I'm Looking . . . But Which Way?



I'm Looking . . . But Which Way?
Dr. Rexella Van Impe

What is the first thing you notice about a person? Some would say the color of their hair, their stature or even their weight. I must admit that I am immediately drawn to the eyes. Perhaps this is why I like the statement; The eye is the window of the soul. It was Benjamin Franklin who related this good thought, Learn to be gracious with the eyes; look deep into their eyes, and say with your eyes, I like you.

I especially enjoy looking into the eyes of children. Often I find myself wanting to get down to their level since they, above all, have that gentle, yet intense and honest way of looking directly into our eyes. They have discovered a secret which sometimes gets lost as they move into adulthood - it is this, the eyes reveal so much. Perhaps it's the child in me, but conversation seems more personal when I am able to look into the eyes of the one with whom I am conversing. There seems to be an openness in communication when we can express our thoughts through our eyes as well as by our words.

The eyes also can be a barometer revealing the state of our health. Doctors, for instance, look into the eyes when one is sick, and ophthalmologists detect many bodily illnesses the same way. The Bible has much to say about the eyes. The writer of Proverbs speaks of the bloodshot eyes of those who drink (Proverbs 23:28, 29). In fact, there are 499 references to eyes, and 98 to the eye in God's Word. Since God has given such prominence and importance to the eye gate, Satan, with all of his sly and cunning ways brought sin into the world by persuading Eve to look and then partake of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:5-7).

God often speaks of His own eyes. How comforting it is to know that His eyes are lovingly upon us. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9 - also notice Deuteronomy 11:12; Job 34:21; and Psalm 33:18).

Why are our eyes so important? It is because what we see goes into our emotions (the soul). The light of the soul is what gives understanding, sound judgment, and the ability to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Jesus spoke of this: The light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single (a clear conscience), thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness (Luke 11:34.35).

Walking Visuals

What do others see when looking at us? If they are to be rightly influenced, how important it is that what they see is God-like. We are walking visuals. The Apostle Paul cautioned that we should be careful how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15, 16).

I heard the story of a little girl who told her pastor she knew Jesus and was saved. Which one of my sermons brought you to Christ? he asked. It wasn't your preaching, it was my aunt's practicing, she responded.

Indeed! What we do and say is being noticed. Man looketh on the outward appearance (I Samuel 16:7). That's why we are to let our light so shine before mankind, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

On one occasion, when the Apostle Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, he stood before his accusers and Governor Felix saying, I strive to always have a conscience without offense toward God and man (see Acts 24:16). What a wonderful way to live!

With all the discouraging news in the world today, seeming inconsistencies in the lives of those around us, and despair on the faces of millions of people, which way can we look to find peace and satisfaction?

Three Different Directions

We can look in three different directions: (1) Backward, to be discouraged; (2) outward, to be disheartened; and (3) upward, to be delighted.

Backwards:

More often than not, looking back leads to defeat and discouragement and possibly self destruction like Lots wife. We have a good biblical example in the Apostle Paul, who said, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13, 14).

God can be counted on to give a silver lining to our dark clouds if we'll begin looking forward. A friend has written: Let your life be a statement, more than your words, that Someone else is in charge. Let your demeanor reflect quality inner control, stability that comes from knowing and accepting that God is in charge. In God's perfect timing wrongs will be righted, circumstances will change, He will come to your rescue. To believe this is to move ahead and live with hope.

I have been asked, How do you forget the bad times, the hurts, the injustices? My response is that we can't blot out the past, but forgetting means not allowing the past to affect the present.

We can put whatever has hurt us under the blood of Christ. We can forget by imitating the way Christ forgives us - just as if it never occurred (Hebrews 8:12).

Outward:

As one looks around at the world today, he or she could become disheartened and disillusioned. The world is in a mess. Just pick up the newspaper, or turn on the evening news and it's enough to disturb any thinking person.

How do we avoid the disillusionment and anxiety? David the psalmist said, It will not fasten its grip on me (see Psalm 101:3). There you have it; don't allow it to grasp hold of your thinking.

What does God say? He tells us to cast our burdens on Christ (I Peter 5:7). We are human and feel concern, but we can turn it over to Him saying, God, this is too big for me to handle. By keeping our eyes on Jesus and the eternal truths of God's word, we will be focusing our attention on that which enables us to handle all the bad things happening around us (see Hebrews 12:2).

Upward:

Remember what David the psalmist said? I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121:1). This is surely the only direction to look for help, comfort, and yes, for delight in our souls and lives. We can bring our thirsty and wilting minds and bodies to the everlasting well of water, Jesus Christ Himself (John 4). All He asks is that we keep looking up, and as we do, look forward to an eternity with Him. Let us pray this beautiful prayer of the psalmist, I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3).

I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS...
-Psalm 121:1


1 comment:

AquaJane said...

So true about the eyes. Yes, the teaching was compelling in my first Christian church experience, but it was the unexplainable love in the eyes of strangers that kept me coming back to church when I was so lost.

In your post today, I also like the reminder about the three directions. Personal regrets and our fallen world can be so overwhelming at times. We have such good news in the Lord, don't we?

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