Keep Your Eyes Fixed

February 17, 2015
by Bruce Wilcox

When I took the course for a private pilot's license many years ago, I remember our instructor warning us to be very careful about pushing it in poor weather. Because we were not trained to fly on instruments only, we needed decent visibility when flying. Our instructor also reminded us that if we ever found ourselves surprised by bad weather or zero visibility, we had to trust our instruments, and not panic — just keep our eyes fixed on our instruments and believe what they were telling us, no matter what, because our bodily sensations would try to tell us something different in those situations.

Now this sounds straightforward and easy enough until the time comes when one actually has to do it. I remember flying in to land at the little airstrip in a neighbouring town, and during my approach on this occasion, some thick fog blew in and totally obscured my visibility. Fortunately, it didn't last too long, because I almost immediately began to experience some very uncomfortable and then scary spatial disorientation. This is the kind of vertigo that has been identified as the direct contributing cause of many accidents. It happens because your vision is cut off from the earth, horizon, or any other fixed reference at the same time as your body is exposed to certain angular and centrifugal forces which you simply cannot distinguish from gravitational forces.

I began feeling more and more certain that I was steeply climbing, and it was like my body was screaming at me to level out by pushing the wheel forward. Of course, actually doing that would have resulted in crashing nose-first into the ground. That result would have come from taking matters into my own hands and not keeping my eyes fixed on my instruments and really trusting them.

This reminds me of our absolute need to fix our eyes on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1b-2a – Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (NIV 2011)

No matter how we're feeling or what the circumstances, He is our fixed reference point, our horizon, our "sun of righteousness". We need to remember this, no matter how tempted we are to take our eyes off Him by not bothering with prayer, not bothering with worship, not bothering with His Word.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight. (NKJV)

In this context, "sight" must somehow include the feelings and emotions that can so strongly urge us in certain situations to take our eyes off the only things that can help us. Praise God for His love and commitment to us through it all, to complete the good work He has begun in us!

Prayer: Lord, our hearts are so prone to wandering. Please keep our eyes fixed on You and our hearts fettered to Yours. May Your strength be made perfect in our weakness. Amen.

About the author:

Bruce Wilcox <bwilcox2@live.ca>
Lac La Hache, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful illustration and message.


    Thanks for a good reminder Bruce.


    Thank you Bruce for today’s devotional. It encouraged me to focus on the Lord till my prayers are answered.


    A very powerful reminder.
    Thank you for sharing, and for an excellent devotional reading.
    Blessings.


    I enjoyed your story and the spiritual application you shared. Well done. Thanks for writing.
    Blessings.


    An important thought for today Bruce; to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord.
    Thanks.
    May God richly bless you,


    Thank you. Bruce!
    Very visual -pardon the pun- devotional. Words I will remember when I decide to try to fly alone. God bless you!


    Hello Bruce, your devotional reminds me of whenever I get into my car to drive. I say a prayer and in my mind I say God you are the pilot, I am only the co-pilot, keep me safe and all the others on the road. That helps me remain focused just as you remained focused on your instruments and ultimately on God. Thank you.


    Bruce, I find this this a useful parallel.
    We know we must keep our eyes on Jesus, and might very well believe that we can do that. But in the time of testing, faith-living doesn’t necessarily feel right. We may have been disoriented by forces such as cultural conditioning, fear, anxiety, presumptions, rationality, the media, religious background…. and so forth. If we don’t understand those pulls on us, we will give in to them and risk harm to ourselves.
    Thank you for sharing this example taken from your life experience.


    Thank you Bruce, for today’s devotional. It has reminded me once more of what is really important and that is to keep my eyes on Jesus. I will also share it with someone I love very much and who will take this at heart.
    God bless you.


    Thank you for your inspirational devotional today!
    “Walk by faith not by sight” is a great reminder at the perfect time. (As so often is the case). Perfect scripture to teach my kids today.
    Thank you again!


    Dear Bruce Wilcox,
    Thank you for writing,
    You made me feel that I was in that plane with you.
    Thank you for likening your flying experience to us keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus — our eyes, minds, and hearts.
    Keep writing for Jesus’ sake.
    Amen.


    A GREAT devotional Bruce, one with which I can really identify. Thank you!
    My father was a small airplane pilot back in the 50’s and early 60’s, first with a 2-seater Cessna, then a 4 seater Stinson, with no ILS ability, so one had to trust in and focus on faith and knowledge.


    Bruce: This is one private pilot to another. How appropriate your Devotional subject was for me as I was able to thoughtfully exchange your experiences with mine as we were gaining our pilot licences.
    My instructor would occasionally choose a graduate for additional pilot training. He demanded that I first obtain my night rating in clear wx, then a little later he went with me again, this time placing me under the hood to strengthen my ability to trust my instruments. . . . . just like you.
    Well Bill, you and I as Christians could liken such training as gaining faith in Christ who is our life time Instrument for living. Heavens, a 20 minute Sermon could come of the above comparison/thought. Anyway, thanks for submitting the subject for this day’s Devotion as it became very personal.

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