I’m doing a Bible study with my family via Skype. This past week, we had to divide our life into fifths and really examine each part. There are parts of my life I didn’t like living, let alone going back and revisiting. But as I trudged through the years, something began to emerge, snap into focus and enlighten me – which I suppose was the purpose of the exercise.
The first fifth of my life was happy and easy to dissect. But the more I progressed, I realized the more self-involved I bexams. As a teen, you expect this, but something also galloped alongside this self-involvement – a keen awareness of my sins, my mistakes, my lack of worthiness. My need should have sparked an awareness for God, but when I saw God, the distance grew. I felt even more unworthy and I knew I was incapable of bridging that distance. But I tried, with my own flailing attempts at salvation, I tried my hardest. It wasn’t long before I grew tired of my worthless attempts to be worthy and I gave up. I stood at the top of my heap of sins, exhausted from all my efforts, and flopped down on my bottom. With a sigh of resignation to my fallen state, I slid down into a dark and smelly pit.
I hated where I was. I wanted to be free. But as I surveyed all my sins, I knew this is where I deserved to be. After all, I had made this place myself. At one of the darkest times in my life, I was subjugated to the daily abuse from a man who was locked in his own pit. His sins became my jailer, and they pulled me down deeper into darkness when I thought I already at my lowest. I thought about crying out to God, but my eyes fell once again to my sin. I guess this was all just desserts for someone as worthless as me.
During this week’s study we were assigned the following verse:
Hebrews 10:11-13 NIV
 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,  and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.
The note in the side margin of my Bible highlighted the standing and sitting contrast. The Levitical priest could not sit down. He was constantly working, offering sacrifices for sins, only to have to turn around and do it again. However, verse 12 shows us that Jesus offered one sacrifice and then He sat down.
After spending the week reflecting on my exhausting efforts back then, I laughed at this picture. I was that Levitical priest, attempting to wash away my sins. When I sat down, it was in defeat. When Jesus sat down, it was in victory – and that victory was mine as well. But I didn’t see it back then.
This study has really shown me how much of my time has been spent focusing on me, my sins, my failings. When I should have been free, I couldn’t see the way out because I was looking at my sins. When I called out to God, I couldn’t see His grace and mercy because I was so focused on my failings. Even now, my stumbling always stems from taking my eyes off Him and putting them on myself or something else.
I can see God with His two fingers directed toward His eyes. “Eyes on Me, Michelle!”
We can spend our time wallowing in our own failings, chained to them, or we can experience freedom in Him. When we keep our eyes on Him, we see His abundance. There’s nothing we can’t do. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and great works we have been designed for. We can’t accomplish these tasks when we are focused on ourselves. When we are focused on our own greatness, we will surely fall. The same holds true if we are focused on our weakness. Yet, when we are focused on Him, we will soar.