Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Not by Sight

Several weeks ago, I went to have my eyes examined. It is one of those yearly things we all have to do. While visiting with the doctor, I went through the standard list of tests that examined the pressure in my eyes and to check the reaction time of my pupils. All were fine up until I had to remove my contact lenses. At that point, the technician asked me to read a chart across the room. My response was comical, but it was truthful.

I said, “What chart?”

She laughed and we went on with the tests. After failing a slew of other tests, I felt that I couldn’t trust my eyes to save my life. Without my contact lenses, anything more than an arm’s length away was blurry and completely out of focus. I could make out only a few things and even then I would be guessing.

Our spiritual life is a lot different. We should not rely on our eyes, but rather our faith. In one of my previous messages, I talked about improving your spiritual eyesight. The message was entitled, “How is Your Spiritual Eyesight” and it is still available to read if you missed it.

We cannot trust our eyes when it comes to our faith. Our eyes can easily wander to things we should not focus on. I am sure you have seen those optical illusions. Our eyes can be easily fooled into seeing what we want to see or what we think we want to see. But, when the real image comes into focus, it is something we really didn’t want to see at all.

It is easy to be seduced and tricked into falling headlong into a trap or snare when we rely strictly on our own senses. Our earthly sight can be fooled and we can easily find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be. As I couldn’t even see the chart on the wall at the doctor’s office, it is easy for us to rely on what we think we see and then make a decision based on what our senses are telling us.

The author of Proverbs writes in chapter three, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

We can easily be led astray by our own understanding which relies on our senses. When we start to see things of this world, we can be drawn back into our sinful ways and find ourselves living a corrupt and sinful life all over again. Instead of living a righteous life that we are called to live, we find ourselves pursuing those things that we perceive as desires of our hearts. Do not be fooled into believing what you see. The things of this world can only lead to destruction and our spiritual demise.

David writes, in Psalm 103, “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

If we use our earthly eyes to guide our way, we can fall prey to the things of this world. We can become prideful and filled with conceit. We can slander our neighbors and embrace what is vile and detestable. In time, we find ourselves slaves to sin yet again. We need to be watchful not with our earthly eyes, but with our spiritual eyes.

In chapter 5 of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul discusses our new heavenly bodies that await us. In time, our earthly life will come to an end and this body, like a tent, will be taken down to give way to our new heavenly bodies. This is what we desire more than things of this world. We long to be home with our Father and His son, Christ Jesus. But, in order to do so, we must rely on our faith in those things that are unseen and guide us to that wonderful place where there is no more pain or suffering.

Earlier in his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, in chapter 4, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Everything we see with our earthly eyes will soon fade away. The things of this world will be eaten by insects, rust or just fall apart. But, those things that are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” will never fade away or turn into dust. Those things remain for all eternity and are the things that we need to fix our spiritual eyesight on. It is our faith that will keep us on course to the promised land.

Let us once again return to chapter 5 of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes, “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. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

If we follow our faith and do not allow our earthly eyes to deceive us, we can confidently fulfill our goal of pleasing our Heavenly Father. It is that goal that needs to remain the desire of our hearts. We should not look to those things that are vile and vulgar. When we stand before the Lord on Judgement Day, we will “receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

So, live by believing and not by seeing. Our eyes can be easily deceived and we can be led away from Him and back into the sins of this world. If we follow our faith and live by believing, we will, one day, find ourselves at home with our Heavenly Father and Jesus and all the saints and those who have lived their lives by faith rather than earthly sight. It is at that moment that we can truly and confidently say that we can stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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