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1 5 May - "Keeping Your Eyes On Jesus: Navigating Life's Distractions to Focus on What Truly Matter"

There was once a guy called Elisha whose boss was called Elijah. Elijah was known to do many miracles and was prophet who delivered messages from God to the people and leaders. He had a helper called Elisha who followed him everywhere (2 Kings 1-18)  


One day when both Elijah and Elisha were aware that it was nearly time for Elijah to leave this life, they were walking along on their way to a place called Gilgal. Elijah said “Stay here, I am going to Bethel”. But Elijah said, "No way I won’t leave you.” So they went to Bethel. Then Elijah said, "Stay here I am going to Jericho." Again Elisha said, "I won’t leave you". So they went to Jericho.


Then Elijah said, "The Lord is sending me to Jordon River, so stay here”.  But again Elisha said, “No way, I won’t leave you". So the two of them walked on. Finally Elijah spoke to Elisha. He said, "Tell me. What can I do for you before I'm taken away from you?" "Please give me a double share of your spirit," Elisha replied.


 "You have asked me for something I can't give you," Elijah said. "Only the LORD can give it. But suppose you see me when I'm taken away from you. Then you will receive what you have asked for. If you don't see me, you won't receive it."


"They kept walking along and talking together. Suddenly a chariot and horses appeared. Fire was all around them. The chariot and horses came between the two men. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind."

 

But even with the horses, wind and the fire, Elisha did not take his eyes off Elijah, and because he didn't he received the double portion on his life that Elijah had carried from God.

 

Keep you eyes on what and who matters

The thing about Elisha is that he could have been deterred from his focus. Elijah tried to get him to stay behind and yet Elisha would not leave him. Finally, when he was close to getting what he had asked for, God tested him a little by causing a supernatural event to happen right before his eyes that would have had most people looking at that and missing the departure of Elijah, in the strong wind and a fiery chariot of horses coming out of heaven. But rather than be distracted even by this, Elisha kept his eyes on Elijah and as a result, he received his request from God.

 

Don't Be Distracted By The Storm

Likewise, when Peter and the other disciples were in the boat in the midst of the storm and fearing for their lives they suddenly saw a figure that looked like Jesus walking on the water. They all thought it was a ghost but Jesus immediately said to them. ”Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”


“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”


Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:22-23 NIV)


In life, we have to choose what we are going to look like, especially when we have a vision and goal before us. Will we keep focused on what God has laid on our hearts to be and achieve – like Elisha wanting a double portion, or will we be distracted from what we desire and are called to do and become?


Even good stuff can start to take our eyes off what and who we are meant to be looking at. Elisha received from God what he asked because he kept his eyes on what he had been instructed to. “But suppose you see me when I'm taken away from you. Then you will receive what you have asked for. If you don't see me, you won't receive it." (2 Kings 2:9-10 NIV)


Peter was able to walk on water because he focused on Jesus and his call upon his life. But the moment he looked away and saw the wind and the waves he started to sink. Jesus had to grab hold of him to save him from drowning.


Keep Your Eyes On Jesus

Both Elisha's and Peter's accounts remind us regardless of what's happening, whether it's exciting, great achievement, or whilst facing the storms in life, "Keep your eyes on Jesus and what really matters."

 

Today I encourage you to fix your eyes ahead and upon who Jesus has called you to be. Don't allow yourself to become so distracted by the excitement or short-term achievements that you stop running your race in the right direction, or by the negative things that can pressure and stress you to the point where you focus on the “storm” rather than Jesus and him calling.


Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27)


“Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1 NLT)


“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)


Prayer: Lord, please help me to set my heart and mind on you today so that everything else in my life falls into place. Regardless of the storm or the amazing things that may be happening around me, I will continually keep my eyes on you. In Jesus' name Amen.

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