We have just exited a part of the Olympic season (the Paralympics are still underway) and it is always great to hear the stories behind the wins. All the top 3 winners in each category did not achieve their success by accident but by deliberate focus and action for a protracted period of time. Their aim was singular, they want to win the gold medal and set new records. The journey of an Olympian has many parallels to the journey of a Christian. Except, as opposed to playing for gold which is only valuable for a time, we play for invaluable treasure, Jesus, at least that’s the treasure I am pursing.
Or rather, that’s what I thought I was pursing. For a long time now, probably even 10 years, I have always put in a lot of effort and prayer into having the right Christian friends. Every now and then, I would feel like I am getting it right, but most of the time, I always found my Christian friendships to not be at the level I want. As such, I found that I focused most of my energy on getting said friends. But recently, I started looking at the prize, Jesus. And what stood out for me is that Jesus actually has an opposite pursuit than what I was pursuing. Jesus came to earth to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). This pursuit of His has not changed. The bible talks about how there is a party in heaven over the repentance of one sinner than 99 righteous people (Luke 15:7).
It hit me hard when looking at Jesus, that although, I say and think I am pursing Jesus, I actually am not – I am pursing my internal need for relationships, which I do believe is God given and I do believe in fellowship. However, looking at Jesus, His focus was on getting into the radar of those that don’t know Him, so that they might see the Father and repent. Jesus would ache in His heart seeing people that did not know His father. Jesus’ prayer for labourers was a consequence of Him seeing people not connected to the father (Matthew 9:36). Jesus’ last command to all His followers; the great commission, is a result of Him seeing the need for people to be reconciled to God. Whether you read the gospels or epistles, it is an obvious reality that the focus of Jesus is those that don’t know Him.
If I am truly like an athlete trying to get the prize, Jesus, then surely what matters to Jesus should matter to me. If Jesus is about the lost then getting closer to Him means my life should be about the lost. There is no possible way I can claim to be closer to Jesus and still not care about what He cares about. My focus for a long time has been getting into the right circles with the 99, but it’s changing. I want to focus on what Jesus is focused and focuses on, which is the one. I want to contribute to bringing joy to heaven and not just enter it myself one day. I know that my efforts of re-focus are not in vain, the very relational need that I have will be met in Jesus, He makes a promise and says “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:30-33). Too often we focus on the things to be added from Matthew 6:33 and forget that the focus He is calling us is a focus on His realities, His initiatives and His provisions. Jesus will take care of what we need! Re-focus! Focus on Jesus!!!
My challenge to you is for you check yourself and see if you are really focused on Jesus? If so, do you care about what He cares about? If you don’t care about what He cares about, I’m afraid you need to refocus your life and really focus on Jesus.
PS: You can’t care emotionally, our actions and words show what we care about.
P.P.S: Focusing on Jesus will result in focusing what Jesus focuses on, I don’t want to end up focusing on the lost but loosing focus on Jesus. The sole focus is Jesus, it’s just that when I look at Him I see what He cares about.