Fire Cracker What is the difference between a fire cracker and a rifle round? They both have powerful gun powder and they both make people jump through sheer noise. The firecracker has no control. Whereas when a round dwells in the barrel, the rifle focuses the power of the powder blasting the bullet hundreds of yards away.

The rifle round can change the course of history, the fire cracker amuses children. Does your life look like a rifle round or a fire cracker?

When God calls us to go somewhere He simultaneously calls us to not go anywhere else. For example, when God called Paul to Macedonia He thereby called him not to go to Asia. We, like Paul, cannot be two places at once or do two things at the same time.

If we want to change the world for God we must learn to say “no.” He wants us to focus our lives just like a round is focused down the barrel. As God gives direction, hold on to it for dear life. View every decision through the prism of “how will this help me fulfill the purpose God has given me for this season?” You must say “no” to anything outside your vision. When you say “yes” to distractions you are saying “no” to the things God has called you to do.


It is better to do a few things well than to do many things poorly. Do ing less means no ing more. Jesus had to say “no” often because he focused on the will of His Father.  Could you imagine how the crowds must have felt when He just up and left to spend time with God?  He had a vision for His life and he stuck to it, even to the point of death.

Getting vision is like putting on glasses. The world becomes clear, yet God calls us to more. He wants us to put the rifle to our shoulder and zoom in on the scope. He wants to refine our vision. That means not looking at most of what you can see so you peer into the impossible. Once you have that vision for your life you can see what you must do and what must not do.  Jesus changed the world by focusing on twelve men. He aimed for the impossible and hit His mark. God has placed us where we are for tactical and strategic Kingdom victories.  We must not despise the day of small beginnings.

When seeking God for vision and direction for our lives we must ask the question: How does what I am doing glorify God and bring me closer to Him? Are we  glorifying God as we pretend to sin in video games? God does not take joy in the death of the wicked yet we are pretending to kill wicked people in violent computer games.

However, for most of us it would be difficult to prove how gaming or entertainment for that matter fits within the plan God has for our lives. Our focus becomes muddled between serving God and pleasing ourselves. At best entertainment is a diversion. At worst it is a deadly distraction pulling us away from the true adventure God has called us to live. Entertainment can not only take time away from kingdom pursuits, it also can cause our minds to dwell on that which is unholy.

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

One thought on “Focus

  1. Thomas, thanks for this post, for sharing your insight. I appreciate it. The only thing I’d like to discuss further with you is your last paragraph. God created this wonder-full world with it’s many interesting things, amazing beauty & complexity, and it’s pleasures. It is important to glorify God by being fully alive — includes freedom and full health spiritually, mentally, physically — so enjoying your self is not an either or choice with serving God. That is a false dichotomy. Good things enjoyed in moderation are part of the joy of being alive and human. Happy vs miserable duty-bound can’t enjoy that Christians are difficult ot be around and are probably sadden God. We’re His kids. Think about the cool things He has created for us to enjoy, even in this sin-full world.

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