Therefore, holy brothers, partners in a heavenly calling, keep your focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. (Hebrews 3:1)
As an assessor in education, one of my jobs is to look for evidence of knowledge, but more importantly, understanding of the areas being assessed. For me to be convinced that the candidate understands the concepts there must be sufficient, reliable evidence.
I found myself meditating on what it means for our lives to be focussed on God. I asked myself, from the point of view of an assessor, what would constitute reliable evidence that a Christian was living the focussed life. How could I judge that he or she understood the principles and didn’t just have a head knowledge of them?
As I pondered over this, some of the renouned men of old in The Bible came to mind. Lives such as Abraham, Jacob’s son Joseph, Moses, the prophets Elijah and Daniel, and, of course, the apostle Paul. These men lived the focussed life. And there was one piece of evidence that I saw in each of their lives that was the out working of the focussed life; quite simply, obedience. Let’s have a look at a few of these men.
Of Abraham we read, "Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”. “Here I am,” he answered. “Take your son,” God said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you (Genesis 22:1-3). Abraham obeyed.
Although initially reluctant to be God’s mouthpiece in Egypt, Moses finally obeyed Him.
Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand. (Exodus 4:19, 20)
Apart from one memorable occasion when he disobeyed God, Moses kept his life focussed on his call and obediently did what God asked of him.
Towards the end of his life, the apostle Paul wrote these, now famous words,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
If anyone can be cited as a person whose life’s focus was Christ, it was Paul. From the moment of his meeting with Christ on the Damascus Rd, Paul’s life was characterised by obedience.
Finally, I also thought about the fruit of the focused life. One word sprang to mind.. “Victory”. The focussed life is a life of victory over temptation and sin. As Max Lucado puts it:
“Focus on giants - you stumble
Focus on God - giants tumble."
One day, the Great Assessor will look for evidence that demonstrates how focused we have been on Him. God grant that He finds an abundance of evidence of obedience and tumbled giants!
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