Quite a number of years ago, when I lived in upstate NY; I had the opportunity to shoot a rifle with some of the men I worked with at the time. The rifle had a scope on it, and we were shooting at a target maybe a 150 yards away. (Sorry, you gun enthusiasts, but I don’t remember the size of the gun. Only that it was bigger than a 22 and had a kick to it). Anyway, it was my turn and being my first time shooting a gun of that size; I put the scope up to my eye, aimed for the target and pulled the trigger. Pow! The gun had a kick to it and gave me a black eye. Well… they all thought that was funny as they watched me put the scope to my eye and knew what would happen (but I didn’t know it would kick like that). I learned a lesson that day that if you are going to use a scope, that you should “look” thru the scope with a safe separation between the scope and your eye. I also noticed that when you have that safe separation, you can also see thru your peripheral the things that are going on around you and still keep focus on the target thru the cross hairs.
Consider now with me this particular scripture that years later God would use and connect to the experience that I just shared with you.
2 Corinthians 4:18- while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
This word “look” in Greek is skopeó. And as you might have guessed it is where we derive our word scope from. Our main focus then is to keep the kingdom of God in view. Not to lose sight of why we do what we do. It doesn’t mean to be kingdom minded is to lose sight of the temporary things of this world as we pursue the will of God for our lives. But it does mean that we are not to lose sight of the prize, the goal – His kingdom come, His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
1 Cor.10:31 - Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Where is your focus for the coming year? Are you building a business, what is your focus? Are you working on your career?
What is your focus. Are you building your retirement account or your savings account? For what purpose are you doing what you are doing? Have you been thrown a curve ball or major set back this year? God has greater purposes for you in mind and is leading you to where He wants to use your life, your talents, and skills to bring light and be salt in a place that you probable would not have gone into of your own accord. Your life is not your own. Of your own free will you surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. Do not be surprised then if your life takes unexpected turns and the plans you had and made for the future are changed by the hand of Providence. Do not be discouraged, do not lose focus. Keep the faith. Remember whether you have much or little; whatever is in your hands it is to be used to further His kingdom in this world and in your heart. Be faithful to the LORD to use your resources wisely, whether of time, skills, or money to use them for the eternal purposes that the Holy Spirit will guide you to apply them to. The balance also is that we should not be forgetful to be about the work that God has given to us to do in the temporal realm (our peripherally vision), but our main focus is still on the eternal. We should not take our eyes off the target.
Keep in mind; keep in focus, that should God choose to bless you with material resources, or a skill set or spiritual gifts; that these things are given to you to use for His glory and further the Kingdom of God in this world. They are not meant for you to just consume for selfish desires or egotistical goals. Are there not needs in the world? Are there not needs in the body of Christ? Consider well then, the needs that God brings to your attention. Meeting those needs sometimes may mean that what you want to do for future business plans or career plans or personal plans may have to wait; in order for you to do what glorifies God first.
Let us then “look” (skopeó) at the things that are not seen (for we walk by faith and not by sight 2Cor.5:7). Keep the focus of God’s greater and eternal purposes for you and have faith in God. That we all may hear those blessed words of Jesus, “Well done you good and faithful steward. Enter into the joy of your Lord!”
Sometimes brothers the blessings come later,
Your Brother in Christ,
Bruce P. Michalowski