Attention To Detail
Did you ever admire good work? Every detail is given meticulous attention. I did this many times with auto detailing which is an example that may surprise you. I had one girl cry and wrap her arms around me showing her gratitude and excitement as her terribly oxidized car looked now like it came off the assembly line. Was she blessed? It wasn’t that hard – the right polish and ‘attention to detail’. Was I successful? That’s what this teaching is all about.
Attention to detail is the difference between success and failure.
Let all things be done decently and in order. – I Corinthians 14: 40
The context here is referring to the Church of the Body of Christ, of which we belong. However, do you think God doesn’t want order in every part of your life? You’ve heard it said “They’ll read you before they read the Bible.” That’s true. How I got so many people signed up for Bible classes is that people told me they wanted what I had. The positive attitude, the cool, the composure etc., etc. Man, I’m really blowing my horn, aren’t I? Not really. You see, I asked my people what made them sign up for Bible classes and they pointed at me. They said they wanted what I had.
When I witnessed the Word of God, I watched every move of that person. What were their fears – their strong points. Were they living in a good family situation – how they dressed and wore their hair. What kind of car did they drove and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I looked at their heart. That’s what really mattered but these other details helped me to know what subjects to stress and what to avoid. In other words, what were their NEEDS? After what God did for me, I couldn’t help but love these people. I watched over them and protected them – details.
I paid attention to detail and I was a success – and not a failure. I am going to give you more examples from the Word and also in everyday life. I can almost guarantee you’ll never forget this teaching especially once you apply it.
We are now going to go to an Old Testament record that I never forgot. It just amazes me how God put this small detail into His Word. It must be very important if you get honest with yourself.
Pharaoh had a dream that was haunting him for a long time. Simply speaking, he went to everyone and every source that he had to get them to interpret the dream, but no one could. This King called all the magicians and all the worldly people to interpret this dream. Somebody went to Pharaoh and told him about a certain person who was righteous and who was incarcerated at the time. But that's not the point that I would like to get across. Let's turn to the Scripture and we will be able to see the attention to detail that Joseph took before he appeared before Pharaoh.
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. – Genesis 41: 14
Now this is something that we can all learn from and we should never forget. I don't see how you can forget what's written in this Scripture. They took Joseph who is in the dungeon and before he came in unto Pharaoh, he did two things. He shaved himself and he changed his raiment or his clothing. Why? Because he wanted to make a good impression on Pharaoh and he was the only one who could interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Oh, you can say to yourself, well the results would have been the same whether he shaved or not. How can you know that for a certainty? You cannot. And Pharaoh appointed Joseph over all the land of Egypt. Here is a person that was in jail, but he was the only person who could help Pharaoh. So Pharaoh rewarded him greatly.
The point of the Scripture is that attention to detail is what made Joseph a success. This Scripture was taught quite extensively in an advanced class on biblical research that I once took. I never forgot the teaching. Even in the days before I knew Christ, I always tried to do everything just right. My car was immaculate and I tried to dress appropriately all the time. So when I heard this teaching, I was blessed to know that I had stumbled upon one of the principles in God's Word that can lead to either success or failure.
What person or group of people have you ever met that stood out in your mind? Was it the person or persons who were sloppily dressed and looked unkempt? Or was it the person who paid attention to every possible detail in their physical appearance? You know the answer to that. It has been said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is so important when you witness God's Word. A person must see something in you that they want. If you're not careful about your appearance, that person who is probably slightly afraid of what is taking place, will look for that one thing so that they can escape and have an excuse to get away from you. Don't give anyone that opportunity. Pay attention to detail and you will be a success.
The Word of God, in many instances, uses two different phrases or words interchangeably and those two words are detail and order. God stresses order in many places in His Word and order is basically the same thing as attention to detail. Let's take a look at the Word and let God speak.
For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. – Colossians 2: 5
Paul is addressing the Colossians here and he is telling them that even though he is absent in the flesh (he is not presently with them), he tells them that he is with them in the spirit. This means that he is standing with them and praying with and for them pertaining to spiritual matters. Then he goes on to say that he is joying and beholding their order and this is what I want to stress. They are practicing spiritual matters and they are decent and in order and that makes Paul very pleased. He is also blessed pertaining to the steadfastness (unmovable) of their faith (believing) in Christ.
We should be able to understand by now that Christ in you is being born again but you in Christ is referring to the renewed mind which is your key to power. So Paul is blessed and one of the details he brings out is ‘order’. This is just one of many Scriptures that I have found that mentions the word order and order can be used as a substitute for detail -- attention to detail. Are we beginning to see the importance of the subject matter of this teaching?
Let me just take you to one more Scripture that mentions the word ‘order’ so that you can understand its importance and why I am stressing it.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. – I Corinthians 16: 1
You can see the importance of having order in the church of God just as it is mentioned here in the churches of Galatia.
I would like to go back and give you a real life example of what it's like to remember somebody who paid meticulous attention to detail. These are the people that I previously mentioned will stay in your mind and the other people are the people who you will forget.
Someone once taught me that experiences were worthless unless you could teach them to others. I have had enough experiences in my life to equal the experiences of about five people in their lifetime. This happens to do a lot with my personality trait of curiosity.
I will try to make this story short. But it should make an impact on your life, because it made a major impact on mine.
You should know that I have worked in the psychiatric field. However, I have a business degree and I couldn't go very far in this field even though I loved this type of work. I tried to get into a short term hospital ward where the care was much better than any state hospital. The people who worked with the patients had special types of educational degrees and I was lacking in this area. However, I knew a few of these people who were referred to as psychiatric technicians and not aides. The hospitals in which they worked and the type of position they held was quite a few steps up from a state hospital.
I was talking with one of these psychiatric technicians and asking him questions about his position and about the type of degree he had. Again, that's not the point here. This man was a young guy and it's hard to explain just how perfectly he looked and dressed. His shoes were in style and shined to the hilt - his hair, not one was out of place and his hairstyle fit his looks and appearance just right. He spoke carefully and enunciated each word and he had a certain calm and cool about him that really just blew me away. These psych techs were not afraid to get close to others. I never forgot the smallest thing that he taught me. He looked at me and he said, Ralph you look pretty good but there is one point about how you’re dressed that stands out in a negative way. Of course, I asked him what it was because I respected him because he paid attention to detail to the max. He pointed down to my belt and he said, now look at your shirt buttons as they come down and now look at your belt. My belt buckle was off to one side and I had no idea of this small detail. He said let me move your belt to the center of your pants in the center of your shirt and he said you will look much better. It did look surprisingly better because it was now decent and in order. Sound like a story that's not that important? Well, I told you this story so you realize that it can be to smallest detail lacking in your life that's hindering you from being successful.
I was at a job interview once for a very good position and this woman that was interviewing me seemed to like me. I wanted this job and I had prepared as much for it as I could – so I thought. But there was one detail -- one mistake that I overlooked. I did not pay attention to detail by checking myself out in a mirror, not only in front, but in the back. Believe it or not, I had an envelope stuck in my back pocket of my suit and this woman brought that up to me. She said you know everything went really fine here, she said, but I can't have people representing our company with an envelope hanging out of the back of their pants. I felt so embarrassed because I knew it was my fault and you guessed it -- I never got the job. Is attention to detail important or not?
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. – Luke 1: 8 – 10
Throughout the Bible, we will see the word ‘order’ used many times to represent attention to detail. In Luke 1: 8, we see that the priest’s office was executed by a King and he performed his duty in the ORDER of his course. This means he had a certain pattern that he was to follow. He did not go into the priest’s office and begin to pray. The first thing he did was to burn incense and the next verse tells us that the people were praying while he was burning incense.
God set this order for this King and the King paid attention to detail. So I hope with this example, we will strengthen our belief that all things done in a spiritual manner must be done in order. And attention to detail must come first before there can be order. It may seem like a trivial thing to us and also we may not understand it, but it is very important that we carry out our spiritual responsibilities in God’s order. And who is to say that we are not to carry out all our responsibilities in a godly manner? The point here is quite simple, but let’s look at a few more verses to cement in our minds the importance of this principle.
In fact, the next two verses in Romans chapter 13 are extremely important. It was the transgression of these verses that has caused many a ministry to fall. I saw this happen. Before I get into these verses, I want to say that even if a leader tells you to do something that is wrong, you will still get blessed by God if you do so. God will also make sure that you are protected from any wrongdoing because you are doing so according to the arrangement of God Himself. Leaders make mistakes and it is up to us to reprove and correct them with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. I know that this is difficult to understand, but if we do not respect our leadership and their efforts, even though not perfect, we have chaos and rebellion and most things will simply fall apart.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained [ordered] of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance [order, setup, or arrangement] of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [judgement]. – Romans 13: 1 – 2
There is an awful lot in these two verses that you need to understand. In the first place, we need to know that every living being must be subject unto the higher powers. This term ‘higher powers’ is often misunderstood and can throw the Word of God to pieces. Remember, that what I just said is a figure of speech. Only man’s misunderstanding can appear to make the Word difficult and full of contradictions.
The point that I want to make is that these higher powers are not political people and are not Kings, but are people in positions of power in a ministry in which you choose to study. These higher powers are your leaders – the people who are teaching you God’s Word. God is exhorting you to listen to them. They have more experience than you. They have dealt with the adversary more than you. They have a greater knowledge of God’s Word because they have studied for a much longer period of time. Take advantage of this and learn from them. But whatever you do, do not resist them. They are doing their best to help you become spiritually strong. Do you now understand what the term ‘higher powers’ is referring to? Now we have that clear in your mind. Why does God say this? Because the power that these ministers are using is from God Himself. The Scripture says “For there is no power but of God:” And also God says that the people who are in this position of power are ordained or ordered of God. There is the word ‘order’ once again. God Almighty is the master and is perfect at attention to detail. God does everything at the exact right moment in time. So it is God that places these believers in positions of power and leadership. Do you want to fight against God? Some people do.
Whosoever decides to resist the power of God is resisting the order and arrangement of God Himself. What is the result? They bring to themselves damnation or judgment. When you have division, this is just what the adversary wants. If he can split believers apart in their thinking and actions, he’s got us beat. He did this with the Ministry in which I studied at one time. As far as I am concerned, attention to detail, that effort, was not made when people were placed in leadership positions. I can see overlooking a leader’s mistake once in awhile, but when it becomes serious and drastic, then something must be done or the Ministry which that leader represents will fall apart. It’s just common sense. So the point I’d like to make is that these two Scriptures are extremely important and you should understand that you should adhere to what your leader is attempting to teach you, especially when they’re walking with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. I have sat here since 1998 teaching you the Word of God and giving it to you for free. I don’t charge for classes – I don’t ask for tithes. I do this out of love, and many people, as time went on, appreciated it less and less. Well, God’s teachers never make a fool out of themselves. This may be my last teaching. You have enough teachings to last you for many, many long years and you need to master the principles in those teachings.
In parting, I would like to say one last thing that God wants you to know. Times are getting very difficult and the enemy is using every means and method that he can use to draw you away from the only thing that can defeat him. That is God’s Word rightly divided. But if you remember this scripture and learn it by heart and repeat it to yourself often during the day, God will teach you how to believe to crush your personal adversary.
I can do all things through Christ which [who] strengtheneth me. – Phillipians 4: 13
And finally, once again, I am going to give you the literal translation of this verse.
“I am ready for everything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me”.