Shift Your Focus – Bad Girls of the Bible

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Last December, I came across a picture that completely blew my mind. In it, two women, Mary and Eve, stand facing each other. Mary is holding one of Eve’s hands to her pregnant stomach, full with baby Jesus. In her other hand, Eve is clutching the forbidden fruit. It is a beautiful, powerful moment for both women as they experience their Savior.

In the first week of our series, Bad Girls of the Bible, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said, “Your focus shapes your future.”

When you are driving, you don’t sit backward focusing on the road behind you. No, you sit facing forward so you can see where you are going. If you don’t, you’ll crash or, at the very least, go in the wrong direction. The same is true in our lives. If we only focus on our past mistakes, we’re setting ourselves up to veer in a direction we don’t want to go, or worse, we’ll “crash,” causing even more damage in our lives. But if we look forward to what God has planned for us, we will have a great future.

John 10:10
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My (Jesus’) purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

In the Bible, Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, a rich and satisfying place. God’s only command was to stay away from one tree and to fellowship with him. Instead, But she was so focused on the lies a snake told her that Eve disobeyed God. She chose to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. By doing so, Eve experienced a great deal of pain. She was kicked out of paradise and separated from God.

After leaving the Garden of Eden, Eve was probably stuck in her mistake, unable to focus on anything else. How could she get around such a huge problem? Luckily, God had a better plan. Through Eve, and her children and her children’s children, God eventually sent his son Jesus to forgive the sins of the world.

The book Honest Advent, written and illustrated by Scott Erickson, includes a version of the picture of Mary and Eve with one notable difference. Instead of clutching the fruit, Eve has tossed it behind her and is gazing in rapt wonder at Mary’s belly. Eve’s focus shifted. It moved from her sin to Jesus—the Savior of the world, the forgiver of sins. She saw that he is the way, the path on which she must focus to lead her to a better future.

John 14:6
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Questions:
What is your focus that will eventually lead you in the wrong direction? Is it your past, fear, anger, grief, lies? How can you shift your focus to God and his plan for you?

Next Steps:
Study the picture Virgin Mary Consoles Eve by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO and try to find other details.

Be mindful to focus on life-giving rather than life-draining things. One way to shift your focus is to step into serving. Join CedarCreek and the Tabernacle for Serve Day on July 17 to serve in our community. There are so many activities going on: block parties, landscaping, painting, prayer, food prep, etc. Go to cedarcreek.tv/serveday to see how you can help.

Prayer:
Father God, my focus is so often away from you. Help me to look toward you and toward your beautiful plan for my life. I know that you have a rich and satisfying future for me. Thank you for sending Jesus to forgive all of my sins. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.


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5 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Lydia, thank you for sharing that beautiful picture with us. I had never seen it before. It really speaks volumes. I read the L.I.O. because I need help daily to focus on what’s really important. Jesus is my savior!

  2. Karen Brossia
    Karen Brossia says:

    Your post is packed with useful ways to help us move in the right direction AND assist others too! Those scripture verses are short, yet packed with power. May we arm ourselves with His powerful words as forge ahead and help others to focus on moving forward too!

  3. Kathy Shortridge
    Kathy Shortridge says:

    Thank you Lydia. Your words have created a scene that I’ve never really seen before, and have shown me God’s wonderful plan from another beautiful perspective! Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing with us!

  4. Patty Sattler
    Patty Sattler says:

    Lydia, I loved the LIO! You are a fantastic story teller. The illustration is a great reminder of what Jesus did for us! Hope to read more from you in the future! Patty Sattler

  5. Ben Snyder
    Ben Snyder says:

    My girl. What a blessing to be spiritually inspired by you! I love seeing God’s gifts manifest through you.

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