What are we looking at these days?
Grace abounds much more to help us stay focused with a single eye on the Lord, on the things unseen. Click To Tweet
The enemy does not want the Lord to be worshiped, or ministered to; thus he tries to sabotage the lives of His children and their devotion to Him by distracting them with what is seen, with what seems reasonable, with what they feel – i.e., with the temporal, so that they’ll not be occupied with what is eternal and spiritual (II Cor.4:18). But when evil and sin abound all around us, grace abounds much more (Rom.5:20) to help us stay focused with a single eye on the Lord, on the things unseen; to have our minds stayed on Him that we might be kept in perfect, undisturbed peace; to have our affections set on what is Above so that when things on earth are taken from us we don’t fall apart; to have our hearts fixed on Him and filled with His Word so that we can remain calm in the day of adversity (Psa.94:12,13).
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers … ” (Psalm 37:1)
What Wisdom and encouragement this Psalm gives us in these perilous times! It goes on to say that evildoers “shall soon be cut down like the grass.” Indeed, “The Lord laughs at the wicked , for He sees that their own day [of defeat] is coming.” Therefore, let’s “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;” and not fret, “for yet a little while, and the evildoers will be no more.” But if our eyes are fixed on the deeds of the “evildoers” we will fret, which “causes harm.” (verses 2,13,7,10,8, respectively). On the other hand, we can look to the Lord Who has promised in Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose- even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil.” (Amplified) Only the Lord knows all things, the end from the beginning, and we know nothing as we ought (I Cor.8:2), so why should we fret about things we know only in part, and why not trust the One Who knows all things, Who works all things according to His Purpose and Plan, and Who does whatsoever He pleases (Psalm 115:3)?!
“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; … ” Psalm 131:1)
How wise David was! He had learned to not set anything wicked before his eyes (Psalm 101:3a), though, of course he was fully aware of the evil deeds of men; he determined to not fret and be occupied with evil and therefore could say to the Lord: ” … my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting].” (Psalm 131:2) How did David do this? How do we do accomplish this weaning process? I believe it has so much to do with where and on what our eyes are fixed.
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look …” (John 4:35)
Lift up your eyes from what is seen and upon what Heaven sees: a harvest of souls! Click To Tweet
I’ve read this verse so many times in the past 40+ years and never pondered “lift up your eyes” till recently. Why didn’t He just say “look at the fields , for they are already white and ready for harvest.”? Actually this reads: “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look …” In other words, this is very important to Me and I want you to listen carefully to what I’m about to say. They were not to look around them at anything of lesser importance but rather at what was occupying the Heart and Mind of the Lord of the Harvest: souls, souls, souls. The word for “lift up” here is “epairo” in the Greek, and it means “to lift or raise up, to lift upon” – i.e., lift up your eyes from what is seen and upon what Heaven sees: a harvest of souls, right now! They, like us now, are urged to look not at what is seen but rather at what is not seen – i.e., the eternal things (II Cor.4:18). We find this word also in Luke 21:28 where Jesus told those around Him: “Now when these things begin to happen [signs that the Kingdom of God is at hand] look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Also the same word occurs in Matthew 17:8; At the Mount of Transfiguration the disciples fell on their faces in fear upon hearing the Voice of the Father from Heaven saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (v.5) But shortly thereafter, the Lord came and touched them, and when they heard His voice say, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”, they lifted up their eyes and saw only Jesus there. Their gaze turned from earthward to Jesus-ward!
What is our focus during these perilous times?
We simply choose to trust Him to fulfill His purpose in the way He chooses. Click To Tweet
Our souls will be devastated if our eyes are fixed upon current events and trends of this world. Instead of our hearts fixed on Him, His promises and provisions, they’ll be fastened on the suffering and sorrow of the around us, near and far. Instead of our minds stayed on Him, giving us perfect peace, they’ll be riding on a hamster wheel, trying to figure out what is happening, on any level of our lives. Instead of our affections set on things above, where all spiritual blessings are accessible now to us, we will wallow in confusion, fear, and ager. And one of the most persevering and piercing intentions of the devil in hijacking our focus is to ultimately divide believers, who are the Bride of the One he bitterly opposes and hates. The enemy knows that if he can succeed in dividing us, the Love of God will not be manifested, and therefore: (1) his evil strategies will not be defeated nor his works destroyed (I John 3:8); and (2) the world will not know that we are the Lord’s disciples (John 13:35) and thus are unlikely to give much credibility to the words we speak of Him. Love never fails and obeys the Voice and Word of God. On the other hand, division within the Kingdom of God is a guarantee of failure in some form because of disobedience in some form. Often we don’t understand what He is doing but we can trust His unfailing, unchanging, unlimited Love – not just for us but for all souls everywhere. We simply choose to trust Him to fulfill His purpose in the way He chooses. “Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.” (Prov.19:21, Amplified)
“Love has reasons that reason knows nothing of.” (Blaise Pascale)
In these turbulent, perilous times we often hear people ask questions like: “Why would God ever allow such things to happen if He loved people?” or “How could He permit such suffering if He really is Love?” He is indeed Love but also Omniscient, as well as a God of Justice Who will always have “the last Word” because He alone knows all things, the beginning from the end. Love’s throne is in Heaven, and He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3); and one thing that brings Him and Heaven great joy is when even one soul is won to Christ, let alone a multitude of souls! I believe we can safely say that the Lord is executing “severe mercies” in the almost unbelievable events and suffering we are seeing in these times. He is gathering together the Bride of His Son, completing her, preparing her for presentation to her Eternal Husband. Many perhaps who have been been too self-sufficient or self-absorbed to sense their need for Him and have not seen Who He really is, are more likely during these dangerous, frightening times to consider Him, to draw near and cry out to Him and receive Him. Let’s trust Him for a huge harvest of souls; and let us do as King Jehoshaphat did in II Chronicles 20:12 when we feel overwhelmed by what we see around us, closely and far away: “Lord, we know not what to do, but our eyes are [lifted up] upon You!” Without fail, He has, and is, the Solution.