For most of my adult life, I have always been near sighted. It’s difficult for me to work, operate and sometimes even move without glasses. And because of that I have to make it a point to have my glasses with me at all times. If I don’t then I’m in big trouble.
Clear vision is important because without it we easily lose our way. That’s why we focus our eyes through lens correction. Likewise in the spiritual world, because of our sin our vision has become something like near-sighted. For that, we need a corrective lens that puts everything into proper and clear perspective for us.
Our lens is the lens Jesus gave us when He died on the cross once and for all for our sins and the consequences that come with it. The lens of the Gospel helps us keep focused on God’s nature and promises when distractions come our way.
And because we are in a spiritual battle, there is the one who wants us to take our eyes off the prize that is Christ and steal us of the Gospel, we need to be aware of the things that can take the focus off Christ and His work. Here are three ways that the enemy steals the focus off Christ.
Great trial and pain
In the book of Job, we are told that the story is a spiritual battle. The deceiver, Satan, fixes his sights on a godly man named Job determined to take his focus off God. How does he do it? Through great trials and suffering.
Sometimes in our life, the enemy might bring pain to us as well, maybe in the form of a challenge at work, relational dysfunction, sickness or some kind of loss. All these things can become distractions that remove our lens that is the Gospel. But let us be reminded that although there is momentary affliction, God will come to our rescue because we now have access to Him because of Christ.
Trial and lack are big challenges, but abundance can be too. When things are going great and we’re comfortable where we are we tend to stop asking God where He wants us to go.
That’s why 1 Timothy 6:10 reminds us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” The abundance of finances, wealth, time and comfort can remove our focus if not seen through the proper lens of the cross that reminds us that God is the source of all these things and thus deserves to receive the glory when we enjoy these resources.
Guilt and shame
One of the Devil’s favorite weapons is condemnation. He wants us to think that we don’t deserve to ask from God or approach Him anymore because of what we’ve done or continue to do. But James 4:8 reminds us saying, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”
There is no condemnation in Christ and we can approach Him freely and live lives for Him no matter who we are and what we’ve done.