Keep The Lights On- Pastor Devin Blankenbiller
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23
When it comes to our physical bodies we know that proper exercise and what we eat will make a big impact on our health. We understand what we put into our body will have an effect (positive or negative) on how we feel physically!
But what about our souls? How can we be healthy in our souls? We are very concerned about everyone’s physical health with this virus, but what about the health of our souls? Jesus tells us what “feeds” our soul the most- its our eyes.
Physically, our eyes bring light into our minds so we can see what is in front of us. However, without light we are blind in the dark. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6 of this same truth about our spiritual eyes. If we look to things that are full of life and light, our “whole body”, meaning our soul, will have light. But if we look to dark things like fear, worry, hate, immorality, gossip, and slander, those things will fill our souls with darkness.
I have many fond memories of going to a summer camp through my church as a child growing up. It impacted my life in many ways. One phrase I can remember the teacher saying that has always stuck with me was, “What you behold is what you become.” He was teaching us that if we look to something long enough it will affect us. The more we look to God and His word, the more we worship and adore him. The more we seek him in prayer, the more it will begin to affect our whole body. On the other hand, the more we cast our eyes on the worries and idols of this world, the more they will pull us in the wrong direction.
Now more than ever do we need to increase the light into our souls. Here are a couple practical ways we can do that:
Meditate on God’s Word Every Day.
Choose one verse each day and carry it with you. Maybe it’s the same verse for a week. But read it over and over and allow the truth of that verse to shine into your soul. If you are not sure what verse to use, check out the blog from last week which lists different verses our church is trusting in during this time.
Determine ahead of time what you will look at.
In the same way its good financial stewardship to determine ahead of time what you will spend your money on, it is also wisdom to determine what you will look at. Budget your “eye time”. How much time will you spend looking at His Word? How much time will you spend looking at other positive and biblical resources to encourage you? Who are you following on Facebook or on YouTube? What are you watching on TV? Take time and consider how much light is coming into your soul.
Determine what you will NOT look at.
Job 31 (1,3) says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes…Is not calamity for the unrighteous” The lines fade away quickly in the media, and if we are not careful we will allow our eyes to behold themes that rejoice in wickedness. What movie ratings are you going to allow for yourself? What tv shows will you watch? What websites are you reading from? How much of the news are you watching? All these questions have a huge impact on our souls. Remember Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. And as we guard our eyes, we also guard our heart.
Enjoy God’s nature.
God has surrounded us with his beautiful creation. We don’t worship the creation, but rather the creator. So, as we notice and delight in nature, we delight in our creator. It can help us to understand His power, His perfection, and His glory that is all around us, which then will push our eyes back on God and leave us in awe of Him.
Surround yourself with others who are doing the same.
This might be in your family unit or with friends, but we need accountability and consistency in our lives. Having family conversations about why we will or will not watch certain things is foundational. We need to be talking about what we find when we are spending time in The Word or in prayer and why those things are important. Open up conversations that don’t force, but emphasize the heart issues behind our decisions. If you live alone, or if you don’t have that spiritual encouragement in your home, reach out to someone in the church and ask if you can talk weekly about how you are doing in this area and how you can encourage each other to let more light into your soul.
As many of us find ourselves with extra time in our homes, it’s important now more than ever to think about what we are allowing into our souls! We want God’s word to continue to speak hope and faith into all areas of our life. Let’s make sure we keep the lights on, and that its shining bright in this difficult time!