Eyes on the Prize

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Love, Trusting God, Value, Worship, Worth 84 Comments

Run to win

When my daughter Kennedy was four years old she played on a pee-wee soccer team. We signed her up in hopes that she would have a fun outlet for her overflowing, youthful energy.

On the afternoon of her first practice, I saw great promise! She was all business as she fearlessly ran after the ball and fixed her eyes and efforts on getting the soccer ball into the goal.

I was stoked! A competitive athlete myself, I began to envision Kennedy as Mia Hamm junior. In my mind, she was about to take pee-wee soccer to a whole new level. Surely the Olympic team would be sending me emails about their need for her in just a few short years!

When we got home, she was elated and exhausted, fully in love with her new sporty endeavor. Pride swelled in my mama heart as I gave my husband the run down on practice and assured him that we had a very serious four-year-old competitor on our hands. For a week, I bragged to family and friends about my little soccer girl and told them of her “eye of the tiger” mentality.

Thrilled to see his future-Olympian-soccer-playing daughter in action, my husband Brad took Kennedy to her second practice. As they drove off, I waved like a prom queen swollen with promise – eagerly anticipating an exciting report of her skills and focus upon their return.

When they got home, however, Brad surprised me with his recount of what had gone down on and off the field that day. It seems that during this second practice Kennedy did not have a competitive eye of the tiger. Instead, she had a playful desire to catch the eye of her father. All throughout practice – even in the middle of drills – she continually ran to the sidelines where Brad was watching to get a drink from her water bottle or simply a kiss or a hug from her daddy.

Clearly, her eyes were on the prize of another kind! A better kind.

What a beautiful picture. Kennedy was delighting in the love of her father – constantly running to him with arms open wide. She ran to be refreshed in him. She ran to have her thirst quenched in his presence.

Oh, the lessons we can learn from children! This is how we should run to God and be loved by Him! Jesus taught that we are to approach and accept the kingdom of God as a little child does: simply.

Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17, ESV)

This causes me to wonder, do I really have a child-like faith? Do I run to God all throughout my days and approach Him with confidence as one who is greatly loved? Do I trust that His gaze is fixed on me or do I believe the lie that He is distant, unseeing and uncaring? Do I focus on the mountains before me or on the Mountain Maker who is able to do exceedingly above and beyond what I can ask or imagine?

Mountain Maker

It is so easy for us to fix our eyes on the mundane instead of the majestic. So easy to focus on our jobs, our challenges, our failures, our disappointments, our relationships, and our goals! The prize of a better kind awaits each of us who recognizes that the true reward of life is found in Jesus Christ.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; 
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8).

God is your reward.

Trust that when you look to Him, He’s looking right back at you. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry… (Psalm 34:15).

Trust that when you run to Him, He’s running right back to you. Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep…How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! (Psalm 36:5-7)

Today, …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Eyes on the Prize, friend.

Dear Lord, Thank You for Your love and compassion. Forgive me to for the times I run straight ahead in life without so much as glancing your way or considering your ways. Today I run to your wide-open arms and give thanks for the redemption, rest and restoration I find in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

COMPLETE this sentence as a comment below:  “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on ______________ and will instead fix my eyes on You.”

 

Are you struggling to trust that God’s love can bring beauty to your life? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony.

broken-book-cart

PS: If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my newsletter. Big Bonus: when you subscribe to the newsletter, you will receive a free song download of my song, Quiet Me.

Comments 84

  1. Lord, today I will stop listening to the voices in my head that tell me that my writing isn’t any good, that it isn’t ever going to be anything good, and that I should quit; I will listen to Your voice that tells me that Your words through my pen will be used for Your glory, when written for Your glory!!

    God, You are so good! What did I ever do to deserve all of the amazing gifts You have given me? Or for that matter, the love You show me every single day!

  2. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on a relationship that didn’t continue in the direction I hoped for, the flaws that I see in myself daily, and my overwhelming “to-do” list that I procrastinate to get to due to my uncertainty of its completion in a timely manner, and will instead fix my eyes on You.”

  3. Today i will stop focusing my eyes on things that has no internal value instead i will focus my eyes on the Lord the author and finisher of our faith, He is able to meets all my needs.

  4. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on worries and anxieties and will instead fix my eyes on You.” For you know the desires of my heart Lord. I will trust You❤️

  5. You wrote your words just for me today!! Facing health issues and questions about these issues, I must have an MRI this coming week. Being terribly claustrophobic, I will use your words, ” Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on this MRI, and instead focus my eyes on You!” Thank you, Gwen!

  6. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on things that are out of my control and will instead fix my eyes on You.

  7. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on the situation and instead fix my eyes on how you use that situation to make me a better person.

  8. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on the fact that I have been unemployed now for three weeks knowing that you are going to provide for me and make ways out of the impossible.

  9. Lord today I will not fix my eyes on my problems and my present situation but I will fix my eyes on every opportunity to show love, grace and mercy. I will fix my eyes on moments of joy and appreciate them. In Jesus name, amen.

  10. Lord ,with your help Iam going to keep my eyes fixed on you instead of my every day problems ,knowing that you are the God of the impossible ,and theres nothing you can not do …..God Bless you Gwen

  11. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on the safe, comfortable and seemingly logical to the world and will instead fix my eyes on You.”

  12. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my weaknesses and what I feel are my short comings and will instead fix my eyes on You.”

  13. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on what other people say or think about me and will instead fix my eyes on You.” I need to be focused on his desires for my life, and not allow circumstances to determine my worth and value. I have been called to do great things through Christ Jesus.

  14. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my imperfections (acne, migraines, stress, and lack of a consistent menstruation cycle) and will instead fix my eyes on You. You are the Alpha and the Omega. The healer, the redeemer of all sin. I trust in you Lord to lead the way. Thank you for presenting me faultless before you dear Lord and loving me regardless of my imperfections. Thank you for healing, restoration, and a sound mind. Amen

  15. Today I will not fix my eyes on my circumstances and being a people pleaser, I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of my Faith.

  16. Lord, today, I will stop focusing on my worries & fears of the unknown BUT, continually keep my eyes fixed on You, and trust You because, You are the Divine Orchestrator of my life! I will keep my eyes fixed on Your promises & choose to live in Your TRUTH! Thank You, Father, for Your TRUTH and Your unending love, grace and mercy that You so abundantly pour out on my life!
    I will turn my eyes upon Jesus, I will look full into His wonderful face, until the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!!”
    I love You, Father God! I love You, Lord Jesus!

  17. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on MYSELF and will instead fix my eyes on You.”
    I have battled an eating disorder for 8 years, and 2 years ago I decided to go into recovery, the recovery has been ROUGH! And my faith in God is the only thing that has gotten me through. However,
    I have a tendency in believing I am doing it all on my own and right now I RELEASE that responsibility, and choose to focus my faith in God and His promises in my life, I am no longer diseased, and I am not alone.

    1. So great. Read and memorize Galatians 3:3… “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”

      That verse corrects me regularly.

      Blessings, Kendra!
      Gwen

  18. Lord today I will stop fixing my eyes on the fears, doubts and impossibilities surounding me and will instead fix my eyes on you.

  19. lord today I will not fix my eyes on if I make a silly mistake while at work, negative comments/complaints from guests/managers/coworkers. lord u are with me always. and I will keep my eyes on you. thank you lord so much for your protection over me while “in the world” I love you lord!!!

  20. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on doubt and insecurity and will instead fix my eyes on You.” The Perfecter of faith…the Alpha & Omega…the Beginning and End. Wow! He can do it, I know! All in His hands nd ain His time. Thank you for the reminder that when I fix my eyes on Him in faith and security, I can rest. Soooo many blessings on you and yours Gwen!

  21. Lord today I will not fix my eyes on what I can’t do physcially, Keep my eyes on you and be thankful for what I can do. Thank You Lord for all you do.

  22. Lord today I will stop fixing my eyes on my struggles, and the challenges of the coming project of renovations. I will stop fixing my eyes on worries and fears, and instead fix my eyes on You and the blessings I see happening. Father open my eyes to see all the wonderful things that are happening and bless you for them. Praise God for the provision that we have that we can build our home, and on the beautiful blessing of an active and growing church that we have the priveledge of being a part of. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

  23. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my work situation with inconsistent leadership and will
    instead fix my eyes on You.”

  24. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on the ‘too many’ things I need to do and will
    instead fix my eyes on You.”

  25. Lord, today I will keep my eyes on you and know that you have all my problems taken care of, thank you in Jesus name.

    1. Lord, today I will not fix my eyes on worrying about not having enough clients at work but instead, continue to fix my eyes on You!

  26. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my anxieties and will instead fix my eyes on You. This will be incredibly difficult, as you know, so please give me the courage to do it.

  27. Lord ,Today I will stop fixing my eyes my fear or my financial problem and will instead fix my eyes on you !

  28. Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my recent financial struggles and will instead fix my eyes on You! For I know You are a waymaker and will provide for our needs. Thank You Lord for this blessed assurance. Amen.

  29. Lord today I will stop fixing my eyes on having to “get it all done” in respect to job hunting and trying to control life and will fix my eyes on Lord. You have it all under control and I need to trust in that. When I interview next week I need to trust in you for the answers and that if it’s the right job you’ll put me there! Amen!!Thanks for the reminder Gwen and God Bless!!!

  30. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on my short comings as a new woman’s ministry leader and will instead fix my eyes on You.”

  31. “Lord today I will stop fixing my eyes on my own self will in terms of acting out in my eating disorder, and I will stop allowing the abuse from my childhood define me, and will instead fix my eyes on you, certain that your grace is sufficient for me”

  32. Lord today I will stop fixing my eyes on failure and I will keep my eyes on you. “I sought The Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Ps 34:4

  33. Today I will stop fixing my eyes on my health and my husband’s not going to church anymore and will fix my eyes on the One who knows all and sees all and is working all things for my good!

  34. Lord, today, I will stop fixing my eyes on other people and worry about them or think I can help and will instead fix my eyes on You. Instead I will trust you and you for them and live out the life I have in you that brings you delight.

  35. “Lord, today I will stop fixing my eyes on MY OBSESSIONS and will instead fix my eyes on You.”. Many times I will care so much that little things become a worry and then before I know it I’m obsessed over things I have no control over till it becomes mentally and emotionally exhausting. I thank the Lord that He is teaching me how easy it is to give Him these weights that seek to steal my joy. Thank you Lord for abundant life!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *