Where Are You Looking?
by Ann Musico
Rear view mirror
Genesis 19:26 (New International Version)
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
You may not realize how critical what you look at is. Where you focus your attention, determines where you end up. There are three places in particular I want to focus on from the Word of God.
Lot’s wife couldn’t keep herself from looking back and, well, we know what happened to her! This tells me we should not constantly dwell on the past. While it is good to occasionally think back to happy times or past victories, constantly living in the past is a dangerous mistake. We all know people who are living on past glories or perpetually punishing themselves for past mistakes. Neither one is any fun to be around. You can’t move forward when you are looking behind you.
Take a moment right now before we go any further and ask yourself if your eyes are fastened on your rear-view mirror - are you are dwelling on the past – whether good or bad?
In 2 Samuel 11:2-15 we read about David, who should have been in battle with his men, but instead remained behind. In his boredom, he was up walking around on the roof and spotted Bathsheba – another man’s wife – bathing. He was then enticed to commit adultery. This tells me to be careful to avoid boredom. It almost always leads to trouble.
In Genesis 3:6 Eve was encouraged by the serpent to look at the forbidden tree. The more she looked at it, the better the fruit
looked until she could resist no more and ate from it. Whatever you focus your attention on, increases. If you are on a diet, don’t sit and watch the Food Channel all day – you will inevitably go on a binge! We’ve all read about men who constantly fed their minds on pornography and ended up committing violent crimes. The message here is to avoid looking at anything that fuels a temptation.
Those are negative ways to use the gift of sight. Here is how God intends us to use it. We are to be like Abraham, in Genesis 15:5, and focus on our goals and dreams. Keep your eyes on the prize and before long it will be your present possession. Luke 21:28 encourages us to look up when all these negative things begin to happen, because our redemption is near. This tells me to keep my eyes on Jesus so my faith remains strong.
If you want to make steady progress, be successful, healthy and blessed - be careful what you permit to enter through your “eye gates.”
What thoughts do you find yourself focused on throughout the day? Take a day or two and pay close attention to what you constantly think about and make a list of them. Be sure to make a note of what emotions they stir up – anxiety, fear, sadness, regret, bitterness, shame? Then commit your thought life to the Lord and make a quality decision to be aware of your thoughts and to cast down any that do not line up with His Word.