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“Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.” Proverbs 23:21

I had not been in recovery long when I came across this scripture. Initially, I was shocked to see so much of my reality in the bible, but then I remembered that nothing is new under the sun. Sin is not new, neither is addiction. Substance abuse is a topic in and of itself; however, this post is dedicated to our gaze. What do we look at? I’ve noticed that, when enticed, a look becomes a stare, which sends a signal to our brain that sounds something like, “I know it’s wrong, but I gotta have it!”

Disclaimer: Please do not miss my point this is not about drinking wine. I choose not to, as I do not know how to stop, but I am not here to judge anyone who does. I am illuminating how sin is manifested in our lives with an innocent look.

“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.” Genesis 3:6

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Consider what a look cost Eve, all of us for that matter, innocently enough as she curiously looked upon the thing which God instructed her and Adam not to touch. After much scheming and trickery from the enemy, the thing which did not matter to her as she had an abundance of everything she needed became her object of obsession. Do we do that? Do we overlook temptations day after day, until the enemy gets in our ears with convincing arguments about how much better our lives will be with that thing, and how unfair God is being to keep it from us? Most assuredly, which explains the billboards, advertisements, commercials, ad impulse aisles at the supermarkets. We want what we see. If we are distracted and bamboozled by our flesh or our enemy before we know it, we have the unspeakable thing in our possession. Are we to walk around with spiritual blindfolds on pretending that we do not see the unclean things which will lead us away from God? I beg to differ, by acknowledging those things, yet using the power of God to abstain from them we are operating in authority over sin as opposed to being in denial of the temptations lurking about us.

Rarely do we dive all into sin without looking back. First, we play with the idea for minutes, hours, sometimes days before we go get that thing that has been on our minds. Where is the Word of God when we acquiesce? The power of the God’s Word never changes, our use of the weapons provided to us have been laid to the side. Imagine a warrior leaving his armor behind following a trail of breadcrumbs to his demise. Sounds foolish, but we do it every day. Understand me. As Christians, we will never be sinless; however, we can practice sinning less. My goal is to not allow the enemy to get me with the same trap, trick, or trial repeatedly. To become immune to his trickery, we must familiarize ourselves with his tactics. What is that one scenario that tempts you to sin in deed or thought every time? Have you asked God to help you to overcome this setup? For me, the enemy loves to tempt me into feeling abandoned, victimized, or betrayed. When I feel this way, overeating, overindulging and giving up seem like great rewards for all my suffering. Help me, Lord!

How many times do we look around each day? Well, I did not find that information, but what I did find was how many times we look at our phones each day. Astoundingly we check our phones probably more than we look at our children, spouses, budgets, bibles, homework, and etcetera. Okay, you’re probably asking what does chronic phone checking have to do with sin. Well, we become what we think, and we think what we see. We take on the shape, if you will, of the things in which we exert our mental energy. For example, say you check Facebook twenty times a day, which is not uncommon per my research; however, as you are scrolling you may see naked people, profanity, violence, and other behaviors magnified and holiness minimized or not even spoken of. What if Facebook is not your thing and you watch hours upon hours of television, not uncommon either. But what if you choose to watch things that are contrary to your Christian beliefs. You know what I mean. Derogatory, vulgar, hypersexual, or overtly hateful behavior. We become what we see.

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“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23

“For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Matthew 13:15-17

This phenomenon explains how many of us can hear the word of God on Sunday, maybe again midweek but forget who we are in Christ throughout the week, which makes sin easier. Perhaps, we have purified our eye gates and ear gates but we keep looking on our troubles. It has the same effect. We go into a sin spree like none other. I have found the more I see the things of this world whether it be vulgarity, disparaging acts, hardships, difficulties, pleasure, and instant gratification, the less I see God. The less I look at God, the less I hear God, and the less I obey God. Let us refocus our spiritual eyes on the One who is able to rescue us from us, from Satan, and from this dying world. Oh, Hallelujah! I desperately needed to hear this as I frequently check my phone, email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, and text messages looking for something quick to give me a pick me up instead of relying on the steadfast Word of God. I’ve applied Band-Aids to gaping wounds. The food God has for us is like molasses, thick and it goes down slow. We want quick solutions. I do not have all the answers. God is revealing to me the sneaky ways the enemy creeps in and steals our attention with a quick look. What happens when we take our wandering eyes and fix them on the Author and Finisher of our faith? Instead of being lured away from our armor we are given more tools and power to use in the name Jesus, we become privy to heavenly matters, thus focusing less on earthly trivialities, and habitual sin becomes a thing of the past.

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“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.” Hebrews 12:2

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With eyes fixed on Jesus, surely I can wait

Drunk in the spirit, staggered is my gait

He promised to arrive on time, Dad is never late

With eyes fixed on Jesus, surely I can wait

Quick fixes for eternal problems will never do

You told me to “Go,..” and I went without a clue

Lacking details, I persistently pursue

With eyes fixed on Jesus, surely I can wait

Jehovah Jireh, my Provider will not hesitate

At the appointed time, He will compensate

His beloved children, with eyes fixed to date

-Lady Jay

Images Courtesy of Pixabay