Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keep Your Eyes Focused

Psalm 19:13

Today is a day of questions.  They are some things that have plagued me for a while, or those that have cropped up unexpectedly lately, demanding explanations, answers, and corrections.

The problem is that I want to apply unacceptable answers of my own for some of the questions that trouble me the most.  I can state the over-used excuse that I am under attack by the enemy who tirelessly assaults me, trying to disrupt the fellowship I have with others.  But then, I must admit I am not truly addressing the very basis that caused the question to arise in the first place.  I am only pointing the blame away from myself, perhaps at someone else, and unwilling to admit that it was probably a moment of weakness on my part that caused the response I received.

I have been thinking about this all morning.  Sometimes it takes a great deal of soul-searching to arrive at the proper conclusions to the questions that come to the forefront.  And the hardest thing for us to do is admit that there may be something about us that needs correction.

If, for even a split second, I take my eyes off of Jesus Christ, I become vulnerable and often display characteristics of the “old man” I once was.  I thought he was gone.  Or, at the very least, I thought I had him under control and could rein him in if he threatened to slip out.  It does not necessarily mean that the thing which I may have said or did was wrong, but it was the way I delivered or performed it that revealed part of the old nature of sin within me.  And it can be very subtle.  The enemy may have used that moment for his advantage, but it still does not excuse me for allowing him to do it.  I am the one who faltered and allowed him access to the situation, and it is my fault that it may have momentarily gotten out of control.

The comforting part of resolving the problem of the “old man” is in the length of time it takes me to regain the “new man” within me (2Corinthians 5:16-18).  Conviction is coming more rapidly, now days.  I am more easily able to recognize that, within everything I do and say, the enemy is lurking to take advantage, and I am more equipped to prepare myself ahead of time to deal with it.  I am being changed, transformed into the image of Christ, being made more like Him so that, when these instances do occur, the recovery time is much less (2Corinthians 3:17-18).  Even better is the fact that the conviction of my offense stays with me so that I am less apt to repeat it in the future (Romans 12:1-3).  I am able to give and receive forgiveness more eagerly (Colossians 3:13), and readily acknowledge that others also bear the burden of staving off the “old man” and allowing their new nature full control over their lives.

So, the answer to today’s question is this:  If I remember to keep my eyes focused fully upon my Lord, the fear of stepping into the enemy’s traps and allowing him entry and control over the situation, no matter how brief, will lessen.  It will also eliminate the desire to battle on my own the questions I have, for the right answers to all my questions are found in Jesus Christ.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
  Look full in His wonderful face,   
  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.”

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