Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fixing our Gaze on Him

On the way to my graduation I was reading a book which was set in Israel around the time of Jesus. During the story, the characters found themselves in Jerusalem, and a certain custom was described. Under traditions it was required of all Jews that when they were outside they had to face the temple at all times. This must have given way to all sorts of humorous ways to work while walking backwards or even sideways. But the idea of it struck me. This old custom of the Jews might have seemed a bit extreem, but it's symbolic of how we as Christians are to live. In Israel, the Temple was the dwelling place of God and the Holy of Holies was where He resided. In effect, it represented God Himself. Just as the Jew had to face God's house/God and keep it in view at all times, we need to keep God as our focus at all times. In the words of some of my favorite pastors "The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing." For the Jew, everything he did had to revolve around the temple - he could not do anything that would cause it to be removed from his view. As a Christian everything you do needs to be done with your gaze fixed on Christ - if it will cause your gaze to be shifted from Him, don't do it!
One last thing to bring up is that it said "when they were out of doors" they had to face the Temple. As a Christian, it is often very easy to live a good life "inside", that is, around your family or your pastors, or even inside church. The real challenge is keeping God your focus when you're "outside" in the world.

II Corinthians 4:18 -- So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Psalm 141:8 -- But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD;
in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.

Psalm 25:15 -- My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Hebrews 12:1-2 -- Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

No comments: