Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Power of "Father-purpose" Focus

One day as I was strolling through Books-A-Million, I had this strong impression from the Lord that I was to buy $60.00 worth of books. I know some of you are chuckling since I’m known for my fondness for books. Actually this was not of my normal behavior because I limited myself to buying one book a week. Jovially I scanned the shelves to find the books that the Lord would have me read. My spirit was brimming with excitement! When I went to the checkout the total came to almost $70.00. However the cashier gave me a discount on this purchase, bringing the total to sixty dollars and a few cents over.

The Lord was teaching me to obey His voice. The next day while getting the mail, I found a letter from my mom stating that the Lord spoke to her while in prayer that she was to send me $60.00 in cash! Those three twenty dollar bills represented more to me than simply monetary value – rather, it was a tangible confirmation of obeying what I see my Father doing.

Among the books I purchased that day included The Power of Focus.

Exactly what is the power of focus? The first thing that comes to mind is Jesus’ statement: I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19) Biblical focus is the ability to see what the Father is doing and doing likewise. It is more than simply knowing your purpose; it involves knowing the “Father-purpose” of that given context.

Purpose alone is not sufficient to extend God’s kingdom through our sphere. We must also have a “Father-purpose” revelation concerning the Father’s heart for a given situation. This helps us to steer clear of being driven by needs alone. Let me explain. Recently we were approached by one of our amazing pastors at our church concerning the need to help a care group that was exploding in numbers. Over a very short period of time this group had grown to 40 plus participants, overwhelming the existing leaders. This group was ripe to multiply. Obviously the need was great. However, I knew that Aneta and I were not to take on this need. The “Father-purpose” had been previously stirred within our hearts to pursue the twenty-something demographic at our church. Indeed this was the “Father-purpose” for us within this given time and season.

However, the flipside must also be taken into consideration. A need may emerge that doesn’t necessarily fit your perception of what you should do. When I was at Christ For the Nations Institute, I was approached by my good friend Rudy Tan to take his place as the head usher since he was graduating. My initial thought was “Why in the world would I want to be head usher!” Initially I declined and I definitely didn’t sense any desire whatsoever on my part to pursue this need. I dismissed it without further thought. However, Rudy persisted and I finally obliged to take his place. Although I was unaware of it, it was indeed the “Father-purpose” for my life. As head ushers, Aneta and I met key people including our spiritual parents in the Lord, Jerry and Shara Phillips. Overall it was a rewarding opportunity as I grew in my leadership capacity through this undesirable need!

Biblical focus entails that ability to hear and see what the Father is doing within a specific context. Living a “Father-purpose” driven life is one that entails a wholehearted desire to love and obey His voice on a daily basis. “Father-purposes” may be progressively revealed over time like the slow, steady crock-pot; or, it may suddenly be revealed without any prior expectations. The key is to know the Father’s heart. The Apostle Paul knew the key to the power of focus: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17)

3 comments:

weave said...

Brian,

Thanks for your thought-provoking article. Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" has certainly impacted the body of Christ. I read it, and found it to be fairly good. But I have always struggled with the book's title. I do not like the word "driven."

But I was reminded not long ago that Jesus was "driven" by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for a time of testing.

A friend of mine uses the phrase, "follow the grace." In other words, wherever God's grace is, that's where I want to be. I prefer to think that generally speaking, the Spirit gently leads us into the Father's purpose from ahead of where we are. I would rather be "led" than "driven" any day.

Brian Heasley said...

hey brian I couldn't read the text on your new layout!

Brian Heasley said...

sorry I can now! it was my computer!!! great post love it