I previously wrote that Christians aim to live a life that is centered on God, but you can also avoid one. I want to discuss this by looking at the life of Jonah so that you won’t avoid a God-centered life but cultivate one. You can avoid it for a...
The eyes are the lamp of the body. It becomes what they behold.
Lured by desire and the passions of the flesh, the eyes look upon secret loves too dark for anyone but their Creator to fully see and know. Prone to wander, how they feel it—the pull to gaze upon worthless things…
She rolls out of bed and gets ready for the day, wrestling through outfits, but finally choosing the deep blue shirt. People say it compliments her eyes. Her friend, the mirror, is also her greatest foe, faithfully awaiting her gaze and reflecting what she wants to see—but only after it condemns her, only after she heeds its brutal, silent critiques.
Do people see how hard she’s working to maintain her figure and erase her years? And if they did, would it matter?
Would the mirror be any gentler, any kinder to her?
The bright screen bores itself into his brain. A constant barrage of entertainment, his phone never leaves his sight or lacks for his attention. He fears missing out—yet he doesn’t hear the flesh-and-blood voices around him when they call his name.
A like outweighs a life.
But it’s never enough; the attention feels like an endless black hole. He’s not even sure who he is anymore since he can change his reality at the touch of a button, with the swipe of a screen—
He’s got others fooled. He’s even got himself fooled.
Or does he?
It’s destroying him, the brazen image he can’t get out of his mind. It’s one in a series, and it’s shriveling his soul. He knows this—but he can’t seem to win the fight. The allure is too much, the immediate pleasure too sweet…
The nagging conviction too strong to ignore.
He knows he needs to tell her, to confess everything. But he also knows the outcome, that he fully deserves whatever happens…
Success is her drug. That promotion? The applause and respect? The best high. She’s addicted, though she won’t admit it. She works to live and lives to work, even though her Bible tells her this will never satisfy her.
On any given day, her circumstances rule her. Failures sap her confidence and spoil her mood, while success fills her with pride and delight to keep going—
But how unreliable. She’s controlled by something she can’t control, and she knows it.
She wants out of ambition’s grip.
Looking to Death
He sets his face like a flint to Calvary, refusing to turn back. He will do his Father’s will, even if it means torture and brutality, the hatred and venom of men. Even if it kills him.
Even if it means his Father’s wrath.
He has her in mind, her obsession with vanity weighing upon his shoulders; and him, as he carries his selfish desire for man’s approval. He takes his addiction to lust, and suffers the punishment for her idolatrous ambition.
For all their worthless loves, he loves them unto death.
Looking to Jesus
…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
My brother, My sister, My friend: You will become what you behold. Look to Me. Take in My goodness and perfection, and see what I endured—for you. Behold My sacrifice, My life-blood spilt for you, the nails in My hands, and the anguish in My soul.
Weep and mourn for what your worthless loves cost Me.
But don’t stop there.
Look to the empty grave. See how I disarmed death and triumphed over it. Behold how the chains of your sin hold Me no longer. Because I’m alive, no longer do they hold you.
I died to give you life in My ways, to turn your eyes from worthless things…to Me.
Behold Me, and as you do, your whole body and soul will be full of light.