Years ago I started noticing that I couldn’t see things up close like I used to and that my vision was starting to get out of focus. A quick fix for the problem was reading glasses and that seemed to work at the time. I thought it interesting I could see things far away just fine, but those things that were closest to me were blurry, like fine print. Finally, I gave in and went for an eye exam and the doctor shared with me the inevitable, “You need glasses.” So I got my prescription for Progressive Lenses and start the daunting task of trying to wear these glasses and walk at the same time. I had earlier in my life mastered walking and chewing gum at the same time, but this was much more difficult. I remember walking up to a group of about eight steps that went down to another level and almost falling on my face. I thought, “I can’t go through life stumbling wherever I go.” So I went back to the eye doctor and they made some minor adjustments and everything was fine. There was one thing about these glasses though that I would have to get used to and it was looking through them at the right place in the lense. You had to turn your head to where you wanted to look or everything was blurry. Over a period of days I was successful in getting them figured out and the rest is history.
In Hebrews 12:1-3 there is an eye checkup for all believers when it comes to keeping our focus on the right things. First of all, the writer says that there are those in the heavenly realms who are watching us and their focus is on how we are living our life. These are the heroes of the faith and they want us to run free and keep our focus on the race. In verse 1 the writer speaks about this race and how we must not let sin keep us from seeing the race as we need to and not let the chains of sin keep us from running. No one would run a race with a heavy overcoat on or with heavy chains on their legs. As well, we should not expect to run our race with sin slowing us down. Sin not only slows us down, but it also get our vision on the wrong things in life and we get distracted. In verse 2, the writer says our vision will be the best if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and what He did for us. You know….Victory! If we will keep our focus on the fact that Jesus is victorious and our lives are lived out in that victory, then the chains of sin will not deter us anymore.
All of this refocusing will keep us thinking and living in the right way and when tough times come, we will keep going and not lose heart. In verse 3, the writer tells us to remember what Christ did for us to have this new life and that will keep us going and living in victory.
Victory is a funny thing and being a Crimson Tide fan has helped me celebrate a lot of victories in the past few days and years. But those victories are over when the game is over. If they lose the next week it affects the victory the week before, and that is because those victories are temporal, or just for that day. The Victory we live out of is eternal and ongoing. In other words, every day we live our lives, we live out of the victory Christ gave us. That changes our focus, our goals, our time, and our faith. I believe if we would tap into the truth of that lasting victory we would see God move in our lives in ways that would astonish us. We would run our race with the best equipment possible, the Word of God.
Which brings to mind my earlier illustration about not being able to see up close. I think when I am out of focus with God’s plan for my life because of sin, I don’t see the obvious or close things that need to be readjusted in my life. Reading glasses won’t help either, because I’m probably not reading God’s Word and letting it deal with those things. So I try many different “fixes” to help me focus in my life and nothing works until I put on God’s Glasses, His Word, and the solution comes into focus quickly. I have a sin problem!! When I deal with that, the race of life that seemed so difficult becomes easier and the race comes back into focus and the heroes of the faith once again have something to cheer about in my life. What needs to happen? Faith needs to be the most important thing in your life again. Then you will take the steps necessary in every situation to follow God with confidence that He is at work in your life. Don’t run from God anymore. Put on His eyeglasses and He will show you exactly what He wants from your life. Just think, no more stumbling around from place to place, but pure God-centered direction. That’s the life of victory. If you can’t see it now, don’t despair. Focus on God’s Word and you will start to see everything a lot better from there on. The eye doctor is in. Are you ready for your checkup?
The Pilgrimage continues….