Eyes on the Prize

There are many things we get ‘worked up’ about in this world.

Politics. Sports. Religion. Taxes. The NFL and the National Anthem.

So, here’s a question for you: As a Christ follower, how do I know what I’m ‘supposed’ to get ‘worked up’ about, and what I should let go?

This is a serious question, because any follower of Jesus who lets themselves get consumed by the drama found in our culture will, in so doing, be taking  our eyes off of Him, the Kingdom of Heaven, and ‘living for eternity’ in the here an now.

Certainly, our world is crying out…DEMANDING attention. Personally, I believe this to be one of satan’s most effective strategies: to get Christians so worked up about here-and-now stuff that we forget that we are called to be about ETERNAL stuff!

You simply can’t stay ‘up on’ the latest scandals, headlines, and ‘breaking news’, and at the same time be living out your purpose and destiny as a child of God.

You and I are called to ‘rise above’, and to call other believers to the same focus.

In one of His most powerful parables, Jesus told a story of a farmer who went out to ‘sow seed’. and the seed fell upon 4 different types of soil. One of those soils had lots of weeds in it too…and the seed that fell there did not fare well. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” (Luke 8:14)

The ‘cares and riches and pleasures’ of this life are interesting, dramatic and all-consuming–IF we focus on them. This is spiritually dangerous for us, and for others whom we are called to influence.

King David reminds us:

Psalm 37:1-9:

“Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry!
    Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
    it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
    but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.”

 

True, you may define the ‘wicked’ differently from others. In some readers’ minds, ‘the wicked’ are Donald Trump, and anyone who supports him. Others may view ‘the wicked’ as Colin Kaepernick, and those who are ‘kneeling’ with him.

Most of us would agree that the Las Vegas shooter was one of the ‘wicked’…yet, some seem to be working hard to lump their political ‘opponents’ in with him.

My main point is this: As Christ followers, we are to RISE ABOVE this junk and fix our eyes on Jesus, and spread the news about Him. We are to live for His glory, above all…and to live according to the Kingdom of God.

Here’s a good way to check yourself, and see whether you’ve been ‘losing touch’ with what’s really important, and put your eyes on the wrong thing:

  1. Do people know more about my view of politics and the drama in our culture than they do about my eternal beliefs?
  2. If I somehow got EVERYONE to agree with my point of view, would it change the eternal destiny of ANYONE?
  3. Would Jesus characterize my heart as ‘good soil’, where His Word finds root and grows, or ‘thorny soil’, where the cares of this world are choking out my ‘life’?

Think about it…and fix your eyes on the (right) prize!

PastorDaJo

 

 

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