Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the Likewise Distracted: When Our Eyes are Fixed on Jesus

It doesn't take someone close to me to realize how easily distracted I am.

I'm one of those people who could be in the middle of a heartfelt, profound conversation, and yet my mind would still somehow manage to flutter away to another far away land, leaving the one I'm speaking with confused and offended. It’s embarrassing, really, and, I imagine, quite frustrating for my companions. My heart is willing to focus here - to be in the “now” with the ones I’m with - but my mind somehow takes its wings and flies speedily and effortlessly to another destination.

Until recently, I had never noticed the degree to which distractions hold me back from growing in my walk with God. While meditating on Hebrews 12:2, “…fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,” God has been emphasizing the importance of this act of looking, and not looking away. I hear whispering reminders to my distracted spirit: fix your eyes on Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus, fix your eyes on Jesus. Focus, Kariana.

He knows the truth.

How quickly I fix my eyes on fear, only seconds after recalling His faithfulness
How quickly I fix my eyes on anxiety, minutes after His word speaks comfort
How quickly I fix my eyes on insecurity, while, mid-conversation, He is telling me how madly in-love He is with me, has accepted me, created me wonderfully, and clothed me with more than I’ll ever need!

How quickly I fix my eyes on doubt, on discouragement, on worldly wisdom, on shame, on pride, on rejection, on burdens, on criticism, on shortcomings, on loss, on gain, on the past, on the future, on failures, on successes, on, even good gifts and blessings of the Kingdom, before fixing my eyes upon my beautiful Jesus!

I am terribly, easily, wretchedly distracted! These fluttering wings of my mind and heart need desperately to be clipped.

And something is telling me I am not alone in this.

Focus, focus, focus on Him.

If you too find yourself looking away, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, as we “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The enemy works very hard to take the bride’s eyes away from the Bridegroom's.

Do you know Jesus? Have you focused your attention on Him? If so, you know that when your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you will see Him loving you before you loved Him, dying on the cross for you. You will see Him answering the door, when you knock. You will see Him attentively listening to even your feeblest prayers. You will see Him laying His hands on you, willing to heal you, heart and soul. You will see His compassion for those poor in material, and in spirit. You will see Him gladly eating with you and other sinners. You will see Him cleansing those same sinners, filling you/them with the same powerful Spirit that raised Him from the dead, bringing life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11). You will see Him, the humblest King,  carrying your burdens. You will see Him patiently praying to the Father on your behalf. You will see Him at the right hand of the Father, with eyes blazing like fire, majestically adorned with crowns of Heavenly jewels.

Though we often fix our eyes distractedly elsewhere, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, we will see Him, full of mercy, sitting by our side at the well, offering living water that becomes “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life,” so that we will never thirst again (John 4: 13-14).

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Focus!

Monday, May 5, 2014

To Knowing You a Decade

To Knowing You a Decade

Your right hand opened to reveal the golden
Figurines I'd formed before my tears began and
Let me witness them tumble and crack
They were never part of Your plan

Ancient abstract idea of who You are
What I’d heard, what I’d read
Now unveiled tangibility
Me the feet, You the head

How You knew me before forming me
In my mother’s womb I’ll never comprehend
Betrothed to Your Son, Father's daughter
Powerful Spirit as a friend

If one thousand years is like a day to You
One day like a thousand years
My decade’s surely momentary
Though somehow counted by You dear

Kariana Reyes


"The dearest idol I have known,
whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
and worship only thee." 

(CH Sprugeon, Morning by Morning, May 4th)