Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze on what lies in front of you.
~ Proverbs 4:25 ~
When our eyes are fixed on God’s glory, we feel the majesty of His creations and the grand scope of His work on this earth. We feel humble to be participants in His latter-day kingdom. If we pause and quietly reflect on our role in all of this, we will come to know that placing our egos and our vain ambitions on the sacrificial altar is one of the most important offerings we can ever make. Well might we acknowledge, as did Moses after beholding in vision God’s glory: “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.” (Moses 1:10.)
~ Marlin K. Jensen “An Eye Single to the Glory of God” October 1989 General Conference
There is no doubt we are living in precarious times. Not only does it appear that the hearts of many are failing – there is a spirit of contention and trepidation. More and more divisions causing disharmony. Call to be tolerant from an intolerant and rigid belief and ideology. Unfortunately, there are many that appear to lack wisdom today and are caught up in the tsunami of false beliefs and teachings. Blinded by the sophistries and philosophies of many. And sin begins with the eyes. What the eyes gaze upon, the heart begins to crave. They are like personal advertisers letting us know all the options available to us. Their range is great and yet are not naturally discerning. Our eyes take in everything, and in our own weakness we let them make too many demands. Our eyes may lead us toward Holy cravings for God and truth, or they may lead us toward the paths of coveting and lust.
Jesus shocked His disciples. He admonished and warned about our eyes. If one of them causes us to sin, we ought to gouge it out and throw it away (see Matthew 5:29). Our eyes are not that corrupt are they? No, however sin is a serious issue. It is one where each of us must deal with. And the first practical way to deal with sin is to guard our eyes.
Just as we are responsible for the things that fill our hearts and the words we speak, we are also responsible for the gaze of our eyes. Take the example of horses. Some of them are adorned with blinders so that they may retain certain focus and not be distracted. A race horse will have blinders on so that they are not distracted by other horses, the crowd, and are able to maintain focus on what is ahead of them. Horses used in urban and city settings also have these blinders so that it limits their view and keeps them from being distracted. We need to put on such blinders because too many lives on a straight course in God’s will have been turned aside by distractions. A glimpse turns into a gaze, a gaze turns into a craving, a craving turns the heart to the side, and a misdirected heart wreaks havoc on godliness and service. Glances can quickly become compulsive, and compulsions quickly become idols.
I know there is a need to take inventory of what I stare at. The results will tell me a lot about what is important. In all likelihood, I may find some things that are inappropriately significant – a hobby that takes too much time, an unholy desire, a passion contrary to God’s revealed direction for my life. All fall short of God’s good will for me.
A tendency to look aside indicates a dissatisfaction with what I already have. If I am dissatisfied, the answer is not in looking in a new direction; it is in strengthening my gaze upon the Savior and His ways. Fixing my eyes on what is ultimately worthy of my attention is to fix my gaze upon Christ. He alone has shown me the path to walk.
How have you been distracted by the things of this world? How is our society becoming more and more dissatisfied because they are distracted? How much better is it to fix our gaze upon Christ and walk His way and His path? What keeps us from gazing toward the Kingdom of God and being focused on Godly purpose?
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Thank you – Damascus Way Recovery