The Body of Christ is suffering greatly in every way, from violent onslaughts to emotional trauma, grief and anguish. Some cry out to be rescued, others must pray for ways to reach them. Many brethren suffer silently in personal turmoil and grief. The spiritual darkness upon the world is alive, strategic, and bearing fruit. Within our cultures and in our personal lives, we are suffering the wages of sin. Endurance, healing, renewal and hope are the rare treasures of our day. The world conjures up programs, pharmaceuticals, therapies and mantras, yet can find no remedy for the sick and damaged soul. Government, Education, Health and Welfare are futile venues for change – they are often the birthplace of ungodliness. For believers to fight in worldly arenas is like attacking a fire-breathing dragon with a toothpick. Nothing less than the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit can enable us to “shine like stars” in this “depraved generation” and enlarge God’s Kingdom in this world. “Apart from Me”, Jesus said, “you can do nothing”.
To ‘take a stand’ we must decidedly face one direction, one centered focus aligning our feet, our mind and heart. With our “hand to the plow” we cannot look back (Luke 9:62) whether it is to the world, to our losses, to deep and bitter wounds, or even joyous days past. The runner looking back will stumble and fall, forfeiting his prize.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
Our clarity, discernment, and wisdom are found in this singular focus and commitment. Supernatural healing, renewal, and hope are found within the pages of the Bible – the living book that reveals the power of God and imparts it within us. This is not unreachable. The presence of God becomes more evident as we shut down every distraction and humbly offer Him due honor and worship. He is faithful, worthy to seek with all our heart and wait upon with expectation, “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” What an encouragement to know that the Holy Spirit- Who spoke the world into creation – continues to speak through the living and unchanging Word of God, through the authority of godly leadership and personally into our hearts as we cry out to Him in our own ‘prayer closet’.
‘Looking unto Jesus’ is not a call to gaze at portraits, crucifixes, or spiritual images that yield little outside of emotional comfort. It is an active search to find and grasp ahold of the revelations of Jesus Christ in the Bible and let Him speak these truths into our lives. As believers in Christ we are His Body, the vessels He calls into obedience, to indwell and glorify Him on earth.
We can find Jesus from Genesis to Revelation, He is revealed to us in every Book of the Bible. Online searches of the revelations of Christ, Old Testament to New Testament may provide some insight for Bible study. The circumstances of our life, often painful and bewildering, are often ordained to open doors of faith within us and reveal to us the power of Christ in our needs. Within our trials and grief we find Him, “a hiding place” of fellowship and intimacy with God Himself. Our faith in the fire testifies of Christ as the Good Shepherd, Defender, Healer, Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor as we cry out to Him from our wilderness, in our afflictions, and during turmoil and onslaughts.
For the Body of Christ, knowing Him is central – all else is peripheral.
‘The author and finisher of our faith…” The literal translation of this verse (Hebrews 12:2) from original transcripts does not include the word ‘our’ but does include a definite article before ‘faith’: ‘the faith’. From the original Greek wordage, ‘author’ might translate as: creator/trailblazer/leader. While modern translations insert ‘our’ into the text to personalize this faith, Bible studies such as the Bible Hub Commentaries offer notes on a more literal translation: Jesus, the ‘first’ (Captain/Leader) and the Last (Completer/Victor) of the faith. Jesus leads an army of faith. Fix our eyes on Jesus, He is the Creator, Leader and Commander of the faith and as He accomplished triumphant victory so shall He lead us.
As the dividing line between believers and unbelievers widens, carnal Christians will be forced to take sides, either validating compromise or choosing to stand upon the unchanging Word of God. As this world spins quickly toward Judgment, a fire-tested remnant will persevere and stand to testify of God’s faithfulness. Let us be counted among them, strengthening and encouraging one another as we fix our eyes on Him.
“But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge”