Let me tell you a story of a friend of mine.
He began believing in Jesus. He began attending a church to worship God and fellowship with other believers. He was very excited to read and discuss the Bible. He learned new things every day in the Bible and couldn’t wait to share them with his friends the next day. He was crazy about Jesus and people were amazed at his unquenchable passion. He influenced those around him to become like him in faith.
He decided to become a servant of the Lord. He quit his career and came to the United States to study the Bible at a Christian college. He had to overcome the language barrier, but his zeal to study the Bible led him over that barrier. He picked up English quickly because he wanted to learn from English speaking teachers and commentaries. He didn’t let the difficulty of speaking in English be an obstacle either. Fellowshipping with his American brothers and sisters in Christ helped him improve his English communication. Additionally, he boldly preached and taught in English because he wanted to share with them what he learned in the Bible.
Ten years have passed in his training. He became an expert of the Bible. He learned Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Old and New Testaments. He extended his exegetical skill through a master’s degree in linguistics. After completing his education, he got a job as an evangelist. He took advantage of his two master’s degrees in Bible and English to reach out to his ethnic population.
Since his ethnic population is a minority in the United States, his work was limited and not fruitful. He utilized all of his training, but the result was not very rewarding. He slowly became burned out as he grew frustrated and His passion tapered off.
He was about to leave ministry because his fire for ministerial life, which was once blazing, was now only flickering. He came to the conclusion that his training was just enough to save him and his family. As he neared his spiritual breaking point, all he could see was his family’s minimal lifestyle and various adversities that once made him proud to overcome. He lost sleep, taste, and even his smile. His fists with the Bible were loosened, and his eyes on Jesus became blurred. Then, a weak voice from deep inside him arose reminding him of things God had said in His Word:
“Is My forgiveness nothing to you now? What is My Son’s blood to you?
Where has your love of Me gone that made you unafraid to leave your home country? Why don’t you see Me instead of your little inconveniences? Don’t you see the reward you shall have in heaven? Don’t you see that I have a purpose for your life?”
He collapsed and wept. He realized that he lost sight of the eternal blessings of God and focused on the transient things of the world. His story reminds me of Elijah’s story.
There was a time when Elijah lost his spiritual passion. He was hiding in a remote cave, complaining to God. Right before that moment, he was the champion of the competition against 450 prophets of Baal. God gave him a victory over them, and he slaughtered them all. But immediately after that victory, he was hiding in a cave and complaining. He lost sight of the things God gave him and the purpose for which God had called him.
Humans are prone to lose sight of godly things. That happens not only to those of weaker faith, but also those of stronger faith. Look at Elijah in the cave. This is a good illustration of why Scripture warns those, who think they are strong, to be careful not to fall. Similar things happened to Moses, David, and Job, whose names must be engraved in the hall of fame in heaven. If that happened to such people, how much more likely will it happen to someone like me, whose faith isn’t as strong as theirs? However, we have God who is greater than anything we think or imagine. He doesn’t want to lose any of us, and He will help us rise up when we fall.
My brothers and sisters, let’s fix our eyes on what we ought to see—God’s mercy, His forgiveness, His Son’s sacrifice, the cross, the resurrection, baptism in Jesus’ name, the reward in heaven, our treasures in heaven, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s not lose sight of the things for which we once were so passionate and thankful. And, if you have lost sight of the eternal values, having been blinded by anything temporary, then listen to the voice of God as He asks, “What are you focusing on right now?”