Sunday, April 10, 2005

Fixing Our Eyes

Yes, there's a pun intended.

Quite regularly (okay, practically every day) I go through, at some point, some depressing navel-gazing. I don't realize I am doing it: I start thinking about how I screwed something up, or how someone else screwed something up, or how I am generally, well, screwed up. I feel my heart constrict within me, and I feel saddened and anxious. Tense. What should I do? How can any of it be fixed? I feel broken beyond repair.

Right about that time I realize that I am totally focused on the wrong thing and am listening to the wrong voice. My eyes need to be fixed, because they're locked on the wrong course; and they need to be fixed onto Jesus Christ.

Heb 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The Spirit of God reminds me, as I start to sink into depression (looking at MYSELF), that I am suffering needlessly and in the flesh because I am refusing to look at JESUS!

When I deliberately stop moping and remember Him, when I think of what He did and who He is, the cloud invariably lifts.

Jesus said that it matters a WHOLE LOT what I "see":

Matt 6:22-23
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

AND, like the awesome God He is, He gives me understanding about what I should think about. My thoughts, by the way, are a choice. When I start navel-gazing and the Spirit helps me recognize that's what I am doing, I then have a CHOICE to either sink back into depressing "self-examination", or to lift my eyes to God and think on what He's commanded me.

Phil 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Col 3:1-3
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

I am thankful that God doesn't leave me hanging. He doesn't give a "don't" without a "do." I am thankful that He pulls me out of the mire and shows me, for the zillionth time, the Way.

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