Fix your eyes on Jesus
MACOMB TOWNSHIP – Last summer, our family stopped in the Smoky Mountains on our way back to Michigan after visiting my family in Florida. I do not particularly care for mountain driving. The roads are narrow and there are drop offs everywhere. Anytime my eyes would gaze out the window and see the cliffs, my anxiety would rise. Of course, I trusted my husband’s driving skills, but as soon as I saw the potential danger, all the “what-ifs” would begin to flood my mind. I quickly realized I needed to keep my eyes up and off the side of the road.
In life, one of our biggest struggles is to not allow our eyes to fall off Jesus and onto the circumstances that we are going through. This is a hard task, one that I am not sure we will ever perfect.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
– Hebrews 12: 1b-2 NIV
There are many examples in the Bible when people would take their eyes off Jesus due to a circumstance they were going through. Probably one of the most well-known passages in the Bible when it comes to “taking your eyes off Jesus” is when Peter walks on water. In Matthew 14 the Bible tells us that the disciples are on a boat, and they see Jesus walking to them on the lake and they are terrified.
“Lord, if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.
– Matthew 14: 28-29 NIV
Wow! In this moment of incredible faith, Peter had his eyes on Jesus and was walking on water! Do you remember a time in your life where you trusted God completely and you saw God come through in an amazing way? Sometimes I wonder how we can experience the power and provision of God one day and question him on another? This is the story of our life and all of humanity. It is a battle of the flesh. Peter experienced this as well.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me!”
– Matthew 14: 30 NIV
Peter momentarily had taken his eyes off Jesus and onto the wind and the waves around him. In his moment of weakness, he began to sink. It is easy for us to be hard on Peter for taking his eyes off Jesus in this moment. Likewise, we tend to do the same. It may look like one of the following in our lives:
We say we “trust” God to provide for our needs, but then we lose our job and we lose hope.
We say we “trust” God to take care of our kids, but then they face a hardship in which we want to swoop in and make everything better.
We say we “trust” God has a good plan for our future, but when everything around us looks anything but good, we begin to doubt that he truly has a good plan for us.
Have you ever been there? I know I have! Looking back to the verse in Hebrews 12:2b -
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
The phrase “fix our eyes on Jesus” means we trust him. The minute our eyes begin to fall off Him and on to our circumstances, that is the minute we begin to lose our faith and trust in Him. As soon as Peter began to sink, he cried out to Jesus. He was reminded to shift his focus back to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
– Matthew 14:30-31a
No matter what we face, we can have faith that Jesus is going to carry us through. We can’t fix our eyes on the outcome. We have to trust that God knows the outcome. When we choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, he builds our faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
– Hebrews 11:1
The storms of life are going to come and we will be challenged to keep our eyes on Jesus. I pray the sooner we remember to shift our gaze back to Him, the sooner we will remember we can trust Him no matter what is going on in our lives. When we choose to do this, our faith and trust in Jesus grows.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen is married to Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church, and moved from Florida to Michigan in the summer of 2009 to plant Lakepointe Church in Shelby Township. She enjoys mentoring and discipling women and also leads women’s life groups through her church. She is passionate about helping women find their purpose in who God created them to be. She is on staff at Lakepointe Church and loves being part of what God is doing in the Metro Detroit area!