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I’m Looking…But Which Way?

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 Lot’s 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

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