Stay Focused

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

What is it we set our sights on? Is our spiritual vision tainted by what the world offers? Do we prostitute ourselves by going after the desires of our own hearts and eyes? We are to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord! We are to live our lives before an audience of One!

I am reminded of the poor example of Eve. We are told in Genesis that by her maintaining a selfish desire, she fell, dragging her husband down with her:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:6)

Do not be mistaken, we never sin as unto ourselves. Sadly, it will always affect those around us. The ripple effect goes on and on.

“Let this be a warning to me, O Lord. Set thou a guard before my eyes, ears, and other faculties, lest the world again should enter through these avenues of the heart; if the spark be not speedily extinguished, it will soon break out into a flame: thus sin is of a progressive nature, and its venom spreads very quickly and very wide, unless it be stopped and opposed in time.

“The hypocrite soars like the kite, with his eye on the prey below. The true Christian soars like the lark, higher and higher, forgetting the things that are beneath.” (Matthew Henry)

Watch, therefore, over this unsteady heart of mine, O Thou Keeper of Israel; that as soon as it begins to wander from Thee, I may be alarmed to flee from sin as from a serpent. Give me grace to look upon every hour as my last; so that being ever wisely upon my guard I may meet Thee with joy when my time is run out, whenever it shall please Thee to call me hence.” (K. H. Von Bogatzky)

We must be careful to guard ourselves against worldliness. Christians are to be sojourners and ambassadors for Christ! Our citizenship is ultimately in heaven. The Christian, like the traveler, must have his eye on the journey’s end. Our spiritual vision is to have the capacity to see clearly the right road: God’s path.

The Proverb rings true:

A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. (Proverbs 17:24)

Surely the writer of Hebrews was precisely on target when he tells us where our gaze should remain:

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Take It to Heart

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)