God’s calling upon your life is one in which you need to be laser focused. How does the following lyrics depict the desire of God’s heart for you?
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (lyrics from Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen H. Lemmel)
When you decided to follow Jesus by repenting of your sins and deepening your faith in obedience to God, your life becomes all about Jesus. You see this throughout the Bible as you read how disciples changed their lives because of God calling them to display who He is and be His reflection to a dying world.
Paul is a great example of living laser focused for His Lord and Savior. He went from being called Saul who hated God and anyone who followed Him. He was quite rebellious against the Truth. As he was making his way to
Damascus to have all believers arrested, Jesus called him to live differently. Read Acts 9 to learn how God got his attention.
From that experience, God changed Paul’s heart. He went from eager to kill the Lord’s followers to preaching the Truth to whomever would listen. You learn from 1 Corinthians 9 just how laser focused Paul became for God. May I encourage you to have the same attitude that Paul shows in this passage.
Paul was being questioned by other believers in the authority he had when speaking about the Gospel. They questioned his apostleship. So, he cleared up any misconceptions by stating how he lives for the Lord and the Lord only.
You learn that Paul remained self-sufficient from any church support. He did not want anyone to question his motives. He certainly could have for that was his right as a missionary, but he did not want to be an obstacle to the Gospel of Christ. He gave up any rights that were attached to his earthly in hopes of pointing others to Christ.
In verses 16-23, you see how laser focused Paul was with the calling upon His life. He was compelled by God to preach the Truth. God trusted Paul to deliver whatever message He wanted to give through him. Paul was obedient to whatever God had for him. As you know from other books that Paul wrote, he remained obedient to the Lord even when beaten and imprisoned. How in the world does someone do that, and why?
Paul’s paycheck was the opportunities God gave him to preach about Jesus. God transformed Paul from hating the things of God to loving everything that God loves. So much so, that Paul saw himself as a slave to all people so they, too, can experience what he has with the Trinity. Salvation for others to receive Christ became the heart beat for Paul.
God awakening Paul’s heart for truth must have been great for Paul lived for Christ in every area of his life. It must have been awe-inspiring for Paul to never lose focus, even when he suffered for the Gospel. He remained faithful to His Lord and Savior.
God was able to convince Paul to be sold out for the Gospel.
Paul kept the Gospel moving forward by meeting people where they were at, whether he met a Jew, a Gentile, or someone weak in their faith. “I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”23 How can you meet people where they are at today and show them the love that God has shown you?
Paul encourages those who are questioning his faith and calling by giving the analogy of running a race. Only one person gets the prize. Paul says to run to win! While many run for earthly prizes and glory, every believer runs the race that God has set before them for an eternal prize.
Paul was able to live laser focused because He does everything with one purpose in mind. His name is Jesus. He disciplined himself to remain abiding in Christ. He fought for his faith so God wouldn’t disqualify him from receiving his eternal inheritance.
Everything in Paul’s life reflected Jesus and brought glory to God.
How do other believers see your faith walk? Are you as laser focused as Paul was? Take some time and read Luke 14:15-24. People struggled with living laser focused. The king gave out invitations for a great feast but many didn’t have time nor were interested. What barriers kept them from the king’s gracious invite? What excuses did people have? Notice how their reasons for not attending were good things. What could God be saying to you?
Go ahead and sing the lyrics to Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus and let the Spirt do a transforming work within your heart. May you be awe-inspired like Paul and live laser focused for Christ.