Thursday, September 07, 2006
ARE YOU SEEING CLEARLY?
In this day and age we live in many of us get DISTRACTED from the purposes of God and make things priorities that ought not to be.
Today’s devotion will deal with this issue, and prayerfully, help us to refocus our spiritual eyes so that we will see clearly.
Our society (and often our carnal minds) teaches us to want (even lust after) the nice car, big home, big paying job, etc. These things can be nice and SOMETIMES God blesses us with them. But if your mind is occupied with these things as a priority in your life, your spiritual vision is VERY BLURRED. In my own life, I have had to learn to NOT give THINGS too much importance.
In America, as well as in many other parts of the world, success is measured by what type of job you have (i.e. how much you make), by the home you own, the car you drive, etc. But this is NOT how God measures success!
Success in God’s eyes is based on our OBEDIENCE to Him and in our seeking to make an eternal difference.
Our eyes MUST be on the things of God, not on the temporal things of this world.
I‘ve shared my heart above, now let’s look at these things from God's heart through His Word:
3 Things That Blur our Vision:
1 - THE DECEPTION OF THE LUKEWARM CHURCH (I.E. LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN)
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write...........thou art lukewarm........BECAUSE THOU SAYEST, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that THOU MAYEST SEE". - Revelation 3:14, 16-18
"Because thou sayest." What a difference between their thoughts of themselves, and the thoughts Christ had of them! .......There are many in hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to heaven......They were poor; really poor, when they said and thought they were rich. They could not see their state, nor their way, nor their danger, yet they thought they saw it….. Some things must be parted with, but nothing valuable; and it is only to make room for receiving true riches. Part with sin and self-confidence, that you may be filled with his hidden treasure….. Let us examine ourselves by the rule of his word, and pray earnestly for the teaching of his Holy Spirit, to take away our pride, prejudices, and worldly lusts".
- Matthew Henry Commentary
2 - THE COVETOUSNESS OF MAN IS NOT RICH TOWARD GOD
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, his night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is NOT RICH TOWARD GOD”. - Luke 12:15-21
“Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. The things of the world will not satisfy the desires of a soul.…..If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life”. - Matthew Henry Commentary
3 - CONCERNS OVER THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD (ANXIETIES, RICHES, AND LUSTS) WILL CHOKE OUT THE WORD IN YOUR LIFE
Jesus spoke this parable about a sower sowing seed and the outcome of those seeds sown. Someday, I hope to look in more depth into that entire passage; but for today’s devotion, let’s just look at a small portion of Mark Chapter 4.
“Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow....And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up,and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.......And these are they which are sown among ......thorns; such as hear the word, and THE CARES OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, AND THE LUSTS OF OTHER THING entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful”. - Mark 4:3, 7, 18, 19
3 things are mentioned in this passage that will choke out the Word of God in our lives:
1.Cares of this World - Always worrying and being anxious about the things of life will absolutely cause us to have blurred vision spiritually.
2. Deceitfulness of Riches - Don't buy into the lie that money is success and happiness. This results in blurred spiritual vision.
3. Lust for other things - This would include all lust or "over-desires" in reference to OTHER THINGS not already mentioned that are NOT from God. This, too, will result in blurred spiritual vision.
SCRIPTURE CLARITY COMES BY:
1 – PUTTING (SEEKING) THE THINGS OF GOD FIRST IN OUR LIFE. IT IS THEN THAT GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE EARTHLY THINGS OF OUR LIFE.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.... Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you”. - Matthew 6:24, 31-33
“Worldly-mindedness is a common and fatal symptom of hypocrisy, for by no sin can Satan have a surer and faster hold on the soul, under the cloak of a profession of religion [Christianity] …..Christ counsels to make our best things the joys and glories of the OTHER world, those things not seen which are eternal, and to place our happiness in them. There are treasures in heaven. … A man may do some service to two masters, but he can devote himself to the service of no more than one. GOD REQUIRES THE WHOLE HEART, AND WILL NOT SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD. When two masters oppose each other, no man can serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world. THERE IS SCARCELY ANY SIN AGAINST WHICH OUR LORD JESUS MORE WARNS HIS DISCIPLES, THAN DISQUIETING, DISTRACTING, DISTRUSTFUL CARES ABOUT THE THINGS OF THIS LIFE. This often insnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich….. If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more than the body and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment, which are less. Improve this as an encouragement to trust in God….. SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND MAKE RELIGION [CHRISTIANITY] YOUR BUSINESS: SAY NOT THAT THIS IS THE WAY TO STARVE; NO, IT IS THE WAY TO BE WELL PROVIDED FOR, EVEN IN THIS WORLD”. - Matthew Henry Commentary
2 - OUR AFFECTION (MIND) MUST BE ON THE THINGS ABOVE.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”. - Colossians 3:2
God tells us to set our affection (i.e. mind) on the things above. Lightfoot puts it this way in regard to this passage, “You must not only SEEK heaven; you must also THINK heaven”.
Though the things of this earth are not necessarily bad, our mind, thoughts and attention needs to be on those things that are eternal. In other words, DON’T GET WRAPPED UP IN ALL THIS EARTHLY TEMPORAL STUFF!
Seek God above all else, and set you mind, thoughts first and foremost focused on the Word of God and the things of God, and you will see as God meant you to – CLEARLY!
Heavenly Father, help me to get my eyes off those things which are temporal and not of any value to your Eternal purposes. I come to you right now and ask you to help me SEE with Your eyes, and to truly have Eternal priorities. I ask this in Jesus’ Name! AMEN!
In His Service,