The other day I mentioned to a friend that I try to remember to view whatever yucky stuff that happens here on earth in light of eternity, and ask myself if I will even remember the moment as I lie on my death bed. Trust me, many times I fail at this, but the Holy Spirit reminds me of it over and over again. When Satan has us look at circumstances and the people surrounding them, we take our eyes off of Jesus.
These words from the apostle John remind me: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 Jn 5:18-19)
“Keeps himself” reminds me that I have a choice. Will I look to the world or people within it, or will I keep myself in God’s Word and focus on Him? It’s clear “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”, so I must keep my eyes on the Lord, because to do otherwise I’m effectively keeping my eyes on the shiny objects the devil puts before me appealing to my pride. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)
We are confident that God hears our prayers, and we know we are to pray fervently for ourselves and fellow believers so that we can “keep yourselves in the love God”. It’s truly the only way to be able to love others with the love we have mercifully been given. Keeping our hearts and minds focused on the mercy we have been given, humbles us so that we are able to give grace to others. And it is in standing in that grace and love that we keep ourselves from “the sway of the wicked one”. The verse from Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, speaks to this: Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full, in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Father, thank You for the reminder that keeping myself in You, and You in me is the only way I am able to love as You would have me. Thank You for breaking my chains, and making me free to love as You do when I stay in Your Word. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.