Keep Your Eye On The Prize

On May 8, 2009, the operator of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line train 3612 was texting his girlfriend as he pulled into the Government Center Station in Boston. His train crashed into a stopped train without slowing, derailing one car from each train, sending 68 people to the hospital with injuries, and causing nearly $10 million dollars in damage. In October 2009, 64-year-old John Bruce was on a raised belt loader at Al-Mubarak Airbase in Kuwait, handling baggage from a United Airlines 747, when a coworker below moved the belt loader. Bruce fell 12 feet (ft) and suffered severe head trauma; he was removed from life support several days later. A lawsuit in the case alleged that the worker who moved the belt loader was distracted at the time of the accident, because he was chatting with other workers.

The fact is distractions can be dangerous and even deadly in the wrong setting and at the wrong time. Distractions can cause a runner to lose a race. Distractions can cause a speaker to miscommunicate, and distractions can cause a person to make faulty decisions that alter their life and future, even their eternity. The devil is a master deceiver and uses distractions to get our eyes off God and His purposes. I am fully convinced that the devil is satisfied to distract us with good things if it will turn us away from the best things and from God’s mission for our lives.

As I have made clear, I believe that the foundations around us are being shaken. I believe that God has allowed Satan, the prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) to release the demons of hell to assault and shift the Church. This is an interesting time. In our lifetime we are witnessing the biggest decline of Christian influence in history. Further, many who once claimed to follow Christ have left the faith or deemed their previous affirmation of Christ as irrelevant or unnecessary for their lives today. A recent Wall Street Journal article revealed this departure supported by stunning research reported by the highly reputable Barna Research Group. The research revealed that most of those who have fallen by the way have not done so out of hostility to God or Jesus, but simply out of apathy. But apathy is not limited to just those departing. It may also be the prime issue facing those who have remained—not taking seriously the hour that is creeping upon us and need to stand for the faith.

What’s going on? God is purifying His people and preparing His bride for the future. God is allowing the foundations to be shaken to reveal His Church and equip it for things yet to come. The writer of Hebrews put it this way… “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’” This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain…” (Hebrews 12:25–28)

That is why it is more important than ever for us to do what Paul instructed… keep our eyes on the prize (Phil. 3:14). And oh yeah, let me give you the last part of Hebrews 12:28 which says… “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Did you get that? Even though the earthly foundations are shaken, we belong to an unshakeable kingdom. And it means that God is working to replace the earthly props with His unshakeable eternal foundations! So, how do we respond? We worship Him with reverence and awe! Don’t be frightened, be grateful. Don’t be discouraged, be devoted. Don’t be distracted, be faithful, because God is working out all things according to the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)

And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

For God’s Glory Alone,
Pastor Ray
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1 Comment

Linda Prescott-Precise - August 10th, 2023 at 6:33pm

Brother Ray, I can hardly wait to get to church each week. God is speaking through you in mighty ways! Thank you for devoting yourself to prayer and study that He may use you to speak to us. So thankful that you are our shepherd! Praying for you continually!