Many times we get bogged down in our walk in Christ. It’s easy to let the affairs of this life and the daily stresses we endure, encroach upon the peace we should have as being followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus Himself is our peace (Eph 2:14) and, I can personally testify, everything under the sun will look to steal that peace: the devil, the world, stress, sickness, busyness, and anything else one can imagine.
We’ve all seen shows on television where someone is in a boat which has holes in it, and they are going over to each hole trying to plug it. Then they go to the next hole and the next hole and so on. The problem is, you can never get enough water out. The holes that were just previously plugged always seem to get unplugged and, the boat continues to sink despite the person’s best efforts. Though many of us have never experienced this scenario in an actual boat, all of us at some point have found ourselves spinning in circles , constantly trying to plug holes…the holes of life. These holes are things that try to steal our peace and fulfillment of the Christian life. And while it’s true that we should go to our Heavenly Father about such things (for the Word of God tells us to ‘cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us’), what can inadvertently happen is, we tend to develop a sort of ‘spiritual tunnel vision’ that revolves merely around our problems and trying to fix them.
That’s why we need to do what the scriptures declare and set our gaze on things above. When we do this, the storm begins to cease and many of those ‘problems’ begin to take care of themselves and, we find healing in the Lord. There are four specific scriptures in the New Testament which, I tend to draw upon, which show us that God wants us to focus on Him:
Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our EYES upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorned the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 3:1 – Therefore brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your THOUGHTS upon Jesus, the Apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Colossians 3:1 – Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your HEARTS on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 – Set your MINDS on things above, not on Earthly things. (3:3 For you died and your life is now hidden with God in Christ Jesus)
So we can see from these four scripture verses, we are to set our EYES, our THOUGHTS, our HEARTS and our MINDS on things above-on Jesus. Jesus Himself had to set His eyes on things above when He went to the cross for our sin and redemption. The Bible even shows us where Jesus poured out His heart to the Father above, pleading for the ‘cup of suffering’ to be taken from Him if at all possible. Jesus knew the extreme, torturous pain and suffering involved with the cross experience. Not only was the physical pain bad in itself but, to an even greater extent, the moment of separation from the Heavenly Father when the sin of the entire world (past, present and future) was laid upon Him. God cannot coexist where sin is present. Thus we see Jesus crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” Yet despite the suffering and turmoil in His flesh, He stated “…yet, not my will, but Your will be done.” Yes Jesus was God but He was also man. How did He carry out His mission to the fullest? How did He willingly make the trek to Calvary’s hill where he was nailed to the tree? Only by keeping His whole being focused on God alone. We are to do the very same thing. We are to set our eyes, thoughts, our hearts and minds all on things above. That involves our sense of sight, our feelings, our will and our thoughts-our whole being.
While we do this, keeping our entire gaze on Jesus above, we are to then walk out the commandment and commission to us here on Earth. What is that commission? To run around plugging holes? No, not quite. To pray for more stuff? A bigger house, more money, nicer clothes, etc? No. Those are temporary fulfilments that never last. To be super Christian…who resides at the local church 7 days a week? Nope. Our commission is to take the Gospel to every creature on Earth and to make disciples of all nations. Our commission, should we accept it (sorry, love Mission Impossible), is to share our faith! (Of course, it’s really not given as an option for the believer.) There is a scripture in the little obscure New Testament book of Philemon which greatly expounds on the benefits of sharing our faith.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. (Phil 1:6 )
As we tell others about our own faith in Jesus and share the love He has for people, our own faith is strengthened and our walk is deepened in Christ. We find our greatest fulfillment in telling others about Jesus, by pouring our time into people, discipling them, sharing our faith. As we do what God gave us to do, the holes in our life begin to be plugged. Not by us directly but indirectly by the Lord working behind the scenes. As we focus on God above and commit ourselves to telling people about the spiritual life within us, our own life is enriched and the Lord takes care of all our problems for us! This is very scriptural and can be supported with two specific verses in the Word of God.
‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the other things in life you need will be given to you as well.’ (Matt 6:33)
“Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Here we see Jesus stating implicitly for us to put all our focus on the kingdom of God (focusing on Jesus and things above) and then again to love God and love people (share the Gospel if you really love them and want them to have eternal life and freedom from their sin).
I pray today that we begin doing these things in their fullness. Let us focus our entire being on God above and seeing His Kingdom established here on Earth. Jesus Himself stated in the Lord’s prayer “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s called being ‘Kingdom-minded’. Living your life on purpose with the end goal in mind of seeing God’s glorified in your life and in the lives of others. I had a good friend recently suggest that we even set an alarm to go off, every two hours or so, just to remind us where our gaze needs to dwell. Great idea! Focus on Jesus!! Share the Gospel. Love God, love people. Let God deal with the other things in our life…for this is what He alone has called us to and by His grace, we will do so.