This past weekend, I went to see the movie “The Shack.” Although there’s been some controversy regarding the scriptural accuracy of the movie; I found it to be an incredible blend of spiritual truths and dramatic fantasy to effectively tell the story and to clearly make the point. “The Shack” is the story of one man’s journey to forgiveness through the development of a deeper understanding of a loving relationship with God.
This week as I extract one small scene from the movie, I hope that it will encourage someone to grasp the magnificent power of the mind while recognizing the importance of keeping our eyes fixated on Jesus. In the scene, the character named Mackenzie is boating to the other side of the lake in a small vessel resembling one that had previously been the object of a recent traumatic family experience. This was an experience that serves as the backdrop for the spiritual journey he encounters throughout the movie. As he paddles along this lake, he is reminded of what the lake represents for him and immediately his imagination overpowers his reality. Thus, we are instantly presented with the thought of why we must regularly “Cast down imaginations.” However, when Mack heard the voice of the character portraying Jesus, he slowly redirects his focus and the situation of his mind starts to dissipate.
Friends, many of us have endured experiences that have the propensity to overwhelm us. We’ve suffered loss, we’ve endured injustices that occupy our minds and have overtaken our reality. But our true reality is that Jesus is always with us; even in those situations that are magnificently terrifying or traumatic. In the case of Mackenzie, the loss of his child was a degree of trauma that he felt he would never fully rationalize in his mind. But even in the most devastating of situations, it becomes more bearable when we fix your eyes on Jesus.
If you are reading this message and your story is similar to Mack’s, one of great loss; or if the story that occupies your mind is of the loss of a job or of a friendship or of betrayal in a relationship, the only way to keep moving is by fixing your eyes on Christ. If your thoughts continue to center on the one who mistreated you, or discredited you, or misrepresented you or disrespected you; then you will never find the path to forgiveness. Forgiveness is found only through divine fixation – fixation on the one who will love you through it.
Forgiveness is never easy, in fact, it’s often quite painful. But without it, the pain will linger much longer than it has to. So if you’ve lost yourself in the process of dealing with the loss of someone or something else, you will only find who you really are by fixing your eyes on Christ.
“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” Hebrews 12:2 GNT