Recently, I heard advice being given on television about how to take good photographs with a camera which had an adjustable lens. The speaker was explaining how it’s possible to adjust the lens to emphasise the main subject of the picture, so that it stands out from its surroundings. The phrase he used to describe this was “it throws the rest of the world out of focus”.
It made me think that perhaps we need to take a fresh view of our lives and check that we’re focusing on the right things. Important as our work, family and society are, if they become or main focus, we can so easily become overwhelmed. Instead, we need to embrace what we read in the verse which follows the one above, ‘Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth’. This will help us regain the correct perspective on life and brings things into context.
Jesus instructs His disciples to ‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things (material blessings) will be given to you as well’ (Matthew 6:33). It’s so important to ensure that we’re looking at things through the right lenses. But so often our personal situation, our environment, our past experiences, our hurts, our pains, our relationships, our circumstances, our sense of failure, and our fears influence and distort the way we see life, the way we see God, and the way we interpret His word.
The Holy Spirit can help us refocus, enabling us to begin seeing how God looks at us and all that affects and concerns us. When we change our ‘soulish’ glasses for Holy Spirit ones, the ‘things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’, and we’ll have a new outlook on ourselves and the world around us.
The psalmist encourages us to look heavenwards with ‘We look to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal’ (Psalm123:2). In Psalm 25:15, he says ‘My eyes are always looking to the Lord for help’.
In the New Testament, the writer to the Hebrews urges us to ‘run with endurance the race that God has set before us’, and that we do this ‘by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish’ (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for letting other things cloud and distort my vision of You and how I see things around me. Please help me, by Your Spirit, to see things as You see them and help me to focus on the things that really matter. Amen.
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