Day 23: Mastering Our Eyes


THE EYE

Of all the muscles in our bodies, those that control our eyes are the most active. Scientifically, all other muscles in our bodies have a warm up period, except those controlling our eyes. They are always on the move, always watchful, always absorbing the world around them. They are capable of great wonder or great destruction. Even during sleep, our eyes are active to some degree. One article, discussing the most active muscle in our body puts it this way:

What's more, your eyes are always moving-even when they're not open (remember, REM sleep stands for rapid eye movement). That makes your eyes one of your body's most powerful tools. [1]

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So what did Job mean when he said that he made a covenant with his eyes? Job made a commitment to himself, his eyes were to glorify God. We ought to make this same commitment if we hope to find freedom. How many times have we stumbled because our eyes saw something they longed after? Even if we had prayed all day, fasted, read the bible and worshiped God… the second we fix our eyes on something in a lustful way, the cycle begins and is extremely tough to break away from.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. -Romans 13:14 (KJV)

THE FLESH

If we give our flesh and inch, it will take a mile every time. We foolishly think that in a moment of weakness, that prolonged look will be enough. Has it ever been enough? It is never enough to just have a look or just play around with sin. Where has looking after something in a lustful way led in the past? If we are honest with ourselves, we know that entertaining lust only leads in one direction.

Where has looking after something in a lustful way lead in the past?

I can tell you, if I wanted a fool-proof way to start walking down a path of intense temptation, all I had to do was lust with my eyes. For in that moment I set myself on a course of destruction that few can easily break free from. After all my years of struggle I finally understand what Job meant here. He guarded his mind by locking shut the door to his eyes. For me this meant refusing to look at women who were tempting to me, refusing to search for certain things that caused me to stumble, and refusing to go on social media.

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matthew 5:28 (ESV)

THE FIRST STEP TO STUMBLING

Jesus understood that when we lust, we are already doomed. Temptation is not a sin, lusting is. Lusting is more than a quick glance or an accidental look. Lust is desire gone mad - it moves from an appreciation of beauty to a desire to consume it even if we know we shouldn't. In relational terms, lust is cheating on God. Desiring the object and making it an idol rather than having the stance of worship for the beauty He creates. It means wanting something enough that you’ll do anything to have it.

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Lust typically starts with the eyes. It’s only later that it plants itself in our hearts and minds. From there, it grows and overtakes us unless we’re smart about tearing it down. We see, we want, and we take. It is a temptation that many have been overcome by. It is also something that you can be free from. How? Through the power and leading of Jesus Christ. Make a covenant with your eyes (for His glory) and turn away from the darkness.

CONTROLLING OUR EYES

  • Have "Bouncy Eyes"

As a kid, my youth pastor used to tell me to have what he called bouncy eyes. That meant, as soon as I saw something that I knew tempted me, I immediately bounced my eyes away and refuse to look back. Easier said than done, I know, but once you make a habit of this it will be like second nature.

  • Don’t Go Near

For the time being don’t go to the places where you know that you’re vulnerable to temptation. One place that was always a struggle for me was the gym. In our culture, women will dress in just about anything to draw attention to themselves. Even if their intent is innocent, I know myself and where my mind is capable of going. I had to be careful about the places I chose to put myself in.

  • Pray, Pray, Pray!

The most important thing we can do in a moment of temptation is pray. Not only does this take our focus off of the thing tempting us, but it allows us to be filled with the Holy Spirit's wisdom.

Day 23 Application

How have your eyes gotten you into trouble in the past?

What does making a covenant with your eyes look like in your own life?

How can you remind yourself of God's presence throughout the day? Does that change your understanding of how you spend time with God? Have you been in contact with your accountability partner such that you were asked tough questions about purity?

Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?