Summary: This is the second sermon in a series of two on “Fixing Your Focus” from Hebrews 12 which has to do with faith from The Exchanged Life perspective.
So, how do you go about “Fixing the Focus of Your Faith?” Answer: By turning your faith around and pointing it in the right direction. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way “fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith...” You’ve got to get your eyes off of others, off yourself – your problems, your pet peeves, your personal preferences and put your focus and faith on Jesus. You must fix your gaze upon Him, see Him, listen to His voice, receive revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning His desire, know what He desires, what He’s designed, know the direction He wants us to go as a people of God gathered together under Christ’s lordship. Jesus is not only the author, object, initiator and beginner of our faith, but He is the perfecter, completer, the source and the end of our faith. The way we go about fixing our focus has to do with where we place the focus of our faith.
Now what’s interesting is that everyone has faith. For example, a person who won’t walk under a ladder has faith in superstition. Anyone who goes to bed at night expecting to wake up in the morning has faith, even if the faith is simply that the world will still be turning on its axis the next morning. Even atheists have faith. If you look at the life of the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the renowned atheist, you’ll find that she exercised great faith that God doesn’t exist. Religious people of course have faith, because faith is an important element of every religious system whether it’s Buddhism, Zen, Islam or Judaism.
So, lack of faith isn’t the real problem for most of us. Nor is the amount of faith what’s important in fixing our focus. Jesus told His followers that anyone who simply had the faith of a small mustard seed could move a mountain. So, if it isn’t the absence of faith nor the amount of faith that matters, just what is it about faith that really makes the difference? In a negative sense, what makes the difference is:
I. The Fatal Shift of Your Faith
If the object of your faith isn’t Jesus Christ, then you’ve shifted your faith and focused on a lesser object. Many people make foolish choices as to the object of their faith. Just look around you and pay attention to the various objects of faith in which people are willing to trust. Not too many years ago, a group of people put their faith in a quote – “religion” that promised a spaceship would soon arrive and take them back to the mother planet. The result was a mass suicide similar to that of Jonestown, another sad story where people were led astray and convinced to put their faith in the words of a man.
Even Christians who should know better, can be swept up into movements that serve as substitutes for true faith. One area where this is happening today is in politics. Some earnest, well-meaning Christians believe the solution to the world’s problems is to elect all Christians into office but obviously, they’ve never been to a church business meeting. The object of their faith is to have their man in power, a man with high credentials and experience whom they think will solve the problems of this country. Now, there’s nothing wrong with our political leaders being Christians IF – they’re living in a trust relationship with Christ, but they should never be the object of our faith. The object of our faith should never be man or the movement of the hour.
Another fatal shift people make with the object of their faith is faith itself. It’s faith in faith. They view faith as a power by which they can gain success, wealth and health. Sadly, some Christians who aren’t rooted in the truth of the Word of God even shift their faith to activities, to accomplishments, to doing – on to faith in man’s approval of their activities and efforts or to faith in what people think of them. But the value of faith is found in the object of your faith, not in faith itself. That’s the real difference in fixing your focus. So in a positive sense what makes the difference is:
II. The Focus of Your Faith
The correct solution for “Fixing our Focus” is this: go back to step one and turn your faith back to the Son of God, to the One whom God has provided as the source for ALL of our needs. As Peter said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Jesus Christ by His own words has identified Himself as the source and fulfillment for all our needs as He said to John in Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” the first and the last, the beginning and the end” and everything in between. “Christ is all in all” Paul said in Colossians 3:11.