Wednesday, September 1, 2004
I was talking with a young man who's a student in a missionary aviation course the other day. So far, he's mostly had classroom training, although he did have a little experience when he visited the Flight Training facility. On the second day they said, "Okay, go for it!" And he was flying! Now he was carrying his notepad with him on the day I saw him, and I noticed this sentence that he had written at the top of his notes. It was obviously something he thought he would be tested on, either in the classroom or maybe in the cockpit someday. It could be life or death information some day. Here's what it said. "Attitude - The relationship of the nose to the horizon." Now he told me, that simple discipline is what keeps an aircraft stable - and maybe you, too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Horizon Fix."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 12:1-2. It's kind of an Olympic scene. The idea is a runner here. "Let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance..." (that's steadiness and stability, right?) "...the race marked out for us." How do you do that? "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." The One who was there when we started; the One who's going to be there at the finish line. This verse tells us which way our horizon is.
I asked my student friend to explain about the attitude and the horizon, and he said, "Well, it's important to keep your aircraft on course and at a consistent rate of speed." If your attitude is tilted downward, your speed picks up. If you're tilted up, yours speed slows down. He said the only way to keep things steady is to lock in on the horizon, and then you keep adjusting your course in relation to the horizon. What a lesson in spiritual stability and emotional stability. If you navigate or decide by your feelings, you're going to be all over the place. Maybe you have been. Your feelings lie to you so much of the time. If you navigate by the approval of other people, you're going to be up and down all the time. Are you tired of this inconsistency, this roller coaster, this confusion? Then adjust your attitude so it's lined up squarely with the horizon, and the horizon is Jesus.
What does that mean practically? It means that there is only one way to launch your day - with a horizon fix! You don't just fix your eyes on Jesus once and for all; you've got to do it each new day. You get His book, His love letter in your lap each new day. You say, "Jesus, talk to me through this." You read it, and then you apply it to something you are going to face that day. Then you talk to Him about what He said to you. Then you get on your knees and you pray through your day and you ask Him to help you see each key person through His eyes, each situation, each conversation, each decision you need to deal with that day, each task you have to do. You make it His day.
Then as the storms blow you around during the day, and the clouds roll in, as your feelings are going up and down, don't make the mistake that Peter did when he was walking on water. Remember, he was looking at Jesus and he walked miraculously. Then he started to look at the storm. He looked away from Jesus and he started to sink. As long as you're focused on Jesus and not your feelings, and not your environment, you will not sink. Isaiah 16:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on you..." So how's your attitude? Going up, going down, going all over the place? It's because you're not focused in the right place.
My student pilot friend said you have to focus on the horizon, because it's the only thing that never moves. For you, that's your Jesus - the same yesterday, today, and forever.