Keeping Your Eyes on Him in the Midst of Chaos
Updated: Aug 8
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
In a today’s world, where there is so much confusion and overload of information, it is easy to get discouraged, distracted, and completely out of focus from what is really important, our relationship with God and those that He has put into our lives.
Over the last 6 months, I have seen so many people go from best of friends, from brothers and sisters in Christ, and from close family to suddenly become unable to even look or talk to one another. Whether it is differences of opinion on COVID-19, or whether to wear mask, or whether to vote for Trump or Biden, or whether there is some big conspiracy out there to destroy our nation, we are daily bombarded with thoughts and ideas that are slowly destroying everything that we once knew and valued. It is heart breaking to see the number of relationships that have become broken throughout this pandemic and unless we find a way to shift our focus to what is truly important, I have had my doubts whether many of those relationships will ever be restored.
Recently I was reflecting on Acts 15 and a conflict that took place in the early church over whether or not the Gentiles should be circumcised or not. Those who had come from the sect of the Pharisees (strict observers of the law) stated that it was necessary to fulfill the law of Moses and that salvation cannot be achieved without it. Paul and Barnabas, on the other hand, shared in great detail on how God had moved amongst the Gentiles and given His Spirit to them. Their conclusion was that it was unnecessary to place this burden on them.
Obviously, this was quite a tense moment for the early church. The potential for division in the young church was at her doorstep. Negativity, distrust, and religious righteousness was beginning to fill the room. Something needed to happen and happen quickly as the focus was quickly getting off of Jesus and onto worldly matters.
Peters, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gets up and restores their focus onto what mattered most. “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Acts 15:7-11)
In this moment, silence entered the room. Focus had returned to that which mattered most, Jesus. Paul and Barnabas again begin to share of the signs and wonders God had performed through them among the Gentiles, leaving everyone in awe of God. James then gets up and is able to issue a fair judgement on the situation in which everyone was in agreement. A disaster had been diverted and the church was able to continue forward and become the movement that God had set apart the church to become.
I think there is a lot that we can learn from this right now. Right now, we are in a time when the world is divided, nations are divided, the church is divided, and now local bodies of Christ are beginning to break. It is time that we get our eyes off the worldly issues that are dividing us and get them back onto that which matters most, Jesus Christ. There is no other way through this, just as there was no other way for the early church to resolve their early conflict.
“But seek FIRST, His Kingdom…..” (Matthew 6:33)
“Let’s fix our eyes on JESUS….” (Hebrews 12:2)
“Set your minds on things that are above…” (Colossians 3:2)
If you are finding yourself more and more isolated from your family, your church, and those you once called friend, maybe it is time to shift your focus onto Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. If you are finding yourself frustrated and angry over decisions your government is making, maybe it is time to shift your focus back to Jesus. If you are heartbroken by the constant strife, division, and manipulation caused by the media, maybe it is time to turn your eyes back to Jesus. Only in Him can you find resolution to your differences. Only in Him, can you see through the chaos. Only in Him can you find hope and salvation.
Church, it is time to fix your eyes on Jesus.