What we look at with our eyes, what we listen to with our ears, what we daily feed upon (spiritually and physically), plays a large part in what we will be.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Our senses are assaulted daily, continually, with worldly things that are aimed at gratifying our self centred desires while we walk through this gift of life that we have been given. We’re all susceptible to self centred desires and we’re all ultimately responsible for determining our end state that we have set as our objective or goal.
There are always exceptions of course. Some peoples lives are abruptly taken before their time, some people are taken advantage of and loose control over their lives and there are always those who fail to reach their objective because they don’t have the determination to follow through. They don’t want to do what it takes to obtain what they want.
Some people actively plot out a course and follow it through to the desired end, some people kind of drift through life as it unfolds but ultimately we all arrive at our destination, planned or unplanned. This gift of life that we have been given ends. Some people achieve their goals but there are many who don’t, those who look back and wonder how they came to be in the position that they are in and resort to placing blame on others instead of rightly acknowledging their own short comings.
When you are young you seldom give much thought to the end of your days, your twilight years per se. It just doesn’t occupy that much of your thoughts. It seems like you have countless days and years ahead of you and everything is possible. When you are young your primary concern is focused on you, how you look, how you are accepted, how you can get those things that you want. There are so many things that they don’t teach you in school. Values that aren’t often discussed enough. Family values, spiritual truths, self worth, friendship, honesty, dedication, how justice works and of course, the whole substance of love.
Youth has a tendency to focus on the trees (self) and often does not have the foresight to look at the forest (others) or the bigger picture. Youth has expectations that are usually built on easy paths. But life has a way of abruptly shattering that illusion because as we soon learn, there are no easy paths.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not down on youth, I actually love interacting with youth, love to see them grow in character and strength. What I am pointing out is just the reality of that time of life, when youth are just coming into their own, when they are just learning to spread their wings. I love seeing the exuberance of youth, their joy, their laughter, the newness of the love that they can show.
But there is a wall, some might call it reality, that stands before them, just like it stood before us when we were young, that clears the mist away from what is perceived, to what is, in our world.
- Man’s idea of justice is not alway just.
- You do actually have to work hard to achieve goals that are worth while achieving.
- Life isn’t always fair (some people do get a short stick).
- You can’t have everything that is set before you, focusing entirely on self gratification does not give you gratification.
- Love is not all about you.
- Your given word is important, honour it.
- If you make a mess, clean it up, don’t add to other people’s work, by adding your mess to theirs.
- You don’t deserve a free lunch just because you are here.
- Other people’s feelings are just as important as yours.
- You are accountable or responsible for your mistakes, to yourself and others and ultimately God (more on this later).
- Honesty, truthfulness, and the worth of the individual and family do matter.
- Material values (wealth, status etc) do not take precedence over spiritual values (love, grace, faithfulness, forgiveness etc).
- There are no perfect parents, there are no perfect children, nor wives nor husbands.
- Everyone makes mistakes, everyone falls short, EVERYONE (Jesus excepted).
- There are rights and wrongs, regardless of what the world may say.
- Forgiveness of others is not optional if you want to be forgiven.
In Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) Jesus said the following: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The ability to accept, know and love God is a reality that can be experienced but there are truths associated with the reality that cannot be ignored. In essence we have to look at God’s big picture, from His perspective.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
Jesus wants to reveal himself to you, where you are in your own personal world; live in you and through you, as you focus your eyes and life upon Him. It is absolutely essential that as believers we set aside all that would distract our heart and eyes, and focus on God. This requires personal, spiritual focus – it is something for which each of us must strive. It is only in Christ that we are able to have a clear picture of God. It is in only in Christ that we are able to see God and know Him for who He is. Only lives that are focused on Christ can know God. Christ Jesus, our Messiah, Redeemer and Lord is the expressed image of God. To know Christ is to know God.
We need to focus our eyes, attention, desires, wants, needs, etc. on Jesus. This is the Christian’s reality. Jesus is the only one that can bring us into fellowship with God’s realm and our heavenly Father, and restore us to the place that we will forever possess, and be with God for eternity, as the redeemed, bought by the blood of Christ, now children and heirs of the Most High God.
There is an awful lot going on in our world right now. There are wars, and bombings; the killing of innocent men, women and children and rampant physical and mental disease of the human mind and body continues. There is devastation on a daily basis. It is so easy to take our eyes off of God as we watch all the turmoil taking place around us.
These things may shape the world around us but they do not need to alter our lives in Christ and our home that Jesus is preparing for us, and where we are ultimately heading for. What shapes our lives as believers, is that God is real and alive, working in our hearts, to accomplish that which He has started in each one of us through Christ, as we focus and maintain our eyes on Jesus. This is in reality, for we who believe that because Jesus lives, we also shall live, what shapes our present and our future.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!