How to Focus Your Life
By Rick Warren
— October 11, 2010
"Abraham was now old and well advance in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way." Genesis 24:1 (NIV)
"You can't just know the what, you need to know the why - that's your motivation. If you don't know why, you will give up when it gets tough. "
The next ten years can be the greatest of your life. They can become a Decade of Destiny, where your life is focused and, as a result, you're able to make an impact in all you do.
To get where you believe God wants you to go and be what you know God wants you to be, there are several steps you need to take that will get you focused --
Step #1 - Determine your present position
You've got to know where you are before you can know where you are going. To do that, ask yourself two questions:
- Where am I now? Where are you spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally, physically, and occupationally?
- What would I like to change? In all of those areas you identified, what would you like to be different?
God promised Abraham that he would be become the father of a great nation. But in Genesis 24, we find Abraham is now an old man and his son, Isaac, still doesn't have any children yet. Abraham assessed the situation and, as a result, he sent his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for Isaac.
An important principle here is that it is never too late for you to make a change in your life, even though making the change may take longer than you think. This is why you can't procrastinate. You can either drift through the next ten years or you can have direction over the next ten years. God wants you to have direction.
Step #2 - Be specific about what you want
In order to get to where you want to be, you need to describe exactly what you want.
For instance, Abraham told Eliezer exactly what kind of wife he wanted for Isaac. He said, "Don't get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls. Instead, go back ... to the land of my relatives and get a wife for my son" (Genesis 24:3-4 NIV).
You will never reach a vague goal. The more general it is, the less power it has. But the more specific it is, the more power it has in your life.
Ask yourself these four questions:
- What do I want to be?
- What do I want to do?
- What do I want to have?
- Why do I want it?
You can't just know the what, you need to know the why - that's your motivation. If you don't know why, you will give up when it gets tough.
When Eliezer heard Abraham's goal, he started asking "What if...?" If you listen to the what-ifs of your goal, you will fail because of worry and fear.
You don't need to focus on the how for now because, once you figure out the why, God will show you how. He will help you solve the problems that stand in the way of your goal.
Today pray about your answers to steps #1 and #2, and tomorrow we'll look at the next steps.