This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I love it because often people use this time to get after things that are important to them. The gym is a little busier and people are on social media looking for book recommendations for the year. One of the great dangers in life is distraction and a new year gives people time to refocus. Refocusing is an amazing thing.
Last year I was in Texas at a prayer service where Corey Lucas of Freedom Fellowship was leading. He said something powerful that could help you as we enter this new season. He said, “Refocus can happen in a second. Our eyes do it all the time.” And he is so right about our eyes. In order to refocus we may close our eyes and then look somewhere else.
The author of Hebrews gives us some clear steps to follow if we have gotten distracted and need to refocus. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) teaches, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” So our refocus plan is as follows:
Zoom back to look at the whole crowd. In the day in and day out of life we can lose perspective as we only look at our momentary struggles, challenges and people around us. We are encouraged to look at the people of eternity who have walked in faith before us. The author gave a whole bunch of examples in the previous chapter, but who do you need to find encouragement from in this new year?
Throw off weights and distractions. As you look to refocus on the important this year you will need to look away from what distracted you before. What is slowing you down for the goals that God has for you? It is time to throw it off. We are especially encouraged to do something about the sin that trips us up.
Fix your focus on something new. It is not just about looking away from the old, but it is also about getting our focus on something different. As you really start going this year will you get your focus on Jesus? There is so much we can gain from a focus on Jesus, but the author of Hebrews gives a very specific reason that is important in this context. Jesus didn’t give up when things got difficult because His focus was on the end prize and not the momentary challenges. The same will be true of us if we are to accomplish all that God has for us in this coming year.
So maybe you are already starting to lose focus on what God has for you this year. Take some time and get your perspective back, get rid of distractions, and get back to running after Jesus.