THE EYES HAVE IT
INTRODUCTION: The eyes, they’re a wonderful instrument aren’t they? They’re a complex mechanism of combined parts that all work together to allow us to be able to see the world around us. This can be both a blessing and a curse. There is much beauty to see in this world but along with that there is ugliness. We like some of what we see but there are some things we wished we didn’t see. We enjoy seeing beautiful art, entertaining shows and breathtaking scenery with majestic mountains. But what we don’t like seeing are disasters, destruction and abuse. And there is spiritual eyesight as well as physical eyesight. There are things that we should see and there are things we shouldn’t see. And we need to realize that what we allow our eyes to see affects us spiritually. Let’s take a look into this and get a better understanding of the importance of what our eyes behold.
1) Sins of the eyes. We can have physical problems with our eyes. You can have lazy eye, crossed-eyes, poor vision, astigmatism etc. We also can have spiritual problems with our eyes. What are some of the sins of the eyes?
A) Coveting. The 10th commandment, found in Ex. 20:17, says, ‘do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor’. To covet means, ‘to desire enviously’ or, ‘to crave’. Right from the beginning we see this problem of the eyes. In Gen 3, Eve was being tempted by the serpent to covet, to enviously desire what wasn’t rightfully hers to take. Gen. 3:6. Because Adam and Eve gave in to their covetous desires, there were massive consequences. Mankind’s first sin came by way of a covetous desire. James 4:1-3. If God hasn’t given us something, there’s a reason for it. It’s wrong to enviously desire something. Coveting is a sin of the eyes.
B) Lust. 1st John 2:15&16. Lust is described as having an, ‘intense, excessive and unrestrained desire’. Prov. 27:20 says that the eyes of man are never satisfied. We go searching for eye candy and we have a continual lust for more that is never satisfied. We allow our eyes to see things it shouldn’t to pacify our sinful cravings. Lust is a sin of the eyes.
C) Erroneous Judging. Matt. 7:1-5. We go by what we initially see instead of looking at the big picture. We convince ourselves that what we’re seeing is accurate. We misuse our eyes and see only the faults of others without first looking inward to what we need to see in ourselves. We make incorrect judgments with our eyes. We see someone who looks good on the outside and conclude that he has it all together. And we see someone who is destitute and assume he is a decrepit loser. When we judge using this criteria we are sinning with the eyes.
D) Spiritual Blindness. 2nd Peter 1:3-9. When we don’t possess these qualities, we’re blind to their importance. We’re blind to how effective we will be with them. And we’re blind to the fact that we have been cleansed and therefore, need to be looking at our lives through new eyes. God told Ezekiel in Eze. 12:2, “…you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see…” Through our rebellious ways, we develop spiritual blindness. We fail to recognize the things of the Spirit. Spiritual blindness is a sin of the eyes.
2) What do we need to do? How do we correct our spiritual eyesight problems?
A) We need to understand that God sees. Heb 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Children’s song lyrics- ‘Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, For the Father up above, is looking down in love, So be careful little eyes, What you see.’ God sees when others don’t. Knowing that God sees everything done in secret should prompt us, in reverence, to maintain our integrity when no one’s watching. It’s also an encouraging and comforting thing that God sees. This means he is always watching out for his children.
B) Instead of coveting with our eyes, we need to make a covenant with our eyes. Job said in 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job took seriously the need to refrain from lust. He made a covenant with his eyes. He made a binding agreement. David said in Psalm 101:3, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” And the Psalmist asked the Lord in 119:37 to ‘turn his eyes away from worthless things’. We, as well as Job, David and the other Psalmist, need be serious about what we allow our eyes to behold. We need to make a covenant with our eyes.
C) We need to ask God to open our eyes. Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” The Psalmist believed that if God opened his eyes he would see wonderful things. You know the saying, ‘seeing is believing’. With Christians it’s, ‘believing is seeing’. When we believe God and ask him to open our eyes, we will to be able to see the spiritual things that we were once blind to.
D) We need to have our eyes fixed. Heb. 12:2a says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, we are focused on the right thing. When our eyes are not fixed on him they’re ever wandering. If we don’t have our eyes fixed, we are going to walk around frustrated and confused. We instead need to become ‘cross-eyed’. We need to focus on Jesus and the message of the cross. We need to have our eyes fixed.
3) What will be the result? What can I expect to see as a result of having my visit with the spiritual optometrist?
A) We will have our eyes opened. Jesus told his disciples in Matt. 13:11, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you.” And because of this, he told them in verse 16, “But blessed are your eyes because they see.” If we focus on Jesus we will have the things of the Spirit opened up to us so that we can see the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. There were two boys who grew up together. They were close friends as children, but as they entered their teen years their paths began to diverge and they ended up in very different places. Ernie was always in trouble. He began by shoplifting small things from stores and worked his way up to stealing cars. Next it was armed robbery. Finally, on one of his stealing sprees he killed a man. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Mike took a different track. He turned away from the rebellious tendencies of his friend and continued through school. He worked his way through college, graduated and became a successful businessman. However, Mike had much difficulty with his physical health. His eyes in particular were weak. As he grew older, his eyesight deteriorated until he was legally blind. One day Mike heard the news about his old friend Ernie. He felt a terrific sense of compassion and sorrow for what had happened to his childhood friend and he reached out to him. After writing letters to renew their old relationship, he went to visit Ernie in prison. They had a very touching and emotional reunion there, speaking by phone across the security window at the penitentiary. In spite of years of hard-hearted living, something in Ernie warmed as he talked with the man with whom he had played as a boy so many years before. An idea began to grow in his mind as well. Ernie was about to die; his friend Mike was sightless. Was it possible that Ernie could do something worthwhile in his death? Could he give his eyes so that his old friend could see? It turned out to be medically possible and that’s exactly what happened. Ernie was executed for his crime, but through surgery his good eyes were used to restore Mike’s vision. God does a similar thing for us. We who were blind have been given God’s eyes so that we can see. We need to be thankful that God has opened our eyes and given us the ability to see.
B) We will see things more clearly. Ill. Going to the eye doctor and having that dilation test. It’s uncomfortable to not have things in focus. And it’s limiting also. It’s harder to see and you’re not supposed to drive after the dilation test. I wear contacts and when I don’t have them in, things are out of focus. But I function much more effectively when I have them in. My vision is clear. In order to function without frustration we need to be able to see clearly. When we make a covenant with our eyes and keep them fixed on Jesus they will be opened and we will see more clearly.
C) We will appreciate what our eyes see. Psalm 118:22-24. We will be able to understand what a marvelous thing salvation is where we were once blind to it. And because of Jesus, we see each day as a blessing and rejoice in the Lord because of it. Once our eyes are opened we appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and we are more equipped to see His hand at work in other people’s lives and our own.
D) We will be full of light. Matt. 6:22&23. There’s a saying that goes, “the eyes are the window to the soul”. Consider surrounding verses. (19-21): Storing up treasures on earth have to do with what my eyes see. Storing us treasures in heaven have to do with what I can’t see. (24): Serving the wrong master involves prioritizing my life to get what my eyes want. It involves grabbing what looks good to me. But, if my eyes are focused on the right things, I will be full of the light of Christ. A man was driving through a mining region one Sunday when he noticed a large number of mules in an open field. When he inquired about this unusual sight, he was told that the work animals had been brought up from the dark passages below to preserve their eyesight. Unless they were regularly exposed to the sunlight, they would eventually go blind. The Christian needs similar experiences to keep him from losing his spiritual vision. We need to be regularly exposed to the “Son”light.
CONCLUSION: What we see with our eyes has great importance to our spiritual well being. If we take in good things with our eyes we will be healthy. If we allow our eyes to view corruptive things then we will be invaded with darkness. They put blinders on a horse in order to keep it centered and focused. We need spiritual blinders so that we will remain centered and focused on pure and righteous things. Let’s commit to making a covenant with our eyes and then fix them on Jesus. Then we won’t have unfocused, wandering eyes. Instead, we will have a clear vision and a sharper image of the kingdom.