A Holy Focus, Pt. 11
Have you ever been distracted? We all have. However, distractions can be dangerous. Satan is a master at keeping the people of God preoccupied with things over which we have no control, something that upset us, and over the temporary. The Word of God tells us that the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and diversion is one of Satan's primary methods to achieve his ends (Jn. 10:10). That's why it is not surprising to find that Proverbs 4:25 tells us, "Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you."
Holiness has everything to do with our ability to focus on that to which God has called us. When we are sidetracked by what the enemy is doing, we play into his hands because our attention is no longer focused on who God is and what He is doing. Think about this for a moment. The last recorded thing Jesus told His disciples collectively before He ascended was that we were to be His witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Imagine, if you will, a blind person sitting on a bench. You sit down next to them, and they ask that you describe what you see. Looking around, you share that a pickpocket running from a cop, a child who scraped their knee and has blood running down their leg, a person who sneezed one too many times for your liking, and you wonder out loud if they have contracted COVID, and then the clouds overhead that look like rain.
Now, imagine another individual comes and sits on the other side of the blind man. Again, he asks them to describe what they see. In contrast to the information you've just provided, this person begins with, "Oh, sir, it's a beautiful day out. The sun is beginning to peek through the clouds and a slight breeze is in the air. Can you feel it? There's a mother who just put a big smile on her son's face with a hug and a kiss. I think they may be headed over to the ice cream truck. There's a man sneezing because his daughter keeps pushing weeds to his nose, asking him to smell the pretty flowers. He has an incredible grin on his face. Oh, and there's a cop in the park today making sure everyone is safe."
Let me ask you. Whose world does the blind man want to associate with and engage? You say it's all a matter of perspective; I say it's a matter of focus. What have you trained your eyes to see? And we wonder why the spiritually blind don't come to Christ! We would be remiss not to ask ourselves if our witness is off. The Apostle Paul tells us that the "message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Cor. 1:18).
Holiness requires that we remain focused on what God is doing, looking straight ahead, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Our Faith (Heb. 12:2). Bad things happen in our world all the time, but our faith is diminished when we focus on it. Instead, holiness keeps its gaze on the One who is good – God. He's the One who leads us through the struggles of life, and if our eyes are constantly on Him, we can radiate His joy that is our strength (Neh. 8:10). For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross and sat down at the right hand of God (Heb. 12:2). The holy person sees the negative but walks through it with joy, keeping their eyes on the throne to which every knee will bow, and every tongue confesses (Phil. 2:10-11). That's not ignorance; it's wisdom.
What you focus on will eventually come out of your mouth. If all you see is negative, rarely will you have anything positive to say. If you focus on pornography, perversion will manifest itself. If you concentrate on idle tales, gossip will make itself known. If you constantly look towards money, greed will show itself. BUT if you focus on Jesus, He will shine forth out of you! And that is the goal – "Be holy, for I am holy" (I Pt. 1:15).
When people see us, they should see Christ, who never focused on the problem. He always addressed it but never focused on it. He came with a cure, and like Him, we have the cure for our fallen world – a restored relationship with God. We don't ignore problems; we address them head-on. As we walk in holiness, submitted to God, we rebuke the enemy, and he flees (James 4:7). We speak words of deliverance and healing. We pray with single-mindedness, focusing on the throne because we know the Answer, and His name is Jesus.
Father, forgive me for allowing myself to be distracted by what the enemy is doing. It has affected my witness of You, and I don't want that. I want my focus to rest solely upon You so that my life reflects You in every facet and dimension of Your character and nature. Please remind me when I am distracted by all the negative in the world that I already know the outcome. Holy Spirit, I pray that Your joy would so manifest in my life that it would become contagious and that people will know You are the Source. I choose today always to keep my eyes on Jesus.