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How to Focus on Your Goals and Live Intentionally Like Jesus!

How to Focus on Your Goals and Live Intentionally Like Jesus!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV

One thing I consciously work to do is:  LIVE INTENTIONALLY! Sometimes I, too, need downtime or to do “mindless things.” As a follower of Christ, a mental health coach, and a teacher of the Word, I understand the importance of living by your values, even when it involves mindless activities. I am a big fan of learning. In fact, I “relax” by learning. One of my favorite things to do is play word searches to improve my focus and speed-reading skills. 

Most word searches have a word bank that helps you identify the words you have to find for that particular puzzle. Without that word bank, it would be tough to verify if that word you saw was a word you were supposed to find. That’s when it hit me! 

We need to create our own word bank but of goals.

When you know the word you need to find, your mind works with you to help you find that word. Your brain will start to filter out all the letters absent in that word you are looking for and begin filtering in all the letters that are in that word you are looking for. It’s the same with goals. 

Sometimes, you will come across another word in that bank when you are looking for a specific word from that bank. Why is that? Because your mind is consistently seeing the word bank and looking for those words in the sea of letters.

Your self-talk is similar to this! Does your self-talk sound like Jesus’ or the worlds?

Since your self-talk tells your mind what to look for, the brain then will only highlight what you are consciously looking for – there are too many stimuli in the world for your brain to filter it all in!

 When you are reading the word bank, you tell your mind what to look for. Your body works with and apart from thought! Now, this is an excellent example of what it feels like to participate with your conscious mind. The same is true when you engage in your goals, as mentioned above. 

Again, we work to create our most dominant thoughts. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7).

Sometimes, you stare at the entire puzzle; you are merely trying to take in all the letters in hopes a word pops out to you. Maybe then you decide to pick a certain word from the bank, looking for it in the sea of letters when SUDDENLY – 💥BAM💥  you find that word! This is an example of your mind responding to thought! It works the same way when we are in “life.”

When you re-expose yourself consciously to your list of goals, you help yourself achieve your goals. Jesus is a great example of this. Since He was always saying what the Father told Him to say. He never lost focus or track of His goal. Jesus never stopped thinking about His primary goals: glorifying the Father, staying in constant relationship with the Father, and teaching people about their authority in Him! It’s fair to say Jesus never lost sight of His personal mission in life!

You can re-expose yourself to your goals by reading your goals as much as possible, envisioning yourself achieving those goals, or intentionally meditating on the goals throughout the day. It will eventually get into your nonconscious mind. What we meditate on shapes up! As you progress through the days, life experiences, and life challenges, your mind will find opportunities that relate to or lead you to accomplish those goals faster. Of course, the same can be said by doing the opposite way of living. You know, when you focus on the short-term, flesh, and lust-filled things. You either are living intentionally by your values or passively not knowing what your values really are!

I am a firm believer your brain can be trained to work with you or against you. Satan can and will try to sell you lies. There are principalities of darkness who are chomping at the bit to teach you to think in a deadly way – in a way that torments, controls, and paralyzes you!  

Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).

Remember, Jesus always spoke what He wanted to see. Jesus only said life. He always stayed in agreement and in the will of His Father as well! We are to walk in that image! Speaking life, the solution, and always praising the Father. 

Most people fail at achieving their new year’s resolutions because they identify their goals, write them down, and then push them to the side. One needs to consciously participate with those goals every day as much as possible by reading them out loud and consciously meditating on them. It’s so important to see yourself accomplishing said goals too!

There are plenty of verses that speak to the significance of continually meditating on God’s word and not allowing scripture to depart from your eyes. The same is valid with goals. Proverbs 28:19 says:

Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God] (AMP).

This verse says that when the Word of God is not known or honored, the people run wild. The ones who obey the law (Word of God) are the truly blessed ones. We could take the same principle and apply it to our goals. If your goals are not known to you and are not honored by your choices, you will run wild and, most likely, miss opportunities or delay yourself from getting there. The reality is if you identify your goals and push them to the side, your focus will go with them too. Ultimately, you become more easily distracted by “bright shiny object syndrome.” You know where EVERYTHING seems like a great idea, and you can do it all! …. Only to find out that you can’t and that you have exhausted yourself trying to do so!

Ironically, neuroscience supports this. By consciously thinking and envisioning yourself accomplishing the goal that you want to achieve for a total of one hour a day for 180 days straight, you will have a 90% improvement in reaching that goal or gaining a clearer vision of that goal.  Either way, the results are in your favor! 

It's so important to live life intentionally, as Jesus exemplifies in the Gospel.

We know this to be true because the Bible is truth! However, neuroscience supports these findings because of how the Reticular Activity System (RAS) works and how God designed our minds. Car shopping is an excellent example of how one’s RAS works. When you are contemplating buying a particular car, your mind will highlight that car to your conscious mind every time it is close to you! 

You start to think, “hmm… this car is everywhere.” The reality is there are not any more of these cars than there were before. The difference is now you notice them! You told your mind what to look for, and it responded. Your brain starts to filter in the stimuli you put in through your self-talk and what you meditate on throughout the day. This is also the power of intentional living and having a single-minded focus….just like Jesus did. Remember, a double-minded man is unstable in all that they do (James 1:8).

Now since you, probably, weren’t aware you told yourself to look for that car, this would be an example of how your brain works apart from thought. Just like you don’t tell yourself to breathe! Notice how both conscious and unconscious thought guides you to action!? Perhaps, this explains Proverbs 23:7?

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior—one who manipulates].

You do what is in your heart (mind).

Thought becomes words - words become actions - actions become habits -habits become your character- and your character becomes your destiny!

I think this is why God reminds us to meditate on His word and told us so many times, “do not be afraid.” He knew precisely what would rotten the soul – and He was right! Duh

 However, when you do not live an intentional life with a clear vision, you are wandering. When you wander, your mind will still work as described above. The most significant difference is when you lack keen focus or direction, everything can become a path you could walk down, or everything becomes an opportunity. It will start to feel like you are treading water instead of moving towards your goals. 

A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead (Proverbs 21:16).

 Living intentionally and practicing thought-control will bring you more useful information, and the other brings, potentially, more useless information. To bring this back to the word search, this would be an example of when you find a word that is not in the word bank. 

 When you look for what you are focusing on and only what you are focusing on, it’s easier to successfully and timely accomplish your goals. Think back to the last word search you did. Didn’t everything else become less important until after you completed the puzzle? 

When concentrating on a word search, the focus you have is the same single-minded intensity and self-discipline you need to achieve your goals. 

The Bible also says the same thing with the following verses:

So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Luke 11:9-10).

Let me ask you…

👉  Where do you need to be more intentional with your goals? 

👉  Where are you departing from godly wisdom in your life?

👉  Where can you start disciplining your flesh to be more like Christ? 

👉  Where can you start living more intentionally versus passively?

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for aligning my desires with Your desires. If there are any goals I want to or am pursuing that do not align with Your will, help me to see that and lose interest in them! Help me to live more intentionally and with a Jesus-like focus. Father help me to achieve only what You would like me to achieve. Holy Spirit help me to stay on the Father’s path for my life. Thank You for nudging me and loving me when I take a wrong step, and more importantly, thank You for getting me back on track. Father, thank You for sacrificing Your Son for me! Thank You for all that You are doing in my life, and I ask You to use me in Your Kingdom however You planned. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

P.S: If you enjoyed this blog, I would be incredibly grateful if you could take just 30 seconds to share this blog with a friend on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Tag Renew Ministries in the share, please! God bless you! 😇🙏🏼.