We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
When a farmer plows the hard ground of a field using a team of horses, he will keep blinders on the animals to stay on course and finish a straight row. If he does not, the horse’s attention may be drawn to the left or right causing its hooves to follow his focus. Sometimes I wish the Lord would put blinders on me so that I would continually walk by faith and not by sight. “So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8) As believers called to a life of faith, it is imperative to develop wisdom and knowledge as well as intimacy with the Lord to live what we believe not based on what we see each day. Some horses are “barn sour” a condition where the animal will take off running for the barn, stable or pen on sight. A horse with such a tendency will no longer obey instructions once it sees the barn or pen which is its home, but will run to its refuge in wild abandon. It must be trained not to do so. People often underestimate the power of what is seen in molding and shaping our perception of life. Successful faith requires keeping our eyes on Jesus who is the champion who initiates and perfects it. This might be a little easier if we could see, feel and touch the Lord in our everyday life. Or maybe not, because when Jesus Christ was here on the earth – people were blind to His Lordship and crucified the Messiah they had been waiting for. Lord, keep my eyes from wandering and fixed on You!
Genesis 3:1-7 (NLT)
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
The enemy knows the powerful persuasion of perception. Perception is the way that we perceive things to be based on knowledge and experience. When the enemy came to Eve, she had limited knowledge. She did not understand the ramifications of making the wrong choice or I doubt she would have ever considered it. Nevertheless, she ate it and gave some to Adam as well. It says in this passage that she was “convinced”. I do not believe that it was the craftiness of the devil that made her eat but that Eve had been looking at the forbidden fruit for some time. Why? “She was the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious and she wanted…” I believe that everyone will agree this is the beginning of most bad choices in a nutshell. She wanted to know and experience the deliciousness of the fruit and see if it contained the knowledge she wanted. It is important that we never underestimate the power of our perception. What we look at will mold, shape and define that which we desire having the power to delay, distract and detour our Destiny! What are you looking at? Look at it long enough and you will want it. Look a little longer, attitudes and actions will begin to change according with what you perceive. There is only one place to keep our eyes that will produce the desired result all the time – that is on Jesus Christ. But how do I look to the Lord all the time, I have to live this life to reach Eternity, right? Absolutely…
Deuteronomy 4:33-35 (NLT)
Has any nation ever heard the voice of God speaking from fire—as you did—and survived? Has any other god dared to take a nation for himself out of another nation by means of trials, miraculous signs, wonders, war, a strong hand, a powerful arm, and terrifying acts? Yet that is what the LORD your God did for you in Egypt, right before your eyes. “He showed you these things so you would know that the LORD is God and there is no other.”
God is doing things right before our eyes that we do not have the wisdom or knowledge to recognize and therefore disregard. We look for what we are after rather than what the Lord has planned for us. The Lord shows us things that will reinforce understanding of who He is and how He operates as the great I AM! There are signs and wonders all around us that go unnoticed as we petition God for things that do not require faith which are the things that we can see. God shows us things in this life so we will know that the Lord is God and there is no other. But we are not after the Lord but rather His Stuff so we look for the Things of God rather than God Himself. ”You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21) Our primary objective in this life is to obtain faith that produces confident hope in the unseen reality of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The total being of the Godhead as One operating in our life will produce such powerful perception that we will live as foreigners in this world on our journey to Eternity. But not if our eyes are glued to the things of this world and we insist on residency in the here and now without ever looking into the future. We must fear the Lord. We must worship Him. We must cling to Him although we cannot see Him. This is our goal in life.
Matthew 13:14-16 (NLT)
This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.”
Jesus came first to save the Jew and then the Gentile. Religion rejected their Messiah when He arrived unable to see past their rituals and rites to the true identity of Jesus Christ. But “blessed are your eyes because they see and ears that hear” to those who can believe what their eyes cannot readily see. “Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15-19) It does not matter what the world thinks of Jesus Christ because one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. It doesn’t matter what every single person I know thinks of the Lord including my pastor and church. Jesus wants to know and is deeply interested in who I think He is. Nothing else matters when it comes right down to it. When Peter expressed his understanding of the Identity of Christ, it changed his destiny from fisherman to fisher of men. Heaven was opened to the disciple of Jesus in that moment. He was empowered by the Lord do His Work simply because He chose to know the Lord beyond what the world had told him and perceive Jesus Spirit to spirit at the deepest level of intimacy. Only the Lord can reveal His True Identity to you and only your spirit can receive such life changing, revelation knowledge.
Matthew 6:22-25 (NLT)
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. It can also shroud you in darkness depending on what you choose to spend your time looking at. If your eye remains fixed on the good things in life, you will be filled with peace and happiness. However, focus on the darkness of this world by watching the news for twenty minutes and that will change in a heartbeat. I have a terrible confession to make. When I was in my twenties, I was addicted to soap operas. You know the daytime TV dramas that fill the airwaves each day. I would set my schedule around this programming. Suddenly, I was buying romance novels and reading them each day as my children napped. I was enjoying a lunch outing with a couple of friends and their small children and lost all track of time, when we all jumped to our feet and began grabbing our kids to race home as not to miss our daytime shows. It was that very moment that I decided to turn off the television and stopped watching soap operas and reading those books. Thank God it is all under the Blood now! Such entertainment gives women AND MEN (you know you watch them, too) unrealistic expectations of love and life. You can call it fiction all you want, but the same goes with society’s love affair with the occult. Vampires are demons. Witchcraft is an abomination to God and look at it long enough you will love it, too! You will have to make a choice because darkness has no place in the Light. There is no condemnation in Jesus Christ but there is such a thing called conviction. If you see no harm in watching certain shows or reading certain books, then by all means enjoy your freedom in the Lord. But for those who have decided to be the Light of this world, it is time to take it up a level and take control of your eyes. When we look to the things of this world and do not at least equally seek the Will and Way of the Lord which are unseen than facts outweigh faith and you will believe what you see. When we began the fight against cancer, the doctors encouraged me not to get on the Internet and research the disease especially prognoses, outcomes and statistics because they are frightening in cases such as our son so instead I have poured over the Word of God seeking His Solution to this problem. Healing is on the way! I know it. I believe it and I will see it even though today is yet undiscovered. I search for the unseen things of God by faith that allows me to have confident hope until it comes. No more wandering eyes, they are detrimental to faith.
Proverbs 4:25-26 (NLT)
Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
It doesn’t matter where you are now, but rather where you are going. His Mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) If you messed up, He will turn that mess into a message. Look straight ahead. Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ. Mark a straight path and commit your way to the Lord. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to His Truth. (Psalm 119:18) Decide to make the Lord your only hope. (Psalm 145:15) Hope is not for what you can see or attain on your own. It is for the miracles, promises and blessings of God reserved for you in Heaven. By faith, we open the Window of Heaven and these things are poured into our life. Faith is based on our perception of God despite ever seeing Him and acceptance of Jesus Christ sight unseen. Hope comes when we build our life on this firm foundation. Ask the Lord to turn your eyes from worthless things that don’t really matter. (Psalm 119:37) Be obedient to His Gentle Guidance. Ask the Lord to heal your spiritual blindness and open your eyes to His Kingdom working supernaturally in your life. (Psalm 146:8) You will begin to see the Hand of God in many situations you had deemed to be hopeless. If you are after the Kingdom God, it is a narrow road that will demand your immediate focus but well worth it. No more wandering eyes but focus today on Jesus Christ who is working to perfect your faith so you will be complete lacking no good thing!
Luke 9:62 (NLT)
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”