Have you Ever had a Staring Contest with Jesus?
Good Morning! Have you ever had a “Staring Contest?” My kids went through a time where they would challenge me on this constantly. This is a game where you LOCK eyes with someone else and you stare at them without blinking or looking away as long as you can! The one who gets distracted first or takes their eyes off the other one loses the game! I know this sounds like a ridiculous game but it is actually very challenging and I had a hard time with it. Shockingly, my kids were amazing at Focusing their attention right on me for what seemed like forever in order to beat me at this game, however they seemed to lose this incredible ability when it came time to focus on me for instruction! Bitterness about that aside for the moment, this really is a good exercise of FOCUS!! I don’t know about you but in our crazily distracted world right now it is so easy to lose our focus on just about anything. A little while ago, two friends of mine who are retired police officers were putting me through a quick test to see if I could have become an officer after I confessed that that had been one of my career choices. To my shock, they laughed a little, but were quick to perform this test. One of them told me to look right at him, to not take my eyes off him no matter what. I thought, “Okay, Piece of cake!” I locked my eyes on him, committed not to budge for anything. I held strong for a good three to four seconds, and then someone I knew walked by and without thinking, I waved and smiled at them, and the person administering the test yelled, “Fail!” It turns out that they were probably right to laugh at me! I was thinking about all this in light of where I have been in my study of Hebrews! The verse that has gripped my soul the most throughout my time in this book has been the little verse of Hebrews 3:1, “Therefore, Holy Brothers and Sisters, who share in the Heavenly Calling, FIX YOUR THOUGHTS on JESUS, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest!” Some of your translations will say, “Consider Jesus,” “Think Carefully about Jesus,” “Set Your MINDS on Jesus,” or “Keep your FOCUS on Jesus!” This is HUGE!!! This is Life Altering, Life Changing, and Absolutely Necessary to survive in this world! If you have ever had to walk through something painful and knew that you had to FOCUS your mind so strongly or you wouldn’t make it through, then you know how crucial focusing your mind really is. Earlier this week I gave an example of experiencing this every time I go to the dentist. I have to SO focus my mind on Jesus just to get me through it (I have a phobia of dentists, I think). This life that we walk is hard and full of heartache, doubt, insecurity, pride, selfishness, pain, and regret. The ONLY answer to each one of those issues is to FIX OUR THOUGHTS ON JESUS!! Most of the things that weigh us down come because of Wrong Thinking, and a Wrong placing of our Focus! We allow our thoughts to be misplaced and misdirected. If you are feeling Discouraged, the answer is to Fix your thoughts on Jesus! Just like putting something in a Vice Grip or bolting something to something else, we are to FIX, BOLT, and Permanently Place our Thoughts on Jesus Christ! Instead of focusing on our problems, which takes away our courage, Focus Your mind on the Power of Jesus Christ and be FILLED With Courage! If you have insecurities you’re battling, the answer is to Consider Jesus and WHO HE IS IN YOU!! If you are fighting doubt, SET YOUR MIND on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of your faith! You know the song, “If you’ve got pain, He’s a Pain-Taker, If you feel lost, He’s a Way-Maker, If you need Freedom, or Saving, He’s a PRISON SHAKING SAVIOR, If you’ve got Chains, He’s a Chain Breaker!” Who better to Fix our thoughts on then HIM!! This task of Fixing our thoughts is not something to pray about doing, it’s not just a good suggestion; it is something God has TOLD us TO DO!!! We are called in 2 Cor. 10:5 to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ! 1 Peter 1:13 tells us to Prepare our Minds for Action! Philippians 4:8 tells us ALL the things we ARE to THINK on, and Romans 12:2 tells us we will be Transformed Only by the renewing of our MINDS!! There is a call to Action here! I want to encourage you this week that the very best staring contest you could ever engage in is one with Jesus Christ! His thoughts are ALWAYS fixed on you, will you fix your thoughts on HIM? If we can Fix, not just our eyes, but our THOUGHTS on Jesus, and not look away, not get distracted by what is coming at us, but stay Focused on Him, we will Always be VICTORIOUS!! The very best part about this is that if our thoughts get distracted or filled up with something else, all it takes is a quick second to Fix them back on Him again!! This is a work of discipline in our lives, but OH what a Fruitful Discipline it is!! I want to leave you with the words of an old hymn: “Turn your Eyes upon Jesus, Look Full in His Wonderful Face. And the Things of Earth will grow strangely dim, In the Light of His Glory and Grace!” Let Us look Full in His wonderful face this week. Let us FIX our Thoughts on Jesus! He was sent to Earth to bring God back to the people, and He returned to Heaven bringing the people back to God! What a Mighty Savior for us to Consider!!
Scriptures to Meditate on this week:
Hebrews 3:1, 2 Cor. 10:5, 1 Peter 1:13, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2