Focusing on the word: focus

In Jeremiah 1:11-12, it says,  “Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.””

As we forge deeper into 2018, I sense the Lord saying to prepare for high definition focus, divine favor and kingdom fruitfulness.

Let’s focus on the word: focus. One aspect of the word means to have clear visual definition. Focus is the act of concentrating interest or activity on something specific. In this interchange between the LORD and His prophet, Jeremiah, the LORD wanted to know what Jeremiah sees. What was he looking at? How did he perceive what was in front of him? What was his prophetic perspective?

When it comes to prophets and prophecy, the scriptures are clear. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:9, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” In verse 12, he adds, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” In other words, we don’t know it all and we can’t see it all. We prophesy according to our limited view and understanding. 

I’ll never forget the first time we took our children to the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This uniquely designed facility is used to house and display ancient manuscripts — including the first Dead Sea Scrolls to be discovered. The building’s white-tiled dome is shaped like the lid of the first jar in which the scrolls were found at Qumran. When our family entered this facility for the first time, I was amazed to see our children gaze at the words written on these scrolls and actually make out some of the words as they read the inscriptions in ancient biblical letters. 

One of the focal shifts that is underway at this time is best explained by a recent vision that I had in a time of prayer. In the spirit, I saw intercessors, worshippers, prophets, and many of God’s children, both men and women, being given access to the heavenly library where there are a multitude of books and scrolls. Some of the books and scrolls chronicled the works and the ways of God in generations past. Some of the books and scrolls were for generations to come. The books and the scrolls that were opened on the tables contained the written plan of God for THIS generation. Access was being given to God’s children to read and to understand God’s plans for this hour. Like strategists, wisdom and knowledge began to shape the minds and mindsets of those reading these books and receiving these scrolls.

In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah sorrowfully declares “Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.”

God wants us to declare His word with clear focus and prophetic accuracy. To do so, we need a spirit of wisdom and revelation. Consider afresh the prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1:17-21: 
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

There is no limit to the divine favor or the level of kingdom fruitfulness that will result from a life aligned to the will and purpose of God. That is why it is so essential that we see clearly what He is doing and where He is moving. There is no door that He cannot open and no obstacle that He cannot overcome for those who are prophetically focused and accurately aligned to the Father’s will. 

The prophet Habakkuk was also facing some very confusing and challenging times in his generation. He needed to understand how the LORD was moving and why He was choosing to use who He was using to fulfill His purpose. He did something that made all the difference - and this is a key for all of us. He says, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” He desperately needed heavenly perspective in order to regain a prophetic focus. The LORD answers and declares, "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

So, what do you see? 

Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your understanding in order to precisely discern His purposes for this time in history. May it be said of us, what the LORD said to Jeremiah. “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”