“We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. 3 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.”
Hebrews 12:2-3 (ERV)
Have you ever thought about what would have happened if Jesus wasn’t obedient to God’s will? I often wondered what would have been our outcome if Jesus became distracted by all the things that He knew He would face and endure.
During 2022, I had moments in my life where I became unfocused and distracted by the “things” going on in the world and in my personal life. Things such as death, sickness, violence, and injustice manifested into depression, weariness, and depletion.
I focused on these things so much that I became distracted from my divine assignment to lead and save the lost souls. The word distraction is defined as “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else” or “extreme agitation of the mind or emotions”. My full attention had been shifted from my divine purpose and assignment onto the distractions.
In Matthew, after Jesus just fed the five thousand to five fish and two loaves of bread, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and go to Bethsaida while He dismissed the crowd and went to pray. Early in the morning, Jesus saw the disciples straining to row the boat because the wind was against them. He then began to walk on the water out to the boat.
When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a “spirit” or a “ghost”. They were immediately terrified and cried out in fear. Jesus said, “Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid!”
Peter replied, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus replied, “Come!” Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water, and came toward Jesus. But when Peter looked down at the waves and saw the strength of the wind, he became afraid and started to drown.
Peter cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. Jesus rebuked Peter for having little faith and they both climbed into the boat. Even though Jesus rebuked Peter for having little faith, he was the only one who stepped out of the boat while the other disciples only watched. Like Peter, once I took my focus off of Jesus I was operating with little faith and no longer advancing or walking on water.
Our Father gives us instruction in the book of Proverbs. He tells us to be wise and to “set our gaze on the path before us, with a fixed purpose looking straight ahead, and to ignore life’s distractions.”
I’ve learned that Jesus is my example of faith from overcoming distractions. Once I step out on faith, He will be right there with me. If I fall, He’s already saved me. I can call out to Him, and He will extend His hand to deliver me from my little faith. There are too many people attached to my voice and assignment to not focus on fulfilling my assignment. I must keep my gaze and focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, at all times.
Jesus sees and knows the struggles that we each go through. God has the power to deliver us no matter what the limitation. We have the power within us to rebuke the spirit of distraction and take back our focus. God has marked out a course for us all through His purpose and His plan. My desire is to meet Jesus at the finish line of my race and hear “well done my good and faithful servant; to you I am well pleased.”
Our Father, our God, our Maker, we thank You for being God. We thank You now Lord for restoring our focus and setting our gaze back on Jesus Christ, the Author and finisher of our faith. Father, forgive us for any time that we have wavered and allowed the distractions of this world to disrupt our focus. We choose to set our minds on Jesus and make the things eternal our priority and not the temporal.
I ask Lord that You deliver us from the spirit of distraction and call our focus back into alignment with your divine will and purpose in the mighty name of Jesus. We thank You in advance for strengthening us to endure the race that has been set before us as we lay down every weight and every sin that would so easily beset us. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Written By: Michellene Griffin-Ballard