Have you ever fired a shotgun at a range or a target? What does the spread look like? If you have, you’ll know that the spread is usually wide. In contrast, have you ever fired a pistol or a rifle? You know that the end result is not wide. It’s narrow. It’s accurate. The difference between the spread of a shotgun and the accuracy of a rifle is that one gets everything and the other gets where its aimed.
Last week I wrote about how we needed to prepare ourselves to grow in our faith. We can do this by learning and believing in Jesus.
This week we’re going to look at how we need to focus ourselves on Christ. In order to grow spiritually in 2016 we need to have a rifle-focus on who Jesus is. Today, I want to give one major potential pitfall of being unfocused that we need to watch out for: the pitfall of becoming sidetracked.
A focused faith avoids becoming sidetracked. When it comes to growing in Christlikeness, following Jesus and making disciples, it can be very easy to become sidetracked on other issues. This is not a new temptation. Jesus’ followers from early on had these temptations. In Acts 1:6, Luke records, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’”
This translation literally renders, “Are you in the process of restoring the Kingdom at this time?” There was a lot of confusion among His disciples as to just what type of kingdom that Jesus would usher in. Some expected a political kingdom to which Jesus would overthrow the Roman Empire and bring political salvation to the oppressed Jew. This was the most common reason Jesus attracted followers early on in his ministry. But Jesus answers this question unexpectedly. Verse 7 states, “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.’”
In other words, “It is not for you to know.” This is a gentle way of rebuking his disciples. The interesting thing here is Jesus does not answer, “The kingdom is not political it’s spiritual” or anything like that. Jesus simply does not decipher between a political or a spiritual kingdom. He instead simply replies that the nature of their question is none of their business and that that they do not need to know the intricacies of God’s plan for the kingdom. The disciples literally have no right in knowing about this part of the future. This is consistent with what God’s Word says elsewhere in Scripture: Deut. 29:29 states, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
In other words, don’t worry about the secret things of God. Just worry about the things that God has commanded us to be and do. Don’t put so much effort into thinking about when Jesus is coming back or when He will completely restore His kingdom. Instead do what He has instructed:
Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
You are called to cultivate a live of love and humility. You are to spread the Kingdom of God through your words and actions. You are called to spread the Gospel.
As far Jesus’s second coming, He had already instructed them:
Matthew 24:36 states, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
Jesus Himself did not and does not know when the Father will send Him back to gather his people. Only the Father knows. So how and why do you think you will know?
This year, as a believer, look out of issues that will sidetrack you. Instead, focus on fighting to be more like Jesus everyday. That is focus.