I made a determined effort over the last several months to avoid ‘too much’ news. For me, that meant I would only scan the headlines. But even the headlines anymore are enough to discomfit me. And worse -- scanning headlines often led to diving into a story that caught my attention.
So, I got to thinking this morning: No wonder fear has become my daily companion. And then the Lord reminded me of the first two verses of Hebrews 12: “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.”
Some Bibles translate ‘fixing’ as simply ‘looking to.’ But the Greek and the context is much better translated ‘fixing’ – being single-minded, focused, fully absorbed – on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith.
The opposite of fear is faith. Thus, the more often we look at darkness, the greater our fear. But the more we fix our eyes on Jesus, the light of the world, the greater our faith; The greater our conviction that, truly, “Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
I heard a pastor in Ocala, Florida paraphrase that text: “Greater in He who is in us, than he who is after us.”
That is surely why the apostle Peter would remind us today: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Our adversary, the devil, is he who is in the world and ravaging all he can ravage. And don’t think for a moment that you and I are not among his top priorities to destroy.
“Resist him,” Peter tells us. “Firm in your faith.”
But Satan knows we cannot be firm in our faith unless our faith is growing and maturing. And our faith cannot do that unless we are fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Let me say that again for emphasis: We cannot be firm in our faith unless our faith is growing and maturing. And our faith cannot do that unless we are DAILY fixing our eyes on Jesus.
So, I made a decision this morning. As a test to see how things go for me, for the next week I will avoid looking at ANY news. That includes headlines. I even unsubscribed to the several news feeds that come to my email every day.
And, instead of spending the time I usually spend scanning the darkness, I will fill that time with light. When I’m tempted to peek at the news, I will instead reflect for a few moments on something related to Jesus – such as one of my favorite psalms, or the Lord’s Prayer, or any other of my favorite Scripture texts.
I am so TIRED of being tricked by Satan to fixate on darkness. No wonder fear is my daily companion. So, now is the time for me to fixate on Jesus, the light of the world.
Think about joining me. Let’s see how the week goes.