigel) "If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life." Abraham Maslow 

I join with others: Work together. A team will always outperform an individual. “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton 

I follow examples: "Approve of things that are excellent." Not just big things. Paul said, "Those who seem to be something added nothing to me." 

I live according to pattern: Trust God's wisdom and instructions. Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. Vincent van Gogh 

Philippians 3:12-17 (The Message Bible)
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. 15-16So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. 17-19Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.