Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where are you looking?

So, I have to confess that I’m not the best mountain biker in the world.  In fact, this city chic actually thought that mountain biking trails were paved… so I was in for a rude awakening the first time I hit the mountain bike trail because I not only discovered that the trails were NOT paved and you had to ride over roots, rocks and uneven terrain, but I also learned that these trails were quite narrow and one wrong move could lead to falling down the mountain.  YIKES!!! 

My hubby gave me some great advice for mountain biking… make sure you look where you want to go because your bike follows your eyes.  Good to know!  I should avoid looking down the mountain where I didn’t want to go and look straight ahead on the trail so I’d be safe.  And thankfully, I did survive… after an endo within the first 30 seconds on the trail.  Like I said, I’m not much of a mountain biker...

My hubby’s advice also applies to other areas of our lives besides mountain biking.  Where we focus our eyes makes a huge difference in our lives.  So my question to you is where are your eyes focused today?  Are they focused on worries, trials, lies, your circumstances?  Or are they focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith?  I know that when my eyes are focused on worries, trials, and lies, my mood and attitude are not the best.  In fact, taking my eyes off Jesus can quickly send me off the mountain and down into a pit of doubt, fear, insecurity, and lots of other negative things…  Can any of you relate?  But when I choose to surrender my worries to Jesus and trust in Him completely, the things of the world become strangely dim and I start to experience peace, hope, and joy.   I know it’s not always easy to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus… and Satan will use whatever distractions he can to get us to turn our eyes away.  But these simple words, whispered in the moment, “I trust you, Jesus,” can help redirect our eyes and rescue us from a potential tumble down the mountain.   
The Bible gives us some good reasons to fix our eyes on Jesus...

Hebrews 12:1b-2
…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 Jesus showed us how to keep our eyes focused on God… He experienced struggles just like we do… and He spent lots of time in prayer talking to His Father God… just like we can do.  If your eyes are not fixed on Jesus, pray about it.  That can get your gaze going back in the right direction.

2 Corinthians 4:18 encourages us too:  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

How’s that for some encouragement… our circumstances on this earth are temporary… but heaven is eternal.  God is faithful.  His love is constant and unchanging.  We have a future of perfection awaiting us when we invite Jesus into our hearts.  That’s something we can cling to in the midst of our trials… they are  temporary.

So what are your eyes fixed on today?  If you’re on the verge of falling off the mountain, just change your gaze.  Look straight up to Jesus… call on His name…for Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds us “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Call out to Jesus.  He not only understands, but He can help you.  Jesus is waiting to shower you with mercy and grace during your time of need.  Look up to Him instead of focusing on your circumstances… because Psalm 34:5 says “those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.”  Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus so we can be covered in His radiance today.

And here's a song to the help bring the point home… one of my recent favorites called Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli.  Let the chorus remind you to fix your eyes on Jesus moment by moment.  And let the things of the world grow strangely dim…


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