I know, I know. You saw the little title and thought, “What?!?”
But bear with me for a moment.
I woke up with a simple question on my heart: “What are you looking at?”
That’s a question I find God asks me all the time. Now, there are two ways you can interpret that question. The first is the literal meaning — are you looking at the red car or the blue car? Are you looking left or right? Are you looking at him or her? What are you looking at?
Although there are certainly things in life that are so profane God literally doesn’t want us to look at them, that’s not really what He’s asking us here.
When God asks us what we’re looking at, He’s asking us what the focus of our life is.
We’ve all done this before: you’re walking around someplace where there’s a lot to look at, and before you know it, you’re no longer walking in a straight line…As your head swivels all over the place to look around, so do your feet.
Our feet follow our eyes.
In the same way, whatever we fix our gaze on drives how we live. All of our decisions in life flow out of where we have our sights set.
We live in a world of immense beauty, and there are endless numbers of things to “look at.” When we focus our gazes on people, material possessions, security, acceptance, or our own desires, it feels normal and natural to us…but it corrupts our ability to look upon Jesus and let His ways drive our lives.
And no matter how good it feels in the moment, when we take our eyes off Jesus, we get hurt. Sometimes we have good reasons to look away from him. In Matthew 14:22-23, we see Jesus miraculously walking on water, and Peter climbs out of the boat to walk to him….It goes fine at first, but he gets afraid (of the legitimate, actual danger of the waves!) and looks at his fear instead of at Jesus. And he falls. Jesus, of course, rescues him immediately, but the point is this: no matter how real the danger, no matter how huge the problem, if we take our eyes off Jesus and look at our fear instead of our faith, we fall. But when we look to Jesus, we can continue to move forward in life, even in seemingly impossible circumstances.
And it really comes down to how we’re defining what makes our lives worthwhile…Are you living for the glory of God, or are you just trying to keep all the details straight at work? There’s a big difference in your life’s meaning, depending on what’s driving your life.
You see how important what we are focusing on is. In my own life, the times when I am fearful and angry, I am never looking at Jesus and always looking at people, myself, the circumstances or the future.
Focusing on God
And honestly, looking at Jesus consistently just takes discipline. If you’re lacking the discipline to look upon Jesus faithfully, first of all, ask him to help you…God LOVES it when we want to grow, and he’ll give you everything you need to walk with him in a deeper way. Secondly, check out my book Upward, Inward, Outward (available wherever you like to buy books) because I wrote it about how to follow God and live in the world. So it could be a really helpful tool to you right now.
And at the end of the day, let’s hope and trust Jesus ruthlessly. Let us seek, at every moment, to keep our focus with laser-like perfection from the Holy Spirit, on our Lord. When we find our gaze leaving Jesus for the passing things of the earth and its futile attempts at security, let us hear those things say to us in all consternation, “What are YOU looking at?!” Because truly, as the children redeemed of Jesus, we have no business looking anywhere but to Him for hope, joy, or security.