What Are You Looking At?
Devotional thoughts from Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
So, what are you looking at?
That is the question that I asked myself this morning as I read one of today’s devotional readings. Actually, I said it with an accent like one of the fellas in a gangster movie, “what chu lookin at?” Yes, I talk to myself with different accents when I am alone sometimes, you mean you don’t? My reply, “not what the Bible says that I should” or more appropriately, not who I should. The Scripture says in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus…”, as I run this race, my Lord is to be my focus, my example, my point of reference that keeps me in my proper lane and on course. No wonder I have been so off track, I have been looking at the wrong thing. My eyes are prone to wander in three areas; sin, storms and self.
Looking unto Sin
The devil is far too often successful in getting me to look to wrong things for happiness. He always overpromises and under delivers on joy. Like a pick pocket on a busy city street, he entices me to look away while he takes away my valuables. In his famous sermon “Pay Day Someday”, RG Lee relays the warning of a dying man, “all the Devil’s apples have worms”. It is so true, he polishes those apples to a bright red shine and turns them in order to hide the bruises and the holes. I speak from experience when I say, the only thing worse than finding a worm in your apple is finding half of one squirming. We must keep asking ourselves, what are you looking at? Is it sin or the Savior? In the end, only one will satisfy.
Looking unto the Storm
Are you like the apostle Peter, watching the waves instead of the one that controls them? I certainly have been. Peter was able to walk on water as long as he looked unto Jesus but when he turned away his focus he began to sink. Me too! I didn’t even catch that I wasn’t Christ focused anymore, the storms had come so quickly, seemingly out of nowhere, I didn’t even realize that I had turned my head away from him. Please help me pray that I will keep looking unto Jesus and not at my storm. If you will do that for me, I will for you. Deal?
Looking unto Self
I haven’t written in a while. It has been a few months. Why? I didn’t feel that I should. My personal storms and my response to them have made me question my worthiness, my qualifications to teach and preach God’s word. When I look at myself, I don’t like what I see and I really can’t understand why anyone would want to hear from me. Self focus for some creates pride but for others it robs them of hope and purpose. I realize my inability when I look at me. It is depressing. Self reflection can be a good thing but only in proper doses.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne, the famous Scottish pastor said, “For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ.”
Looking unto Jesus will make life less about us and more about him, it will prick our pride and increase our confidence in him.
When I asked myself that question today and turned my eyes to Jesus, I could not help but brag on him in spite of my lack of qualifications or worthiness. I am not sure what will happen with me or my ministry or what that will even look like if some things don’t change but I know one thing, I want with all of my heart to keep looking unto Jesus and bragging on him.
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.
So, what are you looking at?