The Eyes Have It
Posted on April 28, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” Matthew 6:22-23 (NLT)
“Be Thou my vision, O’ Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that Thou art; Thou my best thought, by day or by night; waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” — Dallán Forgaill (translated by Eleanor Hull, 1912)
Whenever I hear this Old Irish poem being sung, the reality of who God is strikes a chord within me deeply. Scholars have argued when this was written (like they do with everything else) but there is no denying that this is a prayer for the “High King of Heaven” to protect. We’ll see that reinforced with lines like, “Be Thou my battle-Shield, Sword for the fight” and “High King of Heaven, my victory won.”
But the lines that hit my heart are, “Thou my Great Father, I Thou true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.” It’s in those few lines where conviction hits me and I realize that sometimes my eyes aren’t exactly focused upon the High King of Heavenlike they should be…C’est la vie.
So, what gives? Why are my eyes, well maybe I should say my spiritual eyes, so outta focus at times? Well, since I’m wondering about my spiritual eyes here, I probably should get to turnin’ to the Word of God and see what He says about when things are gettin’ outta focus.
I think the best place to look is what Jesus says in His Sermon on the Mount. If there’s one thing that can be said about it, it’s that Jesus wants us to see things for their true worth and value. I’m a guy who has to wear prescription glasses to see things that are right in front of my face correctly (that just might say something about my personality…anyway) so to not wear them, at times, means I can’t get the full scope of what I’m either reading or trying to repair. It’s the same thing that happens when we don’t see with the eyes of the kingdom. Things may appear to be bigger or smaller than they should be or, how about this, they may be distorted and misleading.
As the 6th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel starts, Jesus will say to us not to see ourselves bigger than we ought to. “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matt 6:1) He’ll also say to watch how you pray and fast in public. Do these things so you aren’t seen by others like the wacky Pharisees did at the time. Those guys wanted applause because they weren’t like us filthy sinners and wanted sympathy because of their disheveled appearance while they did the deep chore of “fasting”. Those guys saw themselves in a higher social place…just because they said so.
By the time we get to Matthew 6:19, Jesus will talk about kingdom worth versus earthly worth and this is where the seriousness of spiritual sight takes shape. Jesus says don’t store up stuff here on earth because it rots and can be stolen but store up treasure in heaven where it’s safe and secure because what you treasure is where your heart is. Then Jesus will clue us in on the eye of the heart, because “No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied” (Eccel 1:8b) and if our eye is bad then everything within us goes dark…pas si bon (not very good)
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.” (Matt 6:22) I’ve heard a many a man say, “we gotta watch what we’re gonna watch”, the old “garbage in, garbage out” line comes to mind. There’s some wisdom in there because if your gaze is towards stuff that is gonna deteriorate anyway why ya gawking at it? Is there a covetousness happening there? A jealousy? A failure? A struggle to maintain the hope that is in you?
Jesus was always encouraging us to look towards Him so that the lamp of our body reflects His light and His presence within us. We don’t need our vision cluttered by our preconceptions, misperceptions and our own sin. Au contraire, fix your gaze so you know that God is for you in Christ, then you’ll see that heavenly treasure is more precious than anything on earth. It’ll make it easier to finish the song… “Heart of my own heart, whatever befall. Still be my vision, O’ Ruler of all.” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com
Think About This: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. –Proverbs 16:6-7
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.