Whatever we focus on has the power to influence how we think, speak and live.
To produce better and wiser thoughts and actions, God tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
Looking unto Jesus helps us to become more like Christ. This is the first and most important reason why God tells us to look unto Jesus. So we can follow in the footsteps of Christ who stood firm and strong in the face of adversity (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus didn’t give up or turn away from God during tough and rough times. He never lost sight of where He was going (Hebrews 12:2). He knew without a shadow of doubt, the reason why God sent Him to earth and He fulfilled this purpose (Matthew 12:17-21). This is why we are encouraged to look unto Jesus so our last and final words can be it is finished; I have completed and accomplished the purpose for which I was created.
You become what you fix your eyes on. Becoming like Jesus, having the mind and attitude of Christ, won’t happen overnight or in a day, but it will happen if our eyes remain on Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). We cannot become like Jesus if the only time we remember to look to Him is when we have a problem. Looking unto Jesus is not something that happens only when we are at a church service or program. Looking unto Jesus is a lifestyle; it is how we should live every day, everywhere, every time.
Irrespective of our situation or what is happening around us, God wants us to keep looking unto Jesus. This will help us avoid distractions. There are so many things out there to distract us from spending time with God. Challenges of life, social media, TV Programs, wrong associations all have the tendency to take us away from the presence of God. There are so many things we see happening in other people’s lives that can distract us from doing what God created us to do. Looking unto Jesus, keeps us focused on God’s plan and purpose for our lives. If our eyes aren’t on Jesus, we will be focused on what other people are doing and this can blur our vision. It can distract us from what God wants us to do because we are busy trying to do what someone else is doing.
Looking unto Jesus makes us thankful and hopeful. If we don’t stay focused on God, our mind will be focused on things we don’t have, things that haven’t yet happened in our lives. What this does is to close our minds to the many blessings God has bestowed on us. In Lamentations 3:19-20, the prophet’s heart sank, his spirit was low when he thought of, dwelled on and focused on the afflictions and problems in his life. But when there was a switch in his mind and thoughts from his present affliction, pains and unmet needs, to recalling the faithfulness of God, the things God had done for him, there was hope, there was life, there was strength. There was a reason to be thankful and grateful (Lamentations 3:21-22).
Looking unto Jesus builds up and strengthens our faith in God. When Peter focused on the waves, the difficulty, the problem before him, he was anxious, worked up and afraid. But when he looked unto Jesus, he had the strength and courage to take a bold step of faith; to walk on water. Something no one apart from Christ, has been able to do. Looking unto Jesus gave Peter faith to operate in the supernatural and experience the humanly impossible. I pray that as we look to Jesus, faith to do things we have never done before will come upon us and miracles like we have never experienced before will begin to manifest in our lives (Matthew 14:22-31).
Looking unto Jesus helps us to forget those things that are behind and reach out for those things that are ahead. In Luke 9:62, Jesus pointed out that looking back is not an attitude fit for those who want to follow and serve Christ. If there was anything the Apostle Paul worked hard at, it was to avoid the danger of looking back and living in the past. He stated in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. If we don’t look unto Jesus, we will find ourselves glued to things that are behind us, like our past mistakes, achievements or hurts. Focusing on past mistakes keeps us from reaching out to embrace the new thing God wants to do in our lives. Focusing on past achievements makes us conclude that we have made it or arrived, when there are greater heights God wants us to press on to attain. Focusing on past hurts breeds bitterness and an unforgiving heart, which robs us of the joy of the Lord and the peace of God.
Looking unto Jesus helps us to look heavenward. Colossians 3:1-2 says “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” To set our minds on things above, to set our minds on heaven, our thoughts, our heart and mind must be on Christ. When we take our eyes off the Lord, we can easily become focused on only what is happening in this world that we lose sight of where we are headed. We begin to think and act like this world is our permanent home and lose sight of eternity.
If we make looking unto Jesus a daily habit, our lifestyle, then we won’t have any reason to hide, be afraid and ashamed when Jesus returns in glory and we have to look at Him as He repays each of us according to what we have done, how we have lived (1 John 2:28) .
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