The Influence of Having a ‘Godly Focus’
“What matters more is not how we start, but how well we finish.”
The year was around 750 BC and unforeseen events in the Northern Kingdom were soon to affect the life of a young man who was destined for a high calling, but whose focus had perhaps become earthbound and secular. His name was Isaiah and his future at this time was hidden from him, but was soon to hold the office of the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets. In every age and generation, God is looking to call chosen men and women to serve a his Prophetic Couriers; a communicative voice that would take his word to humanity and to the nations. God had singled out Isaiah for such an undertaking, for he was destined to see visions; to obtain visual access through the windows of heaven, and to see the future before it had arrived. But like so many of us, I am sure, he had allowed his true calling to be hijacked by other distractions. It appears, as we read the scriptures, that Isaiah had eyes only for King Uzziah first. It was the demise of this great ruler and monarch that heralded the birth of Isaiah’s promotion, for the scriptures inform us that the year that King Uzziah died, he saw “The Lord high and lifted up, His Train filling the Temple” (Isaiah 6:1). I wonder if we are allowing the influence of a certain earthly focus, whatever that may be, to rob us of our full potential and calling in the things of God.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” – Paul had a Steadfast Focus.
Some time ago whilst driving my car over the high ground that looks down on the Ribble Valley, the area where I live, I became conscious of certain objects that were continuing to take my eye; although there was a nip in the air fed by a strong easterly wind, I felt constrained to investigate; so I pulled into a vantage point to take a further look. Visibility was good as I surveyed the populated plain before me; there lying beneath me, scattered far and wide, were the spires of my Towns Churches, gracing the skyline with their presence. It was a glorious sight, their tall towers reaching up into the Heavens as though aspiring to great things; sentinels that speak of consistency; pillars of strength; monuments of stability and guardians of faith. Throughout the ravages of the years and the changing times, they have stood the test of time. They are land marks of our Christian heritage, a witness to eternal truths and a light to those in darkness. Their presence spoke volumes to me – They were firm, fixed, steadfast, focused.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus set his face to go up to Jerusalem, and that the early Church continued ‘steadfastly’ in the Apostles doctrine. Steadfastness with focus in the things of God is a mark of distinctiveness; it leads to a stable, consistent Christian character; for when we pursue with determination the pathway of consistent Christian living, the result is a Mature and productive Christian.
Chorus: ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light
Of His Glory and Grace’
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.