I was praying the other day and kept hear these words – “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer (or author) and finisher of our Faith”. I hadn’t read that Scripture in a long time and pulled up Hebrews to check out what it said in context, and it was so encouraging.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Let us run the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and finisher of our Faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Here are few things I snagged from the Scriptures for this week:
I Run MY Race.
We all have gifts and callings and graces. Sometimes the wonderful (sarcastic tone there) process of comparison tries to sneak in. As a kid who grew up in church, went straight to Bible College and then pursued ministry in various capacities over the years - looking at my failures and losses, my wins and victories, I have struggled in comparing my race with someone else’s. “Well, we are about the same age and I haven’t done (insert specific ministry thing here)” or the pride aspect tries to sneak its ugly head in like a pouty three-year-old stomping his foot… “I went to ministry school. I sacrificed my younger years to pursue God and I should be farther along than I am”, etc. Which first let me start by saying, YUCK. ALL THE YUCK. Farther along? Really not such a great heart right there.
I have had many opportunities to look away from MY race and try to run someone else’s. My father-in-law is a magnificent track coach and has been for over 40 years. He has trained kids who went on to be Olympians and helped so many kids get to college on scholarships because of his ability to identify gifts and train accordingly. I am sure that if I showed up trying to run hurdles tomorrow that wouldn’t go so great (read: miserable failure with broken bones and blood). We have our lanes. Let’s stay in it and believe God to help us to be the best we can be in our own race.
Fix My Eyes on Jesus
Fix (verb)– A position from which it is difficult to escape. To become set; assume a rigid or solid form.
There seems to be an intentionality with the Scripture that indicates you must make an effort to fix your eyes. It doesn’t just happen by chance. We make the choice. We fix our eyes on Jesus. We don’t look away. I think some of that has to do with not being distracted. In defensive driving they talk about how we don’t focus on what is in our rear-view mirror or our side mirrors. Our main focus needs to be straight ahead and then quick glances around to make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Same is true in our lives. We cannot fix our eyes on the rear-view mirror of our life, looking at our past – losses OR wins. We cannot keep our eyes out our side windows, looking at other’s races. We HAVE to fix our eyes straight ahead on Jesus and follow the course laid out. If not, we will crash and burn, and no one really wants to intentionally do that.
Finish with Joy
Our race that we were just talking about was charted out by Jesus... you know the same one who PIONEERED and FINISHED our faith? We get the joy of walking through this life with a confident assurance of who we are IN Christ. We have the manual.
It says in Psalms, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.” His Word keeps our feet sure and shows us what is up ahead. So, if we fix our eyes on Jesus (or the Word as it talks about in John 1:14) we can be confident of a joyful end.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
His plans for you are GOOD. Don’t let fear or comparison or someone else’s race deter you from all that God has in store for you.
Run Your Race. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus. Finish with Joy.
Prayer: Father, today I ask that you help me to fix my eyes on You. I thank You for the truths of your Word and the promises that you have declared over me. I say no to the thief of comparison. I say no to the heaviness of discouragement. And today, God, I say with my mouth: I am blessed by God, my feet are steady and sure, my future is bright and I choose joy because I know that Your plans for me are good.