FOCUS DETERMINES REALITY
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God,who takes away the sin of the world!30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” John 1:29-30
As we continue to walk down this road together, I am still amazed at the ability that we have to see with the eyes of Jesus. I am not saying that we all take hold of that opportunity, but what I am saying, is that God gives us the opportunity to see the world in a different way. Have you ever had something that you wanted so much but felt as if you just could not attain it. Something that seemed so close to your fingertips and then all of a sudden was completely out of your grasp. There are times in our lives that we are able to see things so clearly and other times when it seems to be so cloudy that we cannot even focus on the next step. My daughter has an amazing trainer that pours into her every time she has a chance to go and work out. He has an amazing ability to truly know each of his student athletes that come to him for both physical and mental training. Every time we get in the car to head to a workout there is a battle. As with most teenagers, they don't really see the benefit of the training... they are only focused on the possible freedom they will have to give up for that one hour they are working out. However, as soon as she steps on the field, her focus is able to change and her trainer is able to connect with her in a way that allows her to be encouraged and uplifted for the rest of the day. It is all based on focus.
I invite you into that story today, because maybe some of us are the same way. Maybe we have this feeling that we really do know there are things that will benefit us if we are willing to take the time to step into the moment through faith. Yes, we know that there is going to be some work involved, but every time the work is completed, we feel encouraged and know that God was there lifting us up every step of the way. It is just trying to get our mindset focused on the greater goal and stop listening to the nay sayers who tell us that it is not
going to matter. So many times we miss the joy of God's plan because our focus is misdirected. We are unable to realize that every part we play is not for our glory, but for the opportunity to help someone else experience the grace of God. I know that we all have these moments where we want to be in the lime light, but to be honest, Jesus was not really a lime light kind of person. Actually, most of His ministry was done either one on one with individuals or somewhere either behind closed doors or out of town. Jesus focus was on building the relationship and not claiming the glory. He was able to understand His role in God's plan and was willing to step into it every day of His life. His focus was on the greater plan and less on His personal accolades. And I hope and pray that type of attitude is what I carry each and every day. Granted I know that earlier in my ministry I wanted to get the cheers and the glory, but my focus was in the wrong place. The closer we come to God the more we realize how John felt when he was in the wilderness and Jesus appeared. He said, "There He is. The ONE I have been telling you about. There is the Messiah." John knew his place and his calling and recognized that in order for true transformation to come he had to take the focus off of him and turn their eyes towards Jesus.
As we see the account of Jesus and John meeting again, we are able to realize that we have all been called to help lead others to Christ. However, we have to also realize that we have to be careful that we are not the focus of their faith. I know many people that get more focused on the one that led them to Jesus than focusing on Jesus Himself. We have to realize that just like John, we are called to be a voice in the wilderness, but that voice is meant to direct other's focus to God. John was a perfect example of someone who knew his place and understood his part in God's plan. John continued to teach and baptize others into a faith with Christ, but was never meant to be the focus of the followers. I say all of this because I hope and pray that we all realize that we are all human. All of us. And that we are all going to falter and fail from time to time. We are not to be put on a pedestal anywhere near God, but to help others to divert their focus off of the world and more towards Jesus. If not, we will see a lot of people that could potentially walk away from the faith because they put all of their hope in the wrong reality. John knew that he was not the Messiah, but was called to teach others until the Messiah appeared. Many of his followers did not like that at all, but that is the real reality. I too, would like to let you know that I am so far from being anything close to the Messiah, but I am called to help others to refocus their hearts in order that they can find reality in the SOLID ROCK named Jesus.
I know that that is a difficult thing to do as humans. We are hard pressed to enjoy the accolades of others, and I am not saying that you can not enjoy the moment. But what I am saying is that we have to remember that it is not and never will be about us. We are just
called to help others see Jesus.... and we are not Jesus. This calling is one that will bring great heartache and frustration at times, but the reality that we need to focus on is the eternity of the souls of the world. I hope and pray every day that I will have the opportunity to see others come to know Jesus, but I may never see that until we are all in heaven. I am called to wake up each day and step into people's lives in different ways. For some I will be tilling the ground, some I will be planting seeds. For others I will be watering and nurturing the seeds that others have planted. For some I will be weeding through the things that might be trying to choke them out, and for others I will be sending them out into the mission field to begin their journey helping others to see Jesus. The joy we find is when another person's eyes finally focus on Jesus and realize that they have changed their reality of eternity. When we all get to the point of seeing through Jesus' eyes, we will be able to focus on a new reality of why we are created in the first place.