“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
A world-famous golfer once advised, “If you make an error, you learn from it and determine not to do it again!” Over the next 30 years, this consummate professional never repeat the mistake that took away one of the greatest tournaments of golfing history! Yes — lesson well learned!
The all-important theme of our thinking in this column involves the importance of dependance and keeping our focus where it belongs — on the Lord. You may be thinking, “How could something “all-important” involve only roughly 500 words?! One example on this same line may make the point. From Moses’ Genesis to John’s Revelation, the message is God’s effort to help men and women through eternally. Certainly, a primary sentence in John’s Gospel is known by most: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Helen H. Lemmel wrote this encouraging hymn in 1922. The blind daughter of an England preacher, and a dedicated young lady with high, spiritual ideals, Lemmel had a love for spiritual music. Born in 1863, she died at 98 in 1961, having witnessed many of the Lord’s stupendous deeds.
Distraction affects virtually everyone from infants to the elderly. Misplaced priorities are effective tools for Satan. Fear, uncertainty, disappointment, death of a loved one, discouragement attack many. But whatever threatens our survival, we must not lose our focus on God and his help.
The Old Testament King Jehoshaphat (870 – 849 BC) was an example of spiritual focus. Surrounded by vicious enemies in Jerusalem, with others on the way, the news couldn’t have been worse from a human viewpoint.
To escape destruction by their old enemies, Jehoshaphat “set his face to seek the Lord” in prayer (2 Chronicles 20:3). The king prayed, in part, “O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (2 Chronicles 20:12).
We can focus on Jesus by regularly and carefully looking at him pictured in his holy Word. How is your spiritual eye condition? Are you able to focus properly? No? Why not move in with your spiritual eye doctor! He can help you focus on him. Then, though you won’t understand everything, your spiritual vision will be “clear as glass.” The prophet Moses helped the Israelites – and us in our day – to appreciate more the revelation of God as they prepared to invade the “Promise Land” under the leadership of Joshua. to them in Deuteronomy 29:29.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”