Battlefields of the Christian Life: The Eye

The eye can be the most troublesome part of the human body. The eye is the window of the soul. What you look at, what you focus on; is who you become. Many lives have been ruined by a look. Jesus said in Matthew 5:29, “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that they whole body should be cast into hell.” We should not allow our eyes to condemn us. We must be very protective over what we see and how we see things. Our eyes are one of the greatest battlefields of the Christian life. Satan is constantly putting things in our view in order to cause us to stumble and to lose our focus on serving Jesus. Satan is constantly trying to change our perspective and our worldview. The Christian eye is under constant attack. It is a daily struggle for every Christian to keep their eyes focused on that which is good and off of the things of the world.

My father-in-law is legally blind due to a lifetime struggle with brain tumors. As the years have gone on, his eyes have grown worse and worse. One of his eyes is completely blind. It is in utter darkness. However, he has one eye that is able to see shadows and sometimes shapes. He calls that eye his good eye and the other his bad eye. Many of you may have a similar condition. One eye is good and one eye is bad. Spiritually speaking, there are two types of eyes. There is the good eye and there is the bad eye. As we consider the battlefield of the eye we will look at the bad spiritual eye and the good spiritual eye.

The bad eye. There are four things we see concerning the bad eye. First of all, we see that the bad is focused on pleasure. Notice what the Bible says in Genesis 3:6-7. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” The very first sin came as a result of focusing on pleasure rather than focusing on blessing. There is something that needs to be understood here. Pleasure in and of itself is not a bad thing. God created pleasure. He wants us to enjoy life. Pleasure is a gift and a blessing from God. The problem is when we focus on the pleasure rather than on the blessing. The problem is when our view of what is pleasurable becomes distorted. Adam and Eve took pleasure in what was forbidden. They focused on what would please themselves more so than what would please God. Notice how that their focus on pleasure brought them shame. Anytime we focus on pleasure rather than on the giver of pleasure, it will bring shame and disgrace to our lives. Nothing ever good comes from living for pleasure. If we live for God we will have pleasure, if we live for pleasure we will have shame.

Not only is the bad eye focused on pleasure but it is also prideful. Notice what Judges 17:6 says. “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  This verse, I am afraid, is a commentary of the days in which we live today. There are no standards. There are no moral absolutes. Everyone is doing what they think is best for them. Nothing is wrong anymore. The only thing that is wrong is so called ‘intolerance’. Doing what is right in your own eyes goes back to the oldest sin the book and that is pride. It is our pride that causes us to do what we want and to justify what we do. Your greatest enemy is the person you see in the mirror every day. Self is the greatest hindrance in the Christian life. When pride gets in the way, there is no sin that we are not capable of. The bad eye is a prideful eye.

The bad eye is also unsatisfied. Ecclesiastes 1:8 says, “All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” The bad eye is one that is never satisfied. Think about your own life. How often are you ever really satisfied? We are so prone to complain about our circumstances. No matter how good life may be, there is always something that is wrong. We are never completely happy. We are never completely satisfied. We need to understand that satisfaction only comes in knowing Jesus. We must be satisfied in Him. When we focus on worldly things or on our own pride, we will never be satisfied. However, when we focus on Jesus, we realize that He is all we need, and we are always satisfied.

Not only is the bad eye focused on pleasure, prideful, and unsatisfied; but it is also lustful. First John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” The lust of the eyes is equated with worldliness. A lustful eye is one that cannot avoid sin. 2 Peter 2:14 says, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin.” Adultery begins with lust. Such lust is sinful itself. Therefore, the lustful eye cannot keep from sin. To lust after someone or something is to have a strong unhealthy desire. The bad eye is constantly looking at that which it knows it should never have. It indulges in looking at things that it knows is forbidden. It focuses on the pleasures of this world, rather than on the Creator.

The good eye. Now that we have considered the bad eye, let us look at the good eye. There are three things we need to understand about the good eye. First of all, the good eye is opened to God’s Word.  Notice what the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:18. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” The best and only way to keep from sin is to have a proper diet of God’s Word. There are so many wonderful things in the Bible that are just waiting to be discovered. You will never discover such wonderful truths if you do not read God’s Word. Opening our eyes to God’s Word includes: daily Bible reading, Bible study, listening to sermons, memorizing scriptures, etc. However, to be opened to God’s Word is more than just pouring information into your brain. Being open to God’s Word requires adherence to God’s Word. You see, every time God’s Word is proclaimed, in whatever form it may be, it demands a response. You cannot just read God’s Word or hear God’s Word and not respond. There are two basics responses: disobedience or obedience. Either you are going to obey God’s Word or you are going to reject God’s Word. Both responses have certain consequences. How do you respond to God’s Word?

The good eye is also one that is closed to sin. It is an innocent eye. It is one that turns away from sin. Psalm 101:3 says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave unto me.” This is a verse that is good to have taped to your television or computer. As Christians, we should be determined that we will not look upon that which is evil. There is enough evil in the world today that we do not have to go looking for it. Wickedness will find you. The key is to discipline our eyes in such a way that when we innocently stumble across something that is evil, we immediately turn and look the other way. We should be aware of the evil in the world, but we should not dwell on it. We all know the world is going to keep getting worse. Evil will increase until Jesus comes. Therefore, as Christians, we should simply live out our lives for the glory of God, not looking at the sin, but looking for Jesus.

Not only is the good eye opened to God’s Word and closed to sin, but it is also focused on righteousness.  Psalm 17:15 says, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Righteousness is basically perfection. As believers we are declared as righteous even though we are not righteous. The righteousness of God is imputed upon us by the blood of Jesus. There is coming a day when we will be just like Jesus. While we wait for that day, we are going through the process of sanctification. God is working through the circumstances of our lives in order to mold us and shape us into the image of Jesus. God is perfecting us through His Word. Therefore, as believers, we should focus on that fact that God is working in us in order to not just declare us as righteous, but also to make us righteous. To focus on righteousness is to be humble clay in the potter’s hand.

There is a good eye and a bad eye. What kind of eye do you have?

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