‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 6. Focus Needed
Acts 3:4 “Then Peter said, “Look at us!”
I have a feeling that in one sense this study should have come right at the beginning, and yet I had previously felt we should consider the things we’ve seen, first. But perhaps coming almost a week into this series, it may act as a reminder to us what we are about. I put it in an earlier study, we’d like to see changes in ourselves, or our unbelieving loved ones saved, our prodigals return, our workplace become godly, and so on. This is the focus we must hold on to. These, perhaps more than any other series written, are to be studies with a purpose. And that purpose? To focus our minds and our thinking on this goal that is Jesus’ goal, to allow him to work in and through us to enable us to perhaps be more available that we have ever been before.
So let’s see what our starter verse puts before us. There was a need to bring focus to this lame beggar. This life was all he knew and he wasn’t really seeing Peter and John, only a couple of religious guys going to pray, and he probably had no more expectation than a shekel or two. Only when he looked at them did he see something more, two guys on fire for Jesus, filled with faith and the Spirit. He didn’t know that was what it was, but there was something about them and they demanded he take his eyes off his plight and focus on them.
Not ready to get the lame to walk? Fair enough, it’s early days, but can we recognise that part of this project means getting me into a place where I am not a lame beggar but someone with something to give my lame friend, family member, colleague etc. In a previous series we considered this incident with Peter saying, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you,” and we thought about the love, the truth, the wisdom and the power that we have as children of God.
So, there are two aspects to be considered. First we need to focus on ourselves, remind ourselves who we are – potential Peter & John figures with eternal life to impart to the here and now. Our problem, very often, when it comes to our loved ones is that they are so familiar to us and we to them, and we have lived like this for so long, that we fail to realise that into our home relationship, this divine identity of ours can be the means of bringing life-change.
The second thing is that somehow we have to get the eyes of our loved ones off their humdrum everyday lives onto the spiritual possibilities of life. So we have to ask the question, are there any things off limits in conversation in our relationship? We will be considering later on how God moves in our circumstances and even speaks to non-believers but for now we might ponder on just how much our loved ones, friends, neighbors etc. know about us.
Often the knowledge diminishes with distance. Close loved ones know a lot about us, and that can be a hindrance. They have grown used to the spiritual activities of our lives, but if we are praying and opening the door for the Lord to move, it may be that they have a growing spiritual hunger that they have not dared speak about yet. Don’t rush but make it easy to talk. We’ll consider later on how we can do that. Neighbors or work-mates may not know much about us and so (when we are back to work) Monday mornings are ripe for conversation that start, “Did anything much this weekend?” The answer in 2021 is probably, “Well we normally do church on Sunday mornings but with their use being limited for the moment, we pick up services on zoom. There’s a whole range of great stuff online these days,” and when they profess ignorance, a fair comment is, “Well, it’s been fascinating. Apparently surveys show that there have many people been going to church services online who would never have considered entering a church building. You might want to try it sometime.” Bringing focus. Who knows what opportunities the Lord will give you, who knows how He might open up awareness, interest, questions, confessions even? If He’s on the move, watch this space.