Articles

While You're Going Through, Focus on Where You're Going To

Brenda Myree • Book Excerpts
Part 8 of "In the Process of Time". I know that when the storm seems to rage around us, the circumstances seem to be more than we can bear, this is the time we must focus on where we are going rather than where we are. While you are in the midst of the storm focus on the other side. Don't make camp in the wilderness, just go through.
Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
.   [Emphasis mine].
 
When I was in school, one of my favorite sports was track.  I loved to run hurdles.  One thing the coach would tell us was to look ahead and keep our eyes on the other side of the hurdles.  Never look to the side or look behind you.  Never look at the person beside you but keep your eyes straight ahead.  As I ran, it was almost like instinct.  I would keep my eyes on the finish line and as I came to each hurdle, it was as though my body just knew when to jump.  One thing that helped was while we were warming up, we wore ankle weights.  These were like little sand bags which were strapped around our ankles.  We would practice running and walking around with these weights.  But when it came time for the race we took the weights off and it made our feet feel much lighter.  It's sort of the same thing in the spirit realm.  As we stay focused on where we are going and move forward in the race which has been set before us (and we all have our own race to run) we must let go of every weight or hindrance - whatever is keeping us from moving forward - to lighten the load to make our race easier.  Can you imagine a runner running down a track and trying to jump hurdles with chains or weights attached to his legs and ankles?  How far would he get?  How many hurdles would he be able to jump over?  I think he would have a pretty difficult time.

We must be able to identify those things which have become weights to us.  Those things which keep us bound.  As you stay in the Word it will illuminate areas of your life which need to change.  If you are serious about the things of God, you will determine to repent of that thing and drop the weight.  Once you drop the weight, you'll be able to move forward with greater ease.

Verse 2 says, "looking unto Jesus, the author (architect, creator or originator) and finisher (ending) of our faith.  Sounds like the beginning and the end to me.  The important phrase here is "looking unto Jesus".   While running track, the only thing you are to focus on is the finish line.  If you look to see where the other runners are you may stray out of your lane which will disqualify you.  Don't look to the left or the right but straight ahead to the finish line.  We must focus on Jesus for He is the only one who can lead us where we are to go.  He is the way, the truth and the life.  We must look to Him for direction, keeping our eyes on Him.  He was the originator of our journey, He drew up the map and He is the only one who knows the end.  He set the path.
 
The last part of verse 2 reads, "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Jesus looked ahead in the Spirit, knowing His destiny, and walked into His destiny with joy because He knew the outcome.  He endured the pain of the cross, being despised and rejected of men and the shame associated with this form of death, the death of the cross.  How could He do this?  He knew His destiny.  He knew He had to be obedient to the Father.  He knew the Father's plan.  His motive was love for the Father.  Remember, according to John 1:1, He was in the beginning with God.  He knew if He was obedient to the Father, He would sit down at the right hand of the throne of God which is exactly where He is today, working intercession for us.  And because of His sacrifice, we too are seated with Him in heavenly places.  We must be determined to fulfill God's plan for our lives, whatever that may be.  We must have clear vision and stay focused on Him.  Do not let situations, circumstances or people distract you from God's plan for your life.  In every situation we must consider Jesus.  Look for Him in every situation.  Where is He leading you?  What are you to do or learn from what you're going through?  What positive thing can you gain from your circumstances?

It is so easy to lose focus when you are going through something contrary or uncomfortable.  At times you feel like you just want to give up.  This is why you must stay focused on where you are going.  Again, we must discern if this situation or circumstance is of God, the enemy or us.

Mark 10 tells us of the story of blind Bartimaeus.
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, "Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you."  
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."
52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
 
Notice that Bartimaeus was sitting by the road begging.  In Biblical times, beggars wore very specific clothing which identified them as beggars.  When he heard Jesus was coming he began to cry out to Him.  Those around him tried to keep him quiet.  Sounds like people in the church to me.  You know there is someplace you're supposed to be or something you're supposed to be doing, you find yourself in a situation and cry out to Jesus, and people try to stifle you and hold you back.  Anyway, Bartimaeus kept calling out to Jesus all the louder.  His cries caused Jesus to stand still.  He had Jesus' attention!  When you focus on Jesus and not on your circumstances, you will get His attention!  Jesus then commanded him to be called!  Can you see it!  Jesus commanded him to be called!  Once the Word came forth and everyone there heard Jesus call him forth, they all began to encourage Bartimaeus telling him to rise, come up to another level, move forward for He is calling you. There was no denying that Jesus called him!  The word came forth! 

Have you had a Word from God spoken over you telling you to arise and come forth, telling you the things God has purposed for your life, your calling or what He wants to do for you?   I can barely count the wonderful words spoken over my husband and myself by some mighty men and women of God over the past few years.  Each one either building upon or confirming what has already been told.  It never ceases to amaze me that even though people hear the words spoken, they still try to discourage you from moving forward in that word.  That's why it is so important to write down the prophecies you receive and keep them (the vision) before your eyes.  Do spiritual warfare over the prophecies and cooperate with God in order to fulfill them.  That's what Bartimaeus did!

What did Bartimaeus do?  He rose and threw aside his garment.  That garment which signified who he was.  That garment which identified him as a beggar.  Even though he was blind, he saw himself as something other than a beggar and, when Jesus called him, he moved out and took a step of faith.  Everyone saw him as a beggar but he saw himself in a totally different light.  He cast off that which identified him as one thing and stepped into something else.  He rose - came up to a new level - he came up to Jesus.  Jesus asked Bartimaeus, "What do you want me to do for you?"  Bartimaeus answered that he may receive his sight and immediately he received his sight!  That is so exciting!  He received his sight!   Ask Jesus to open your eyes, to enlighten you, that you may receive your sight, that you may receive clarity of vision.  He will do it for you through the Holy Spirit, for He is the Spirit of Truth and will show you things to come (John 16).
 
In Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side while He sent away the multitudes.  While the disciples were sailing to the other side, a storm arose.  In the mist of the storm, they saw a man walking on the water and were troubled (scared!).  Jesus called out to them and told them not to be afraid but be of good cheer.  Now, Peter did something I absolutely love!  He said to Jesus, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."  Jesus said, "Come."  Jesus commanded Peter to come and Peter stepped out on the Word!  Jesus spoke and Peter stepped out on the Word that Jesus spoke.  He was walking on top of his situation and circumstance.  We all know what happened next.  Peter got his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm raging around him and began to sink.  At least he had the sense to call out to Jesus who did pull him to safety.  I never could figure out though that out of twelve disciples in the boat, why only one took the step of faith and stepped out on the Word.

Again, so many of us have heard the Word of God which has been spoken to us either through the Word, through a Prophet or other man or woman of God, or directly into our spirits by the Holy Spirit and we have yet to step into what God has called us to do.  Yes, we do have to wait for God's timing but, when we know the appointed time, we know the season and still do not step out, we are in disobedience and that opportunity may never present itself again.  When God says step out, the anointing to step out is there for that time.  It is imperative that we do not miss God's timing.

If we continuing reading in Matthew 14:34-36, we see why Jesus told the disciples to go to the other side.  Jesus had another divine appointment in a place called Gennesaret.  Many in that region were sick and they begged to touch the hem of His garment (the fringe of His prayer shawl).  And all who touched it were healed.  It is possible, that if you do not step out of the boat on God's Word, when the opportunity presents itself (and believe me, if you are prepared, the opportunity will present itself) you may miss a divine appointment.  There is someone waiting for you to step into your destiny.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.  He is the one who gives you vision and the one who gives you the faith to stay with it to the end.  He is the originator and the end of your faith.
 
 
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