The world has been plunged into a crisis of great proportions, a crisis unlike any crisis we have ever seen. Well at least in modern times and definitely not since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Sars Cov-2 (Covid-19) are words atop everyone’s lips and it cannot be gainsaid that Covid-19 has surely pulled the proverbial rugs from under our collective feet.
Our lives have been greatly impacted. Many have lost loved ones and have themselves become gravely ill. Many are left without jobs amid mounting financial obligations. We are all required to maintain social distance, resulting in us being apart from our family and friends in some cases.
Plans that have been made weeks, months, even years in advance, have had to be shelved due to Covid-19. Markets have crashed, economies have been placed on life support and we all face an uncertain future.
Now more than ever, we need to shift our focus from all that’s happening around us.
It is commonly said that the eyes are the windows to our soul, but I say that the eyes are also the windows to our spirit. Scripture also teaches us that the eyes are the lamp of the body (Matthew chapter 6, verse 22; Luke chapter 11, verse 34). Simply put, our eyes are very important and must be protected.
Psychologists have long observed that people become what they focus on and what we consume with our eyes invariably influences us. There is therefore no wonder that advertising is such a lucrative industry with many companies spending big bucks to erect massive billboards touting their products. That is because, what we see greatly influences us and in the same vein, what we focus on affects our spirits.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus
In Hebrews chapter 12, verses 1-2, we are entreated as follows:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The word of God therefore requires us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. No doubt because what we fix our eyes on influences our spirit. The word “fix” means, “to fasten (something) securely in a particular place or position. Therefore, to fix our eyes on Jesus means that our eyes remain on Him completely and at all times, irrespective of our circumstances.
How do we fix our eyes on Jesus?
As our eyes are the windows to our spirit, our spirit is nourished and grows when we fix our eyes on Jesus. It is therefore imperative that we learn how to fix our eyes on Him.
We fix our eyes on Jesus by focusing our mind’s eye on Him. This may lead us to even visualize Him with us as we go through our day. I recall in the late 1990s that there was a campaign titled “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do). It encouraged persons to ask themselves “what would Jesus do?” in each situation they encounter in their daily lives. This is an example of “fixing our eyes on Jesus” in operation. Pondering “what would Jesus do” require knowledge of who He is, His character, His mind etc. As we seek this knowledge of Him, we focus on Him and invariably become more like Him.
We also fix our eyes on Jesus by exalting Him through genuine worship. Giving Him pride of place (which is First place) in our lives and giving all glory to His powerful name. As we exalt Jesus Christ, everything else must be subject to Him, including our circumstances. True worship is a major weapon in a Christian’s arsenal.
We fix our eyes on Jesus when we literally keep our eyes fastened on the word of God - through reading and meditating on scriptures day and night, as instructed in Joshua chapter 1, verse 8. In this way, we feed and nourish our spirits. This should be our way of life and as we continue to do this, we become more like Jesus.
Keeping on track
Fixing our eyes on Jesus is putting on spiritual blinders and this is critical to our faith walk as Christians. It is by fixing our eyes on Jesus that we become more like Him and are able to live a spiritually fruitful and victorious life.
It is important to note that the said scripture Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1, enjoins us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” This verse also demonstrates that we are only able to do this by “fixing our eyes on Jesus.” In order for us to successfully complete the race marked out for us, it is paramount and critical that we fix (securely fasten) our eyes on Jesus thereby keeping our spiritual blinders on.
Horse blinders are firm leather squares or plastic cups that attach to a horse's bridle or hood and prevent a horse from seeing behind and beside it. Horses that pull wagons and carriages wear blinders to prevent them from becoming distracted or panicked by what they see behind the wagon.
Just as the blinders keep the horse from being distracted and looking behind it, so too our spiritual blinders keep us from running off course.
In Matthew chapter 14, we see the dangers of taking our eyes off Jesus. Peter having been summoned by Jesus to walk on water, was doing so, but he then started focusing on the winds and the elements around him, instead of on Jesus. In that moment, he had failed to fix (securely fasten) his eyes on Jesus and he began to sink in the water.
Likewise, if we focus on the storms of life around us, such as the present pandemic, Covid-19; instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ, we will sink in the flood waters of despair.
Celebrated Olympian and world record holder, Usain Bolt is undoubtedly the face of sprinting. Recently, I reviewed his heart stopping and track blazing world record run of 9.58 seconds for the men’s 100m final at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. I noticed that the moment Bolt lined up at the blocks his eyes were fixed on the finish line. Bolt did not look at his competitors nor did he spare time to look in the crowd. His focus was the finish line and the clock. His result is now cemented in the annals of history. Let us, like Bolt, focus on the race ahead of us.
I therefore encourage you brothers and sisters to run with perseverance the race marked out for us by putting our spiritual blinders by fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Tamara Dickens is a member of the Transformed Life Church in Jamaica where she serves in the Prayer and Production Ministries, and as a Life Group Leader. Tamara is passionate about teaching and sharing the word of God. It is Tamara's hope that all will come into the revelation and knowledge of God and His unwavering love for us.