I’ve been writing a lot about keeping our eyes on Jesus, but when a girlfriends asked what that actually looks like, it struck me that the phrase “keep your eyes on Jesus” can be difficult to put into practice. It’s one of those things that many Christians say or hear but don’t know how to actually do.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus is a concept found throughout scripture.
Psalm 119:6 says, “Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all Your commandments” (ESV).
Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways” (ESV).
Psalm 141:8 says, “But my eyes are fixed on You, Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge—do not give me over to death” (NIV).
2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
And Hebrews 12:1b-2a tells us, “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (NIV).
Many of Jesus’ commands are relatively straightforward. It’s easy to understand how to give to the needy, to tithe, to pray, to fast, and to not lust after another or divorce your spouse. But how do we put Jesus’ more abstract commands into practice? Jesus says, “Follow Me,” but how do we follow? He says, “Love your enemy,” but what does that kind of love look like? He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” but how do we know where to go––or even when to go?
My girlfriend’s question was a good one. How do we keep or fix our eyes on Jesus?
Now of course I do not claim to know all the answers, but it seems to me that keeping our eyes on Jesus means we focus our attention on three main things:
Who God is.
Our help in time of need.
Our source of peace and joy.
Our good shepherd.
And so much more…
Who we are in Christ.
That we are adopted and brought into the fold of the family of God.
That we are loved––cherished, even.
That we are His.
That we are safe in His protection.
And so much more…
What God has promised.
That He will never leave us nor forsake us.
That He will use every bit of heartache and WILL work all things for good.
That He WILL get us to the other side of our storms.
That He came to give us life to the full.
That He is the author and perfecter of our faith.
That we are held by His grace.
And so much more…
It’s choosing to take our attention off of our circumstances and place our focus on God. It’s remembering God’s faithfulness in the past. It’s remembering His heart toward us. It’s doing what Paul said in Philippians 4:8 when he said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” It’s replacing bad thoughts with God’s truth (not the “power of positive thinking”). It’s choosing to list all we’re thankful for, even when we’re not feeling particularly thankful. It’s choosing to see our circumstances as God sees them. It’s replacing our fleshly, human perspective (based upon distorted feelings) with a heavenly––or kingdom-centered––perspective, understanding that God is good. Knowing that God is for us and has a good planned for our lives. Trusting and entrusting ourselves to Jesus.
This, my friend, is what it looks like to fix our eyes on Jesus.
[But of course if you have anything to add to my understanding of this abstract truth, please do so in the comments!]
Any thoughts? Share in the comments.