When I was a new believer, I always struggled to really put my focus on Jesus. My mind tended to wander, and my sight tended to focus too much on the challenges I faced in my daily life, and I tried to use my own strength to solve them. In the end, the situation usually became worse, and I became more stressed. After being a Christian for many years, I slowly learned that if we focus our eyes on Jesus rather than the issue we face, the results can be different.
We usually use “busy” or “no time” as excuses to excuse ourselves from being close to God. On the other hand, we focus most of time on worldly things. We are too busy with our lives.
Focus your sight right
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” – Matthew 14:28-30 (ESV)
When Peter wanted to be like Jesus to walk on the water, he bravely took the first faithful step. However, his eyes focused on the wind and he was afraid, so he began to sink. When we come across a challenging situation, we usually, like Peter, focus our eyes on the problem itself and get frightened about it or stress over it. However, the one thing Peter did right was to cry for help from Jesus – “Lord, save me…”. Jesus immediately reached out and caught him, and Peter was saved. When we face the challenges in our life, Jesus is never far away from us, he is just at “a prayer” distance and waiting for you to cry out to him.
Set your priorities right
“Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.” – Matthew 13:7 (ESV)
Each of us has our own priorities in life, even we do not purposely list them out, they are reflected in the way we settle our daily tasks. In this world, there are many “thorns” which can choke us by getting our attention away from God – such as our social engagements, our children’s tuition classes, our mobile phones (messages, social media, and so on).
Because these “thorns” are so strong, and they are always in the top of our priority list, God is usually at the bottom of our priority list. We usually pray to God when we need something; we only read God’s Word when we are free; we only do devotions when we are not so tired and remember to do it. So even though we come to church every Sunday and hear God’s Word, our growth can be very limited as our priorities are set on those “thorns” rather than spending time with God.
Being a Christian is never easy, even when we keep on reminding ourselves that God is the centre of our life, the “old self” always wants to return and pull us back. However, Jesus has given us a solution – “…but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus!
By brother Joseph Li Jie