Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NIV
When I lived in Argentina, I often went riding through the sunflower fields of the pampas. Did you know that sunflowers in the bud stage exhibit what is known as heliotropism? At sunrise, sunflowers face east, towards the sun. Over the course of the day, they track the sun as it moves across the sky, following it until it sets in the west. Some time during the night they turn back to the east to catch the next sunrise. It’s called heliotropism and is quite an amazing phenomenon to observe. The sunflowers are not distracted by the wind or the rain or by any of the other things that are going on around them. Their gaze is firmly fixed on the sun. And in the evening, when the sun has set, they look despondent with their heads hung down, like they are pining for the sun, like they are lost without the sun.
Interestingly, as sunflowers mature, their stems stiffen and they eventually lose their heliotropic ability. They no longer follow the sun across the sky. Mature sunflowers therefore end up facing many different directions.
This is a picture of what happens all too often in the lives of believers as well. When they first come to Christ, He dominates their thinking and their lifestyle. They can’t stop talking about Him. They are in church for every service. They devour their Bibles and can’t find enough Christian books to read or CDs to hear. They have eyes only for Jesus. Like the sunflower, they literally follow Him throughout their day. When their eyes are not upon Him, they feel something is missing and they long to get back into the light of His presence.
In time, however, they slowly lose their spiritual fervour. Other things catch their attention and captivate their hearts. And soon, they no longer look to Him as they did before. They are still in church and involved in some Christian activity but their hearts are not as passionate for Jesus as it was before. Gradually, they lose their heliotropism for the Son of God.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,” Paul urged the believers. Jesus started it all when He first called us to salvation and caused us to see Him as Lord and God. We must keep looking to Him – be intimately involved with Him, feeding on His word, listening to His voice, being built up by His presence – if Holy Spirit is to finish what God has begun in our lives.
Fix your eyes on Jesus. It’s not a one-time decision but a constant turning of our hearts to Him. The more we fix our eyes on Jesus, the more we will be drawn to Him. The more we spend time with Him, the more desperate we become for His presence. They more we feed on His word, the more we grow to love Him. Holy Spirit ignites a passion for God in our hearts but we alone determine the depth of our passion for Jesus. We can feed the fire or quench the flames.