There is a fascinating story in the Old Testament about the power of focus. What you focus on can affect and transform you…
Genesis 30:27-43 NLT
“Please don’t leave me,” Laban replied, “for a fortune-teller that I consulted told me that the many blessings I’ve been enjoying are all because of your being here. 28 How much of a raise do you need to get you to stay? Whatever it is, i’ll pay it.” 29 Jacob replied, “You know how faithfully I’ve served you through these many years, and how your flocks and herds have grown. 30 for it was little indeed you had before I came, and your wealth has increased enormously; Jehovah has blessed you from everything I do! But now, what about me? When should I provide for my own family?” 31 “What wages do you want?” Laban asked again. Jacob replied, “If you will do one thing, I’ll go back to work for you. Let me go out among your flocks today and remove all the goats that are speckled or spotted, and all the black sheep. Give them to me as my wages. 33 then if you ever find any white goats or sheep in my flock, you will know that I have stolen them from you!” 34 “All right!” Laban replied. “It shall be as you have said!” 35 So that very day Laban went out and formed a flock for Jacob of all the male goats that were ringed and spotted, and the females that were speckled and spotted with any white patches, and all of the black sheep. He gave them to Jacob’s sons to take them three days’ distance, and Jacob stayed and cared for Laban’s flock. 37 Then Jacob took fresh shoots from poplar, almond, and sycamore trees, and peeled white streaks in them, 38 and placed these rods beside the watering troughs so that Laban’s flocks would see them when they came to drink; for that is when they mated. 39 So the flocks mated before the white-streaked rods, and their offspring were streaked and spotted, and Jacob added them to his flock. Then he divided out the ewes from Laban’s flock and segregated them from the rams, and let them mate only with Jacob’s black rams. Thus he built his flocks from Laban’s. 41 Moreover, he watched for the stronger animals to mate, and placed the peeled branches before them, 42 but didn’t with the feebler ones. So the less healthy lambs were Laban’s and the stronger ones were Jacob’s! 43 as a result, Jacob’s flocks increased rapidly and he became very wealthy, with many servants, camels, and donkeys.”
This story is a reminder to never focus on what you don’t want to become. If you stare at something long enough you’ll become wed to it, and it’ll have the potential to master you. Jacob tricked Laban out of his sheep by setting up Laban’s white sheep to look at striped rods while they mated, so their offspring would come out spotted! By doing this, Jacob increased the number of spotted sheep that he had claim to. Applying this story to modern times forces the question: what “rods” are you focusing on in your life? If you’re focusing on negative or unfruitful “rods”, what scriptures do you need to look at, concentrate on and internalize so that you can change? With the story of Jacob we see that the cattle turned the color of the branches that they were beholding. The principle is simple: you become what you behold, so make sure that whatever you focus on is what you desire to come to pass in your future!
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1 Kings 18:44 (NKJV)
Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 John 2:16 (NKJV)
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.