“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”
I love ministry. Have for about 45 years now. But I will be honest with you, ministry can be stressful at times. I remember a time when it was particularly tense for me. A time when I felt myself being pulled apart in several directions. Reid and I had been out of town, and on the drive home I was venting to him – for probably the 10th time. Suddenly, he took his right hand off the steering wheel and made a fist on the top of the dashboard of the car, with his thumb sticking up. He then told me to look at his thumb. I did. Then he told me to look at the truck that we were following down the highway. I did. But then, he reeled me in by telling me to look at both his thumb and the truck at the same time. Of course, I tried, wouldn’t you? You already know what happened. It was impossible for me to give each of them my undivided attention. That was when his message came through clear to me. I needed to choose what I was going to focus on. That object lesson really helped me walk through that difficult time, and it is still a lesson that is permanently etched in my memory.
We all focus on something. We focus on our favorite program on TV. We focus on what our family is doing. We focus on the craft we’re making. The list could go on and on. But here is the thing about focusing – what we focus on generally directs our hearts. If we focus on something negative, it has the potential to put pessimistic feelings in our hearts. If we focus on something positive, it has the potential to make our hearts glad.
We are living in a time of rampant turmoil, animosity, selfish ambition, and destruction. Money has become a god, moral values have been trashed, and human life has little value. How do we maneuver our way through a daily pile of rapidly declining standards? The writer of Hebrews guides us through the frailties and fallacies of life in a fallen world by telling us to “fix (focus) our eyes on Jesus Christ.”
So, the question we each need to ask ourselves is this: Are we truly staying focused on Christ? Here are some things to think about: Are we spending as much time in prayer as we are sitting watching the news? Are we interceding in prayer for all the hatred we are seeing, or are we merely shaking our heads at it? Are we as consumed with the word of God as we are scrolling through social media? Are we making every effort to study and live by God’s directives, or are we merely giving five minutes of our time to read our daily devotional?
What is our real focus? What is the bedrock of our lives? Is our attention divided between several things? The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:5, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” We cannot give both the flesh and the Spirit our undivided attention at the same time.
We will not be able to see light if we are focused on darkness. Nor will we be able to know truth if we are focused on lies. We must constantly evaluate where our focus is. How about yours? Does it need some adjusting?