What and where is our FOCUS?
On my website home page in February 2014, I highlighted 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 where it says we are to behold Jesus, look at him, look to him, and as we do – we are being transformed into his image by God’s spirit.
There is more to that verse than meets the eye. ARE we beholding the Christ in everything we do, every day? Are we focused on HIM, what’s He’s done and what He continues to do in and for us?
Our Adversary wants to do everything possible to get our eyes OFF our Master and off what our Master says – and on to anything or anyone else but Him. He will distract you with Facebook, games, busy-ness, worries – and self. In fact, what Satan tries to constantly do is to get you focused on YOURSELF – on how well you’re doing (or not) and how far you still are from the perfection that is Christ Jesus – or Yeshua our Messiah, as I often say.
The result of taking our focus off of Yeshua and focusing instead on what each of us is doing will always end in disaster, disappointment, depression, confusion, anxiety and a sense of not measuring up. In this website I’m trying to help folks grow closer to their Savior and focus on HIM.
Satan deceived Eve into thinking God didn’t mean what He said. Satan told them (Adam was with her – Genesis 3:6), that it would be alright if she ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. Maybe the serpent even demonstrated by taking a bite of the fruit himself – and he didn’t die. We don’t have every detail, but we know Satan succeeded. And once she took her eyes off what God said and began to listen to the Deceiver and look at the forbidden tree, she sinned. Then Adam, who was standing nearby but who was not deceived, ate of the fruit as well. (Genesis 3:1-11).
Turn to Matthew 14:25-32 for another example. There we have the story of Yeshua walking on the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee very early one dark morning.
29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
As long as Peter focused on Yeshua, even Peter walked on water! But what did he do? He took his eyes off Yeshua – looked at the wind and waves, used human reason that humans don’t walk on water. Faith requires believing what we can’t see – and oftentimes believing something that humanly makes little sense. So he sank like a petros, a stone. When we take our eyes off our Master, doubt takes over and we start to sink.
The book of John adds the detail that when Yeshua got into the boat, the boat immediately ended up at the seashore. Many miss this intriguing detail (John 6:21). When we’re with our Master and focus on HIM, we will experience many extraordinary and inexplicable things in our lives.
You and I have been called to come out of the boat of the mundane and what makes sense – to step out in faith as we walk on water. To go beyond the realm of the ordinary into the extraordinary with Christ. Where could Yeshua take you and me – if we would just fully believe and keep our focus on him? Imagine what we could be doing individually and as a group of believers – if we would just keep our fixed on Him and truly believe! Just imagine it! As Paul said, “I CAN DO all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). It’s through HIM, it’s by being IN Him, and it’s by focusing ON him.
Click on the bottom right where it says “READ MORE” to finish reading the rest of this blog that will change your life forever – if you will understand it and believe it.
But what do we do? We look at what we can SEE, rather than believing what we can’t see. Remember Yeshua told Thomas “blessed are those who believe without seeing” (John 20:19-29). SO we do a Thomas – and focus on what we see: the rough waves of life, the boisterous winds of worry, the huge bills we have, the doctor’s report that there’s a suspicious lump on your breast or on your liver…. and we take our eyes off our Healer, our Husband, our Provider, our Master – and we sink like a rock, as Peter did, when we should be walking high on the waters of faith, side by side with our Savior and healer.
The woman with the hemorrhaging issue believed if she could just touch the hem of Yeshua’s robe, she would be healed. She let nothing take her away from her focus on HIM. She had already done everything SHE could do – and failed. And that’s the story for all of us She was healed (Mark 5:25-34) as she focused on Messiah. We are to live from faith to faith – as we focus on Savior!
When we have pain, focus on the One who was beaten for your healing. By His stripes we are healed. HE presents you before the Holy of holies as your high priest. We are IN Him, for that matter. WE’RE a part of Him, a part of His perfect and holy body. NO part of Messiah is sick or unholy. Yeshua is not sick. Yeshua is not broke. Yeshua is not hurting. Yeshua is not worried. And we are in HIM. What does that tell you about where we should be focusing? God wants us to have so much more than we are receiving – and a lot of the cause of not receiving more from God is that we don’t keep focused on Yeshua and we quit believing.
1 John 4:1
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
Say that over and over to yourself. “AS HE IS, so are WE in this world.” Give HIM your concerns, your pains, your health issues, your bills, your worries, your marriage, your child-rearing issues. “As HE IS, SO ARE WE in this world”. Say it in prayer: “Master, you’re not unemployed. You’re not hungry. You’re not sick. I claim you, your resurrection, your life in my life, in your holy name. Amen.”
As you focus on HIM, believe in Him, trust in Him, look to Him – and BELIEVE as Christ is, so are we in this world – you will watch your life be transformed before your very eyes in the coming months. Sometimes it will be instantaneous and sometimes it will take a few months. And sometimes – true – his answer will be “not yet, not now” – but whatever his answer, be sure you’re looking to HIM.
We have some very, very rough times coming ahead of us just before the return of our King. We will have to be living by faith moment by moment just to survive during the coming famines, plagues, earthquakes, persecution and Great Tribulation. Some of you believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture, but I believe Christ will provide and take care of us – however and wherever HE chooses. (We ARE raised to meet Christ in the air – but that’s AFTER the Great Tribulation – see Matthew 24:29-31).
But even in this matter of righteous living. His wondrous grace will empower you to want to obey, to let HIM live in you – obediently and in a holy life – if we focus on HIM and receive his GIFT of HIS righteousness. Romans 5:18-19 tells us that by one man Adam all of us were made sinners. But also by ONE man’s obedience –Christ’s obedience, MANY will be made righteous. NOT by my obedience, folks. Not by your obedience, but by HIS obedience. Romans 5:17 tells us God wants to GIFT us with the righteousness of God, as a gift, by faith. Paul said he DIDN’T want his OWN righteousness by the law, but God’s righteousness which we can have by faith in and through Christ (read it for yourself in Philippians 3:9-11).
I have 2-3 messages on receiving God’s righteousness by faith – see Nov 2010 and Dec. 2010, also Dec 2012. There are many such messages on this website going all the way back to 2004.
By being IN HIM, and only by that, can I come confidently and boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16; also Hebrews 10:19-22—be sure to read it). By focusing on Him, and calling out in HIS name, great things happen. Oh, though I’ve preached this for many years, I’m still trying to practice this better. It’s very human to look to the self – rather than to our Creator.
SATAN wants you to focus on yourself. That is deadly. When we do, most of us feel we could have done more, done better. We know where we’ve failed, or not hit the mark. We start to worry, we start to feel worthless, like a failure – and then Satan has won. It should not be so, my brothers and sisters in Yeshua. But why oh why do we do this? Why do we want to hang on to what WE can do – rather than focus on what He has already done?
“Look to ME, and be saved, All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.”
“Therefore I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me”.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Yeshua – Jesus the Christ, the Son of God – is the WAY to the Father. He is our Peace. He is our Life. He is the truth and the life. He is our GOOD shepherd. He is our High priest. He is our Savior and King. Look to him – focus on Him – keep your eyes GLUED on him at all times, and watch your faith grow. Watch yourself being transformed more and more into His image. And yes, I preach to myself too. I also am trying to really practice this and really believe it – because it is life itself.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take your eyes off of Him. Even when everything looks dark and dismal, HE will show you the Way. Especially when you’ve failed, when you’ve sinned – look to HIM. He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
We praise you, we exalt you, our Lord and Master, our King! Praise you, Yeshua.
[Note: I may develop this message further into a full sermon – so be watching for that]