As I talk to leaders around the globe, the one word that I keep hearing in my heart is “focus!” More than any other time in my life, I hear leaders crying out for effectiveness. They are tired of following the pack. They tried everything everyone told them they should try. Their schedules are overrun with programs. They are giving their time to so many different things that they have more activities and less effectiveness, more sacrifice and less fulfillment, more ministry but less of a sense of destiny and purpose. When good people try hard at too many things, there is but one solution… focus!
In setting new goals we have to remember our original vision. What do I want to accomplish? What is the one objective that I must fulfill to finish my life’s course? Are my goals for this upcoming year making me more focused or more scattered?
Unless I intend to become a junk collector, when I purchase new furniture I must get rid of the old. When I buy a new car, I usually trade in the old one. When I start something new, I must also consider what I am ready to stop!
The writer of Hebrews gave us this insightful advice about focusing, Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV). We tend to only look at this with an eye to laying aside every sin. For most of the leaders I know, sin is not what’s holding them back; it’s the dead weight! Remember that the anchor that kept your vessel safe in the harbor will drown you if you try to swim with it! That which was valuable and essential at one time or in a certain setting doesn’t have to be dragged through our entire life!
Weights are not sins. They are simply non-essential things we are carrying that slow us down in our race. Weights are often harder to recognize than sins, because they are not necessarily bad things. A coat is a good thing to have. It may have saved your life in a cold winter blizzard, but you don’t need to wear it when you’re running a race! Many of the weights that slow us down are good things, things that God led us to do. Most of my weights today are things that were at one time serving my call and my cause but no longer contribute to where I am going. It is a new day, a new season! Weights are anything that slow me down in reaching my ultimate objectives!