About this event:
Today’s devotional is from inspiration my wife had from John Eldredge in his book “Moving Mountains”. It moved my heart and I know it will move yours. You are loved and missed.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”
Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
This is a cherished Scripture that I wish I kept far better than I do! Multiple crises of troubles, ailments, financial distress, family issues, grief and loss, and now even viral pandemics constantly pull at our attention. It is so easy to get fixated on the troubles along the way rather than the Waymaker.
That’s what Peter did. He eagerly jumped out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30) Peter walked on water! UNTIL he looked away from Jesus and focused on the storm swirling around him, then down he went.
But let’s take a better example from the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Jesus faced a problem. He had amassed a huge following of 5,000 men, plus women and children, and they were hungry, with nowhere and no means to get food. All that was available was the small lunch someone had packed along. The disciples wanted to just let the crowd fend for themselves, but Jesus knew Whom to ask for help.
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to His disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. (Mark 6:41-44, emphasis added)
In Mark 7:31-35, when Jesus was begged to heal a man who was deaf, scripture says,
“And looking up to heaven (Jesus) sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened’.” (verse 34)
Again, when approaching his friend Lazarus’ tomb (a cave with a stone in front of it) with a whole town full of onlookers and doubters,
“Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’ (John 11:39-44, emphasis added)
These are just three examples of Jesus looking up to heaven to fix His attention on His Father’s loving Face. He knew where Truth was—not in the impossible circumstances he faced, but in His Father God and the resources of His Kingdom. Where is your focus? If you are anxious and worried or even panicking, feeling like you are about to go under, check your gaze. Get your eyes fixed on Your Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ His Son and His blessed Holy Spirit, Who IS our Help and our Hope.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
(Inspirational credit to John Eldredge in his book “Moving Mountains”)
(All scripture references from the ESV, except as notated)