Look Where You're Going

The Path  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:43
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We have been in this series for 4 weeks now. One thing that I believe I have made perfectly clear is what is know as the Principle of the Path. That is...

Your Direction Determines Your Destination

What gets your attention determines your destination, and ultimately, our destination.
Or here is a shorter version.
The Principle of the focus.

Your Attention Determines Your Direction

Have you ever been driving along and see signs that say watch for falling rocks. How many of you have ever looked up to make sure rocks weren’t falling right then.
What that sign is telling us is there has been falling rocks in that area before and you need to be on the look out to make sure a big boulder doesn’t knock you off the road. In other words, you need to pay attention to your surroundings.
We have been talking about the path that we are taking in life. There are 29 verses in the book of Proverbs that mentions the path or paths. It is so important for us to pay attention to what Solomon is trying to tell us about the path that we are on.
Look at what he tells us.
Proverbs 1:15 NIV
15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;
Solomon is warning us about buddying up to people with questionable morals. This is not the path we need to take.
Proverbs 2:9 NIV
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.
He is talking about following the way of wisdom. This is the path we do want to take.
Proverbs 3:6 NIV
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
This is one we talked about a few weeks ago.
Proverbs 4:26 NIV
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
So, as you can see it is important that we take care of the journey that we are on as we go down the path of life.
Today, I want to tell you to Watch Where You’re Going.
If you have your Bibles with you go with me to the book of Proverbs chapter 4. I’m going to read 3 verses for my text today beginning with verse 25.
Proverbs 4:25–27 NIV
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Remember what I told you earlier. What captures our attention influences our direction.
When you decide to go on vacation. You find out where you want to go and you begin to make driving plans. If you want to go to Branson, MO you plan the driving route that will take maybe 2 or 3 different routes. But you will move towards Branson. You will not take I-40 to OKC. That road will not get you to Branson.
The same thing is true in life. As your attention goes, so goes your life. If you decide to surrender your life to God and live for God and do godly things and plan your life according to God’s Word, then your life will reflect the decision that you have made to follow Christ.
2 words I you to think about right now. One is positive and One is negative. The positive word for you is Captures - Something captures our attention. We see something shiny and we have to explore. The negative word is grabs - Something grabs our attention. That would be like someone snapping their fingers at you.
You and I do not have to be ruled by things that grab or capture our attention. You get to choose what you give your attention to. That is a third principle I want to give you today.

The Principle of the Choice

You get to choose what you give your attention to. So, besides grab and capture, here are two other verbs that I want to give you.

1. You can choose to give your attention. 2. You can choose to pay attention.

How do we do that? Here is the key to this.

1. Emotions tend to fuel the things that grab or capture your attention.

2. Intentionality tends to fuel what you pay and give attention to.

Think about it! On every path that leads to disaster or destruction, there is something powerful and emotionally engaging that summoned us, that grabbed or captured our attention. That is why Solomon gives us this warning in our text. Look at it again.
Proverbs 4:25–27 NIV
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
In other words: Make a Choice!!
Choose which direction you will go, and then fix your gaze directly on it.
What you give your attention to will determine your direction. And the direction you head in determines your destination.
We are heading in way too many bad directions.
Let me ask you a sincere question: what has your attention these days?
Is it a relationship? A career? A house? An enjoyable pastime? Is it a person who is leading you somewhere you don’t really want to go? Or a person who is leading you towards where you do want to go? Is it your marriage? Your children? Your faith? Is it an achievement you’re hoping to accomplish soon? What has your attention these days?
What captures or grabs your attention, or what you choose to pay or give attention to will determine your direction, and your direction will determine your destination.
Here’s a second question: What do you want to have your attention? If you could only fix your eyes on one thing, what would it be?
This is week five of this series and I want to give you a suggestion. The Apostle Paul described his approach to life this way.
Philippians 3:13–14 NIV
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Then he follows that up by saying this.
Philippians 3:15 NIV
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Almost every book of the Bible describes this same focused life in some way.
Hebrews 2:1 NIV
1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
Some people drift away from the faith and they wonder why that happened. It happened because of the principle of attention. Your eyes, your attention, followed something other than God and you wound up drifting away from God.
The writer of Hebrews tells us what we need to do to stay on course.
Hebrews 12:2–3 NIV
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I love what he says in verse 2. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
I told you last week that the best decision you can make is to follow Jesus. Don’t swerve to the right or left. Don’t let your eyes wander. Don’t let your heart or your attention be captured by lesser things, focus your attention on Jesus, on following him, getting to know Him better, serving Him fully, becoming like Him more and more every day.
Look at what Paul tells us in Philippians chapter 2.
Philippians 2:6–11 NIV
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul places this in the letter to the church at Philippi because he thought it was important that everyone know that one day every person, everyone with knees, will bow before Jesus, no matter where their path has taken them. On that day, some will be in heaven and on earth—those are the new heavens and the new earth, but some will be under the earth. They’ll bow, even in that destination.
“Under the earth” is no place that anyone wants to pursue.
Remember what I told you a few weeks ago.
Proverbs 22:3 NIV
3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
This is a danger that I hope all of you see. If you pursue anything less than Jesus, you may end up bowing your knee before him from a destination you never wanted to arrive at.
Again, fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the path to heaven, the path to fulfillment, the path to purpose, the path to where you want to go.
Jesus said it this way...
John 14:6 NIV
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Another word for way is path. Jesus is telling you I am the path follow me.
Because whatever you give your attention to will determine your direction and whatever direction you head will determine where you wind up.
You have a choice you can follow Jesus, or you can follow something less. You can let your attention be grabbed by something that feels good for a moment, or you can give your attention to the one who will direct you all the days of your life and on into eternity.
Which will you choose today?
Some of you have never chosen Jesus before. Maybe you’d like to choose to fix your eyes on him today. In just a minute, I’m going to lead you in a prayer that will change your eternity because it will change the path you’re on spiritually. I hope you’ll pray it with me.
And some of you decided to follow Jesus a long time ago, and then you let your attention be grabbed or captured by something or someone else. Today is the day to correct that, don’t you think? Today is the day to say, “Jesus is the Lord my God. I will no longer have any other gods before Him.
(Lead everyone in a sinner’s prayer)
Next Steps:
Come back next week. We have one more week left. I want to talk to you about what to do when you come to a sign that says, “No Thru Traffic” and you won’t be able to reach the destination you were hoping to reach, martially, materially, physically, or in some other way.
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus. When you get up each day this week, talk to Him. Spend a few minutes alone with him, either in Proverbs or some other place in Scripture.
Pray for a Friend that is not on the Jesus path.
Join us this Wednesday for Connect Group and let God grow your faith.
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