[Column] Faith is Concentration

What is faith? It is concentration. Faith is concentration on God and His Word (Romans 4:20). In the troubles and trials of life, we become distracted by our own thoughts and anxieties.

However, when we behold our circumstances in the eyes of faith, we can see beyond our obstacles and remain composed and focused. Let us take David and Goliath for example. All the Israelites trembled before the Philistine army led by Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Goliath was over 9 feet tall and wore an armor weighing 5,000 shekels. That is equivalent to 152 lbs. Having covered almost every part of his body with an impenetrable armor, Goliath was invincible. Moreover, he was equipped with a long spear, a short spear, a sword, and a shield held by his armor bearer.

Nevertheless, young David proclaims before Goliath: “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

Let us examine David’s faith. He was fearless against Goliath because he did not see how tall Goliath was, how impenetrable Goliath’s armor was, or how big Goliath’s spear was. As he opened his spiritual eyes, he saw Goliath’s forehead, the only unprotected area of the body. He saw it clearly and focused on that area. After striking Goliath with a single stone, David cut off Goliath’s head with his sword. The Bible says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, faith is seeing through faith in God invisible miracle, triumph, and victory as having been accomplished. To have concentrating faith, we should cleanse our minds through repentance and train ourselves to focus on the Word of God.

There is an English proverb that says, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Flies have the most advanced eyes of all insects giving them crustal vision. If you examine these species carefully, you will notice that they constantly “rub” their oversized eyes with their pulvilli. Another interesting fact about flies is that they have compound eyes consisting of many smaller eyes. Because even a mote of dust in the eye can create multiple vision, flies flawlessly and constantly cleanse their eyes. Like flies, we too must cleanse our souls of sin and look only to the Lord. By focusing on praise (1 Chronicles 9:33), the meditation of the Word (Psalm 1:2), and prayer (Acts 1:14; Acts 2:42), we can cleanse our minds and grow internally.

Also, we must take the Word of God into our hearts. To be a competent pilot, one is required to undergo rigorous and challenging flight training programs. Among the most difficult parts of the programs is dealing with air sickness and nausea during turbulence. No one is immune to fear especially when he or she has to execute vertical ascent/descent, 360 and 720 degree turns, and left and right rolls. It is said that the pilot cannot help but vomit when he or she looks outside. However, there is a simple solution to this problem: focusing on the control panel regardless of the turbulence outside. In life, we undergo many trials and troubles. That is when we focus on our control panel, the Word of God. Whereas the convex lens focuses the light and burn paper, the concave lens scatters the light. We as the people of faith focus on the Word of God and light our hearts on fire like the convex lens.

If we focus on anything other than God, our spirit will not awake. Focusing on circumstances will only strengthen the body and bear the fruits of the body; focusing on ourselves will only heighten our ego and bear its fruits. We can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit through spiritual awakening only when we concentrate on God. Even when engaging in external activities, we must concentrate on God and train ourselves for it (Colossians 1:27). Then, we will overcome fear against any Goliath-like enemies, vanquish them, and triumph.

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