Guard your Eyes
Proverbs 4:24 (NCV) Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.
Friend to Friend
A study was done of concentration camp survivors to determine the common characteristics of those who did not die from disease or starvation. Victor Frankl was a living answer to that question. Before the Nazis threw him into a concentration camp, he was a successful psychiatrist. After his rescue, Victor Frankl traveled the world, sharing his story. "There is only one reason why I am here today. You kept me alive. Others gave up hope. I dreamed that someday I would be here telling you how I, Victor Frankl, had survived the Nazi concentration camps. I've never been here before, I've never seen any of you before, and I’ve never given this speech before. But in my dreams, oh, in my dreams, I have stood before you and said these words a thousand times."
Outlook determines outcome. Victor Frankl survived because he chose a right focus, keeping his eyes fixed on what was ahead. Proverbs 4:25 explains, “We need to keep our eyes focused on what is right and look straight ahead to what is good.” The picture painted here is one of an “upright” life, a life of “moral purity”. We serve a holy God who is very serious about sin - serious enough to send His son, Jesus Christ, as payment for that sin. We claim the miracle of blood-bought forgiveness while flirting with sin. We give lip-service to God’s sacrifice while allowing impurity to negate its power in our lives. We point others to the cross when we are the ones in desperate need of its deliverance.
When it comes to having a right focus, not only do we turn away from what is worthless but we turn to what is worthy. In yesterday’s devotion, we discovered that Satan knows if he can control the mind, then he has won the battle. Who wins that battle is up to us and hinges on the choices that we make. The battle of the mind is won by controlling and filtering what we set before our eyes. In Psalm 101:3, we find an important key to guarding our mind, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” (NIV) “Vile” means “evil one or troublemaker”. Anything that is not feeding and nourishing the soul is depleting the soul, originates with Satan himself and will bring nothing but trouble. If it is not of God, it will numb you to what is of God. Be very careful what you place before your eyes – books, movies, television, magazines. We foolishly believe the lie that we “can handle it”. If we could handle our sin, Jesus came in vain. We are desperate for Him! We are lost without Him!
I live in a small, rural community where cows are familiar neighbors and lost cows a common occurrence. How does a cow get lost? It starts nibbling on a patch of green grass. When it finishes, the cow looks ahead to the next patch of green grass. That patch digested, the cow looks ahead to the next patch of green grass and starts nibbling on that one. Then it nibbles on a patch of grass right next to a hole in the fence. The cow then sees the green grass on the other side of the fence so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next one and the next one. The cow finally looks up to discover it has nibbled itself into being lost.
We do the same thing. We bury our heads in the patches of everyday living. We make a single wrong choice and instead of looking up for forgiveness, instead of looking straight ahead for new direction, we look around for another wrong choice. Soon, we find ourselves at the bottom of a pit wondering how we got there. We must learn to keep our glance on the circumstances and our gaze on Him.
Dear Father, please help me to focus on Your plan and purpose for my life. I keep looking in the wrong places for the right answers. I confess that I often keep my gaze on things that do not please You. Today, I ask You to give me the strength and power to look for You in every circumstance and to keep my focus on You. Amen.
Now it’s your turn
As you go through today, be aware of the things you see and watch that displease God and do not measure up to His standard. How can you eliminate them?
What is the focus of your life? How does it need to change?
What consequences have you suffered because your eyes were focused on wrong things or wrong people?
More from the girlfriends
Wow! I know! I am getting downright personal, aren’t I? The reality is – if He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. In other words, we need to surrender everything to God, including the control of our “eyesight” and choose to focus on what is right and good. Screen your thoughts, the books you read, the movies you see and ask yourself if they are pleasing to God. If not, get rid of them. Choose against them and choose the power of “eyesight” fixed on God.
For more on this topic, see Mary’s CD, I Have a Hope.
Girlfriends in God
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Thursday, 12 April 2007.