Keeping Our Focus on Jesus

“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a NLT)

Endurance demands training and training demands discipline, neither of which the average professing believer in America has or even desires. How do I know that? The main way is through conversations with those who claim they want to be Christ’s “disciple,” but take very little incentive and have virtually no follow through. Part of the problem stems from their lack of focus.

What do you think of when you read that word “focus?” It literally means “adjustment (as of eyes or eyeglasses) that gives clear vision.” Think of the chair in the Eye Doctor’s office and his questions: “Which is clearer position A or B,” etc.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

But keeping focus doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on only one thing. Part of the training I received as a School Bus Driver demanded that we move our attention every three seconds. Windshield, side mirrors, inside mirror, back to windshield, etc. Why? It keeps us alert and sensitive to what’s going on around us. What generally happens if you try to focus on one object too long? At best it gets blurred, and, at worst, we go to sleep.

How does this apply to following Jesus? Don’t we just do what He says to do? For the most part, yes. But how do we know what He wants us to do? The primary ways are through reading and studying the Bible, and through prayer, both of which require discipline and focus.

Some people are very disciplined and can learn new things easily and quickly; however, most Americans have very little discipline. They’re like a stick floating down a river or stream. G.K. Chesterton made an interesting observation. He said: A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” 

Which are you? Living or dead? If you’re reading this you may assume that you’re alive, but a pulse does not an alive person make! There are millions, likely billions of people with a pulse walking planet earth who are dead in their trespasses and sin, many professing faith in the living God. Profession is easy, following Jesus and keeping your focus on Him, not so much.

Keeping our focus on Jesus requires a willingness to die to our old self – the self who loves “stuff;” the self who loves having it’s own way; the self that doesn’t take orders from anyone, etc. It requires repentance. What’s that?

Repentance is a Biblical term that means “a change of mind,” but it’s much more comprehensive than that. It’s a military term and can be illustrated by an “about face.” A soldier is marching in one direction, but upon command, spins and begins walking in the opposite direction. It’s a change of direction brought about by a realignment of our heart and mind with the will of God.

It’s a submission to the authority of God, given visibility by the new direction of our life. We’re no longer tyrannized by the things of the world but driven by our faith in and love for Jesus. Giving expression to our love for Jesus governs every avenue of our lives and motivates every new discipline required to carry out His will.

Pleasing God must override our desire to please ourselves. Discipline and focus grow out of obedience, which is a decision, that once made, will be reinforced, and enabled by the Holy Spirit. But it requires our willingness to submit to the Spirit’s leadership.

Keeping our focus on Jesus is the adventure of a lifetime and is well worth the effort.

Blessings, Ed 😊  

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