Focus on the Lord

September 10, 2017

When mired in difficulties, the best option is to look unto the Lord. Seeking the help of others might be frustrating as they may be equally struggling. Having gone through many challenges himself, King David testified, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare” (Psalm 25:15). Even in the most difficult situations, it is best to trust in the Lord rather than in men. The power of the Lord to save is unlimited, and it is his good pleasure to do so to those who fix their eyes on him. No wonder, King David quipped, “O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you” (Psalm 141:8). 

When we focus our eyes on the Lord, we are not staring at him blankly but we do so expectantly. It is in that mode that we ask the Lord to open the eyes of our understanding. In his epistle, the apostle Paul said, “I pray also that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Eph 1:18-19). Unless he opens the eyes of our understanding, we will never know his will and purpose for our lives. No wonder many are merely existing and not enjoying the fullness of life. The Lord put it more bluntly when he said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). Even the disciples, who spent years with the Lord Jesus Christ, did not fully understand the Scriptures until Jesus himself opened the eyes of their understanding (Luke 24:45).

We also need to ask the Lord to give us the ability to see things through the eyes of faith. We are told in Scripture that “we live by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). If we rely on our physical eyes, we will not see the glory and power of God.  We will tend to focus our eyes on the problem rather than on the Lord who holds the solution to our problems. As we live by faith, it is imperative that we focus our eyes on the things above, which are eternal, and not on things below, which are temporal. But the truth of the matter is that it is easy to be terrified of what we see with our physical eyes because they are real. For us to do otherwise will require real faith in God. This was the experience of the servant of Elisha. When the armies of Aram surrounded them, he saw it with his eyes and he was terrified. However, when Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see,” the Lord opened the eyes of his faith, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 King 6:17).  

Since there are occasions when the Lord will not quickly answer our petitions, we need to ask the Lord to give us expectant eyes like that of a servant. King David said, “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy” (Psalm 123:2). As mentioned earlier, we should not just be staring at the Lord blankly. We have to be alert to what he wants us to do, just like a servant who waits for a cue from his master. There are times when the Lord has already given the signal, but because we are not alert and expectant, we miss the blessings. We should never take our eyes off the Lord until he releases his blessings.

It would be a foolish thing to look unto the Lord for deliverance without expecting that he will indeed deliver. This happened to the disciples when they were praying for the deliverance of Peter from prison. They stormed heaven with their prayers and their eyes were focused on the Lord. In a miraculous manner, the Lord set Peter free from prison, in answer to their prayers. But when Peter went to the place where the disciples were gathered and praying, they could not believe that it was him who was knocking at the door. They thought that it was his ghost. It appeared that these disciples were only doing the motion of praying, without expecting an answer. It was good that the Lord answered their prayers anyway.

To further encourage believers, the Book of Hebrews says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Indeed, as we look unto Jesus, let us ask that he open the eyes of our understanding that we may come to know his plans and purposes for our lives. As we pursue them, may he also bless us with the ability to overcome challenges that may come our way and see them through the eyes of faith. May we not take our eyes off the Lord Jesus Christ as we wait patiently, with much expectation, for the answers to our prayers. Glory to God!