After 30 years of ministry, one thought keeps me going, and the one thought I want to leave you with, regardless if you are a GP member, volunteer, participant, or staff member, is to keep your focus on Jesus.
I know that sounds cliché, until we wake up one day and find that we are burnt out, have lost perspective, have become defensive, are more vulnerable to temptation, are struggling with our ministry, struggling identifying or knowing God’s will, struggling with our marriage, with our relationships, with ourselves, with life, and our walk with or belief in Christ. Some of us get caught up in trying to please God with our daily work/actions while not evolving into the men or women God wants us to be in the process. We forget to realize that God is more pleased with who we are becoming in Him, rather than what we are doing for him
When and if we find ourselves feeling this way, in our daily grind, focus on Jesus. In the middle of our relationships with each other, and with our congregants, with fellow GP members, focus on Jesus. In the middle of change, challenges, calling, conversation, controversy, serving…focus on Jesus. While people or culture changes around us, and it magnetically pulls us in one direction, we need to allow our focus on Jesus to pull us in another. When we start following “God’s plan” more than following Jesus, focus on Jesus. There’s a distinct difference between following a path and following a person who leads us on that path. The difference is in knowing Christ personally. The emphasis is on the personal, because the life that does not arise out of the personal intimate knowledge of Jesus will ultimately, no matter how “good or successful”, be frustrating, sterile and unfulfilling.
Sometimes words, thoughts, emotions, reactions, change, disappointments, hurt, anger, conflict, disagreements, issues…can often seem louder than the Word of God—especially if we aren’t taking time to hear the Word of God.
We can all be vulnerable and get consumed with situations or issues and begin to sink as Peter did, rather than focusing on and getting consumed with the One who holds all life, all love, and all power, and the one who calms the waves and has all the solutions.
We have a great Code and Common Commitments at CCG that with God’s help we strive to live by. Three of my favorites are to…Build and Guard the Team, to Execute with Excellence, and to Stay Fit in our individual walks. We all need such parameters to position ourselves for growth, and to not live a double standard spiritual life style.
The truth is, we can’t focus on two destinations…our way (world’s way) and God’s way. While human nature will cause us to question or doubt things at times, we need to stay focused on God’s way and His destination. It’s easy to get distracted or led off course when we take our eyes off the road leading to Christ. As Pastor Steve indicated at this past Sunday’s services, if we don’t build walls of protection and accountability around us, we can act out of character, and make decisions that can lead us down the wrong road, get sidetracked, or lost.
When this happens, we are wise to think about what we are thinking about—and what we shouldn’t be thinking about. Likewise, we have to look at what we are believing—and not believing. Because, we either have our eyes set on Christ, or we are swerving down a road heading straight for a ditch. God calls us to focus and to keep our eyes on Christ, to avoid looking at what everyone else may be doing, being, or saying—and to instead see Him. And that helps us see ourselves, each other, and whom we are serving, more clearly.
Hebrews 12:2 says…Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God. (The Message).
My prayer is that we will grow to continually be attentive to where God is leading us, and it all starts with our individual and collective focus on Jesus.
When our eyes are on Christ, they are not on the world.
And, when our eyes are on the world, they are not on Christ.
Let’s constantly fix our eyes on the One who provides all direction, all hope, and all purpose, by keeping focused eyes.