…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13). Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
The Father wants each of us to look away from our past successes and failures and keep our focus on Him and His ability that is available to us! This word for looking here in Hebrews is the Greek word aphorao and it means to purposely turn your eyes away from other things and to fix your gaze purposefully onto something.
We often allow the distractions of personal weakness, inferiority, and of our past to hinder us from moving forward in God. Peter walked on the water as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. Peter began to sink when he removed his gaze from Him. And we stop moving forward when we focus on anything but Jesus and His ability in us through the Word!
Abraham’s life was changed at age 75 when God gave him a vision of a multitude of children living in a land God promised him! A man from a pagan family was transformed into the father of faith by a Word from God. He became what he looked for!
Jacob’s life was changed after he wrestled with an angel an entire night. His name was changed from Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (prince with God). His vision of his life was never the same.
Joseph’s life was transformed when he had a dream of being a great leader. Because he kept his focus on this dream, circumstances never got him down! Sold as a slave by his brothers, lied about and thrust in a prison, Joseph rose to the top regardless of circumstances. And it was because his inner gaze was on the dream! And he became that leader he dreamed about years later, after successfully overcoming daunting impossibilities.
Moses was born with a death threat on his life. He killed a man at 40 years of age and spent the next 40 year living in a desert in exile. Moses’ life was forever changed by a Word from God in the burning bush. He became one of the greatest prophets of Israel because He moved his gaze to the Holy God revealed in the bush! His legacy lives on!
If we focus on our past, we will never overcome it. If we turn our eyes away from the hardship and troubles life has brought us and look purposefully at Jesus by focusing on the Word, then we will become a transformed person!
Today, like much of the world, we can focus on all of the negatives that we hear about every single hour of every single day. Or, we can choose to look past the vast array of things being hurled at us these days and choose to look at God’s promises to heal us to deliver us, to protect us, and to help us through crazy times!
Let’s keep our focus on God and His Word. A change of gaze can change our life course! Let’s forget what has happened. We can’t change it. But we can do something with today! And what we see determines how we live! Let’s keep our focus on the promises of God today. He is faithful that promised!