Right In The Eyes

If you were God’s enemy, where would you focus your best efforts?

And everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Knowing that your days are numbered, where would you concentrate your final energies?

In the beginning of the world’s story, Eve and Adam began to imagine (with the enemy’s help) what it would be like to do what was right in their own eyes, and they were the first to do it. They immediately discovered that what they thought would be best, was in fact the absolute worst.

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Later on, the nation of Israel – the people God made, rescued, formed, and loved – began to imagine (with the enemy’s help) what it would be like to do what was right in her own eyes. And she did it repeatedly! Much of the Old Testament records the devastating effects her “doing” had on the health and well-being of all her people.

And everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Later still, in the dead-center of God’s epic story, Christ entered into the world and became the first man to be wholly good, right, and true all his days. He walked humbly, loved mercy, and was perfectly just and wise. And yet, not once did Jesus of Nazareth do what he thought to be right in only his own eyes: He was always doing the will of his Father.

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Knowing the high stakes, God’s enemy personally spent an extraordinary amount of his best energy convincing Jesus to be his own man. To think for himself! To reveal his true identity! To make his own way! To do great good!

In the wilderness, Satan personally urged the Son of Man to “Do what you think is right in your eyes!”

And how did Christ respond to the temptation? Humbly. Not with his own culturally appropriate Jewish wisdom, but with 1600-year-old God-inspired scriptures from Deuteronomy and the Psalms. He didn’t respond with his own understanding, but with respect and trust in his Father’s unchanging and living words. Jesus responded with a profound obedience in the plan of his Father for the best of the world.

And everyone (but Jesus) did what was right in his own eyes.

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Whether you are a Christian or not, God’s enemy really loves to help us do what we think is right in our own eyes. Whether it’s politics, culture, theology, or dealing with the in-laws, his goal is to help us forget our daily need for God, and imagine what it would be like to lean on our own perfect understanding.

We make it rather easy for him, really.

Most of us don’t delight and depend on God’s words, so the Deceiver helps us trust in our own opinions. We so rarely make space to listen for God’s voice in solitude or prayer, and so he keeps the clamor, petty offenses, and mental distractions coming.

We hate to suffer, hate to forgive, and really hate to be told what to do, and so he stokes the smoldering hot coals of our fears and anger. Oh, but we love to be praised, crave our daily fame, and demand our rights, dammit! – and still he tempts us to imagine what it would be like to go all the way in what seems right to us.

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History has shown that those who repeatedly do what is right in their own eyes show themselves to be an exceptionally vulnerable and foolish people. No longer captivated by their Bridegroom, they delight themselves with themselves.

If you are God’s beloved, where do you focus your best efforts?

I live by every good word that comes from the mouth of my Father.

Do you?

Understanding your days are few, where do you spend your best energies?

I live by every good word that comes from the mouth of my Father.

Are you?

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We are not yet fully at the end of God’s story, but we already know the outcome for all of God’s beloved: The Bridegroom that came into the world to reclaim his bride – not in power, but in weakness –  is alive and coming again!

What our enemy helped think us was the worst way, is in fact the best way!

Jesus has given the whole world back to his Father, and his own Spirit is making her so beautiful in these remaining days.

He is making you beautiful.

Lift your face and your heart to the Bridegroom who loves you.

tumblr_moz2w5JLRr1qjglnvo1_500Peace, to you and yours.

Kim

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