How to Keep your Eyes on Jesus in 2018
Growing up with a mom who taught kindergarten, I was immersed in the culture of colorful numbers and letters, sight words, picture books, and thousands of little jingles to remember literally everything. However, the one little jingle that sticks out most is a clever way to get the students’ attention. The teacher says, “1, 2, 3 Eyes on Me” and then the class responds, “1, 2, Eyes on You.” I’ve seen my mom use it hundreds of times and actually put it to use myself in Vacation Bible School when the kids get a little crazy.
As a new year begins, I think we all probably have spent some time reflecting on the last year and assessing our strengths and weaknesses. This past year, I saw major spiritual growth in my life, but I can also pinpoint seasons where I struggled to keep my eyes on God. It wasn’t a terrible, girls gone wild type of straying, but more like an “Oops, I forgot to get in the Word today, and I’m exhausted now” type of issue. Even though I wanted to continue growing spiritually and spend time with God, I found myself distracted by my peripheral vision, casting my gaze on worldly things.
We see this illustrated in the Bible in Matthew 14:29-33 when Jesus calls Peter out of the boat to walk on the water. The minute Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus, he begins to sink. Just like teachers use “1, 2, 3, Eyes on Me” to readjust the students’ attention from the classroom distractions to the teacher, there are ways God readjusts our attention from the world back to Him, our sweet, heavenly Teacher. As Psalm 123:1-3 (how cool, 1-2-3, Eyes on Me) expresses, taking time as a follower of Him to stop, focus, and seek can be a good starting point for keeping our eyes on God in the new year.
“I look to you, heaven-dwelling God, look up to you for help. Like servants, alert to their master’s commands, like a maiden attending her lady. We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath, awaiting your word of mercy. Mercy, God, mercy!” Psalm 123: 1-3 MSG
I don’t know about you, but I could stay busy 24/7 if I wanted to. There is always homework to be done, social events to go to, friends and family to catch up with, and of course the latest Netflix series to be watched. God fights for our attention in a world that screams we need to do more, to post more, and to be more. However, God wants us to STOP, and rest in His presence. This may look like opening your Bible for the first time in a long time and starting a simple daily devotion or watching sermons online during a workout or instead of Netflix before bed. Whatever your personal accountability looks like, we need to stop whatever is consuming us more than God is consuming us.
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” Psalm 46:10 MSG
Once we are stopped and still our focus can be adjusted. We need to ask ourselves, “What am I focused on? What is distracting me from keeping my eyes on God?”
We have two choices: to look to the World or to look to God. We know we can’t do both and be successful. For example, do we match our life to our faith as well as we match our shoes to our outfit? God is our maker, not the world. When we are focused on Him, we won’t miss out on His power working in our lives. God wants us to stop trying to measure up to what everyone else is doing, and instead, focus on what He is doing in and through us.
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you will find both yourself and me.” Matthew 10:39 MSG
The world can be loud and appealing, so stopping and readjusting our focus is important. But what do you do once you’re there? We’re stopped, we’re focused, and now we SEEK to run the race God has set before us. While our eyes are locked on Him, we need to actively seek out ways to find our passions and use them to further the Kingdom. So wherever you may find yourself, stop, readjust your focus, and seek Him. As we begin a new year, we can apply the simplicity of childhood jingles to the complexity of growing up, all we need to do is say, “(Hebrews) 1, 2, God, Eyes on You.”
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God.” Hebrews 12:2
Maggie // @maggie_yow
Hey y’all! My name is Maggie Yow! I’m from the small town of Sanford, NC! I go to school at UNC Chapel Hill, where the sky is always Gods favorite color: Carolina Blue!!! I have a deep desire to be used by God to create places where girls can be vulnerable, intentional and loved by each other and our sweet Lord whether that’s through words, worship, or just a good cup of coffee. I love loud concerts just as much as I love quiet nights with my fuzzy socks. I love my perfectly organized planner just as much as I love spontaneous decisions and I love spending dear time with my family just as much as I love being silly with my best girlfriends. My prayer is that God’s voice would speak SO much louder than mine through my blog post to show His Glory and His Strength. God, you are the center of it all, take it away!!