Keep your eyes on the prize

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27. (KJV) We are admonished here to keep our eyes looking straight ahead and not to look to the sides to see what someone else is doing or not doing. We are not to stray from the assigned task of following Jesus. When we got saved and gave our lives to Jesus, he said ‘follow me’. At that time we chose to follow him and in so doing we gave up our right to stray off his path and do our own thing. We chose his way and his path. In order to follow him, we must keep our eyes on him so where he goes we will go.
The devil tries to get us to take our eyes off of Jesus and place them on what is going on around us. The devil wants us to get side tracked by looking at our neighbors, co-workers and family members. He wants us to focus on what they have and what we do not have. He wants us to get our eyes off of Jesus. Psalm 37:1-2 “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” The Psalmist lets us know that we need not worry about evildoers and workers of iniquity because their day is coming. Even with that assurance, we get caught up in what those in our neighborhood are driving, where they vacation and what name brands they are wearing. We know that they are not even trying to follow Jesus like we are, and yet it appears that they are prospering and we are not. We wouldn’t know that if we kept our eyes on Jesus. We wouldn’t even notice what they had or where they went on vacation.
When we look on what others have we run the risk of becoming covetous. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, …….., nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17. Covet here is the Hebrew word “Chamad” which means to desire or long for. God’s directions here was not to get in a position where we desire something another one has, for if we do so we give place to the devil to torment us with what we do not have. The Message Bible translates this as “No lusting after your neighbor’s house—-or wife……Don’t set you heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.” See if we have given our heart to Jesus then there is no room in our heart for anything that belongs to our neighbor. Paul said, “Set you affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2. He is saying, keep your eye on the prize which is our place in heaven with Jesus. Don’t get side tracked with the things of the earth. Matthew 6:19-20. Good advice Paul!

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