Commit Your Eyes
[The adulteress’] house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:27
In the Old Testament, a covenant was entered into as a guarantee of future benefits and protection. Consider the covenant Job made: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1) That was a man speaking, but the same gender-neutral idea is in Psalm 119:37: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” The time to make a covenant with your eyes is in a time of reflection and sober commitment.
The father in Proverbs warned his son to consider the danger and damage associated with yielding to sexual temptation (Proverbs 7:1-27). As parents tell their children about all of life, an important lesson they might share is that it’s easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble. And the way to avoid the trouble that comes with sexual immorality is to make a covenant with God not to go there. And a covenant with your eyes, in our visual world, is a good place to begin.
Commit your eyes to God in prayer, that they may look upon and desire only that which is good and godly.
No sinful act desecrates the body like fornication and sexual abuse. R. C. H. Lenski
Grappling: Avoid Grappling with the Adulterous Woman (Proverbs 7)
Scripture teaches that one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work is to convict us of sin (John 16:8). His purpose is to turn us from our iniquity and direct us to God.
One example is Peter, who felt great remorse after denying he knew Jesus (Matt. 26:75). Another is Paul, who fell to the ground when Christ came to confront him about his behavior (Acts 9:4). Both men responded to these convicting experiences by repenting and following the Lord.
At one time we all were spiritually dead. Sin’s presence was corrupting our human nature from the inside out, blinding us to spiritual truth. With our will directed towards self and against God, “we were by nature deserving of wrath” (Eph. 2:3 NIV). In other words, we were under condemnation and facing eternal death—God’s required payment for our transgressions. (See Rom. 6:23.) So in our natural state, we were unconnected to the Lord and headed toward eternal separation from Him.
Although we were helpless to change our situation, God had a plan that would satisfy His justice and include us in His family. He sent His Son to be our substitute—to bear our sin and guilt and to die in our place. Not only did Jesus pay our sin debt in full, but His righteousness also becomes ours the moment we place trust in Him.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of our guilt before God, and, thankfully, we don’t have to be separated from Him now or throughout eternity. Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior? If so, then recognize that your position before the Lord has been changed from guilty to righteous.
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
When God grants the gift of faith to enable us at the point of salvation (Ephesians 2:8), it isn’t a static power that merely resides in our minds but is rather an empowerment that is expected to grow into a dynamic and demonstrable “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
Faith preserves and protects us.
Jesus insists, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). These words are precise. Once faith is exercised, an eternal transaction takes place wherein a person is passed from spiritual death to eternal life. This is an absolute change and eliminates the possibility of hell (John 10:28-29).
Faith is power for effective prayer.
The “mustard seed” promise in Matthew 17:20 does not refer to size or amount but to quality. The Greek comparative hoce translated “as” in that passage refers to the same kind of faith as the mustard seed. Just so, the promise of Matthew 7:7 (if you ask and seek, you will find) depends on our confidence (faith) in the heavenly Father.
Faith is the shield against the Enemy.
God’s armor in Ephesians 6:10-18 lists “the shield of faith” that provides an ability “to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” That shield is defensive in the sense that it only provides protection when we use it to block the darts. The active use comes when we “resist the devil” (James 4:7) as we remain “stedfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). HMM III
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.
Among Christians of all ages and of varying shades of doctrinal emphasis there has been fairly full agreement on one thing: They all believed that it was important that the Christian with serious spiritual aspirations should learn to meditate long and often on God.
Let a Christian insist upon rising above the poor average of current religious experience and he will soon come up against the need to know God Himself as the ultimate goal of all Christian doctrine. Let him seek to explore the sacred wonders of the Triune Godhead and he will discover that sustained and intelligently directed meditation on the Person of God is imperative. To know God well he must think on Him unceasingly. Nothing that man has discovered about himself or God has revealed any shortcut to pure spirituality. It is still free, but tremendously costly. TIC135
Slow me down, Lord, and quiet my heart. Favor me with an acute awareness of Your presence as I meditate quietly. I want to know You, God, so I can indeed move well beyond that “poor average of current religious experience.” Amen.
In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:6, 7 (R. V.).
Just think of having His wonderful peace guarding one’s heart and one’s thoughts all day long. But it is only on condition that we fulfill the sixth verse, “In nothing be anxious,”—this is a distinct Command, and, if we fail to fulfill it, we shall not get the blessing. Sorrow even is anxiety, and should be laid upon our blessed Lord. Then in prayer and supplication we must not forget that thanksgiving is also distinctly commanded; we must praise God for His dealings with us, even though we cannot make them out at times. Pray God to make you cease from anxiety about yourself and your plans; just be willing to do the work our dear Father gives you at the time.
John Kenneth Mackenzie.
Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God.
Thomas Á Kempis.
“The liberal soul shall be made fat.” Prov. 11:25
If I desire to flourish in soul, I must not hoard up my stores, but must distribute to the poor. To be close and stingerly is the world’s way to prosperity, but it is not God’s way, for He saith, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.” Faith’s way of gaining is giving. I must try this again and again; and I may expect that as much of prosperity as will be good for me will come to me as a gracious reward for a liberal course of action.
Of course, I may not be sure of growing rich. I shall be fat, but not too fat. Too great riches might make me as unwieldy as corpulent persons usually are, and cause me the dyspepsia of worldliness, and perhaps bring on a fatty degeneration of the heart. No, if I am fat enough to be healthy, I may well be satisfied; and if the Lord grants me a competence, I may be thoroughly content.
But there is a mental and spiritual fatness which I would greatly covet, and these come as the result of generous thoughts toward my God, His church, and my fellow-men. Let me not stint, lest I starve my heart. Let me be bountiful, and liberal; for so shall I be like my Lord. He gave Himself for me: shall I grudge Him anything?