22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!”

Matt 6:22-23 (NIV)

What is it we set our sights on? Is our spiritual vision tainted by our lustful looks at what the world offers? Do we prostitute ourselves by going after the intense desires of our own hearts and eyes – unless, of course, they are God’s desires? 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 our first mother, Eve. We are told in Genesis that by her maintaining an inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire; she fell, dragging her husband down with her. Do not be mistaken, we never sin as unto ourselves alone. Sadly, it will always affect our spheres. The ripple effect goes on and on:

6 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. Gen 3:6 (NIV)

“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. 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 not citizens of this earth – our citizenship is in heaven. The Christian, like the traveler, must have his journey’s end in the eye. Our spiritual vision is to have the capacity to see clearly the right road – God’s way.

“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

Like Job, who knew the heritage of sin was ruin and that disaster awaited the unrighteous, made a covenant with his eyes. Likewise, it would behoove us to do the same:

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job 31:1 (NIV)

The Proverb rings true:

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

Surely, the writer of Hebrews was precisely on target when he tells us where our gaze should remain – both for our good and God’s gloryis gloryHi:

1 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. 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:1-3 (NIV)

A Christian’s heart and understanding and aim should be right before the One who searches all. The One who investigates to determine the essential character of a person, particularly regarding integrity:

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

What I Glean

  • I am to set my sights on things above – not on earthly things. 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Col 3:1-4 (NIV)
  • When I sin it affects those all around me. There is a ripple effect to all sin.
  • I am to fix my eyes on Jesus.