“Jacob … took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.”
How did Jacob know to do this? The angel of God showed him in a dream he had during the breeding season (Genesis 31:10-13). Jacob’s father-in-law, Laban, was shrewd and unfair because he structured Jacob’s compensation by separating the lesser number of spotted, striped, and speckled sheep and goats from his flocks to become Jacob’s. Laban thought he was getting cheap labor this way, but God showed Jacob how to increase his flocks in that dream. In partnership with God, Jacob peeled the branches and placed them directly in front of the watering hole when the sheep were in heat.
Think about it. Quantum physics happened here. The visual and mental focus on those striped, speckled, spotted branches resulted in newborn lambs and kids reflecting the pattern made in those branches—thus, increasing Jacob’s flocks. Genius on Jacob’s part? No. God created the dynamic of quantum physics to accomplish it. Not only did the animals “see” the branches while they were mating, but Jacob also focused on the vision he “saw” in his dream and wound up more prosperous than Laban. Jacob’s flocks increased, his family increased, and within six years, he gained all this new wealth from the man who had changed his wages ten times. Despite Laban’s cheating, God still put Jacob on top through the power of focus—i.e., potential collapsing into solid reality (matter).
God, the Creator, designed our minds and bodies to influence the potential for a better outcome in our circumstances through focus. It is a focus of faith. As a noun, focus means the concentration of attention or energy on something. As a verb, it means: to direct one’s attention on something; to aim at or zero in on—kind of like lining up the crosshairs of a gun scope on a specific target. It also means to bring into focus our ideas, imaginations, or emotions.
Given the definition of focus, this applies well to Jacob’s story. Instead of focusing negatively on his cheating father-in-law, Jacob kept his sights zeroed in on the promises God made to him at Bethel (house of God) and the vow he had made to God. (Genesis 28:10-20). For twenty years, Jacob suffered injustice at the hand of his father-in-law but kept imagining, dreaming, and partnering with God toward the day of his release, until he returned to his homeland. Jacob focused on the right things promised to him and acted upon it in hope and faith.
No matter the outcome of this election, the cheating or injustice involved, or what that means for our nation’s future, we (like Jacob) still have our kingdom destinies intact and the promises God made to us. If you focus on the right things, nothing can stop what God has placed in your heart to do. Just keep moving in that direction. Don’t let the affairs of this world distract you from your mission. God’s got that all under control. Just keep your vision directly in front of you until your potential collapses into solid reality.
Keep your sight on the mark!
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching for those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”−Philippians 3:13-14
Grace and peace to you all!