Posted by: mikenicholsblog | November 8, 2017

fixing our eyes

It took twenty hours … twenty.long.hours! My wife and I ventured out last Sunday afternoon on a marathon truck ride. A Penske truck! A truck bigger than we should have been driving, but we are always up for an adventure. Mile after mile, for over 1,000 miles, we kept our eyes on the road, focusing intensely with two hands on the wheel and not even a small measure of sleepiness. Driving an unfamiliar vehicle caused us to really concentrate on the travel map marked out for us.

Should there be any less focus for all Christ-followers on the spiritual race God has marked out for us? There are distractions at every turn that can derail our effectiveness on the race. Our twenty-hour journey went well because we were determined to stay focused. Sadly, my spiritual focus doesn’t always mirror the intensity of those two novice truck drivers.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

“Fix our eyes on Jesus!” Isn’t that what all Christians know to do? After all, it makes logical sense that if I just focus on Him, things will work out right. Many years ago bracelets were worn that said WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). There was also a book whose title bore that same acronym, teaching us to ask that question in any situation. But the easy answers for my (and your) noise-filled life never quite seem to work.  If you are old enough, you may even love the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” as much as I do. But having a great feeling during worship as you sing that beloved hymn, doesn’t automatically translate to real focus. It takes more than feelings, bracelets and books (and I do think the bracelets, songs and books can help) to live a life focused on Jesus. Having said all that, I do firmly believe a Jesus-focused life exists and is available for you.

Jesus ran the race that the Father marked out for Him to the fullest. His earthly race was marked with difficultly and hardship, but was lived with purpose and discipline. If we succeed in living out our God designed purpose, it will only be accomplished by fixing our eyes on Jesus. Fleshing this out takes a willingness to surrender our wills to His. And that’s a day-by-day, minute-by-minute, thought-by-thought surrender! May I gently prod you to end this week with a laser-like focus on the Son of God? We all have stories from our busy, stress-filled lives. Just today in a commentary on Hebrews, I read a good model that helped me think more thoroughly on fixing my eyes on Jesus. The words come from the book entitled, Life Application Commentary-Hebrews.

“How does ‘focusing on Christ’ relieve stress from constant work responsibility and fatigue?

  • Jesus did not try to do it all. His ministry was less than three years long. He left a lot of work for disciples to do. Ask for help, and don’t be afraid to depend on others.
  • Jesus took breaks. Often he went alone to pray, sometimes during the busiest weeks. In your life, schedule breaks for prayer, reading, and learning.
  • Jesus remained faithful. He trusted God through all his ordeals; He did not abandon His mission or those who believed in Him. He stands beside us in our troubles. Trust Him.”

Sometimes my image of fixing my eyes on Jesus creates more stress, but the words above frame the balance we all need. By simply modeling His life through the power of the Spirit, the Father is honored, and we will run our God-ordained race well!

There was a reason we drove twenty hours with laser-like focus. We were intentional (not to mention a bit fearful of the truck!). All Christ-followers should be just as intentional in fixing our eyes on Jesus … but with no fear.

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