I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Paul was one the greatest and most influential figures in the Bible, writing a good portion of the New Testament. But he was quick to recognize the fact that he was far from perfection, constantly striving each day to be who God had called him to be. He knew that his focus had to be on what was ahead of him, in order to stay on the right track and accomplish all the things that God wanted him to accomplish. The prize at the end of the race was in the forefront of his mind and nothing was going to distract him from his goal.
We are all faced with distractions as we walk through our Christian walk. Many of them are sent from the enemy himself, trying to discourage us or lure us away from our intended purpose and calling. These distractions can come in the form of disagreements, sickness, financial distress, back-biting, rejection and many, many more. But it’s only when we keep our eyes on the end prize (which is spending eternity with our Lord), that we are able to overcome the distractions and move forward into our destiny and continue to accomplish great and mighty things for the Lord.
Last Sunday, during our morning worship service, I was participating in a choir special. Before we had the opportunity to sing our song, time was given to invite anyone that needed special prayer to come down to the altar to receive that special prayer. It was during that time that the Lord prompted me to go and pray with someone in particular and share a specific word from the Lord for them. As I stepped off the choir risers and began to descend the stairs from the platform, I lost my footing and stumbled down the stairs, eventually able to catch myself without revealing too much of my unmentionables. My ego took quite a beating from the incident along with a few jabs from some individuals after the service, but I didn’t let my embarrassing situation deter me from my intended purpose. I got myself up, brushed myself off, and moved forward in praying and believing for a seemingly hopeless situation for someone else. I kept my eyes on Christ and my calling for that particular moment and situation, and pushed aside my feelings of pride and embarrassment.
That may seem like a silly example to what many of you are experiencing on a daily basis, but the point remains the same. Don’t look to the left or right or listen to the reactions of those around you. Keep your focus on your intended goal and never stray from it. Pretend to have blinders on your eyes and ears, so that you only see and hear Christ. The voices and reactions of those around you will always attempt to sway you off course. Spend quality daily time with the Lord through prayer and His Word, so that His voice will drown out all the other voices. It is a hard, vicious battle, but one that you can come through victorious if you will keep looking ahead.
Do people’s opinions of you mean more than God’s opinion of you? What voices do you tend to listen to; God’s or those around you? Have you lost sight of your intended goal or prize? Spend some extra time today in prayer, listening to and recognizing God’s voice. When someone speaks negatively to you today, realize that it is the enemy’s way of trying to distract you and throw you off track. Come against him in prayer and ask God to replace those negative lies with His truth! Staying focused takes practice, so get busy practicing!
Have a great day!