22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
It has been said that our eyes are the gateway to our soul and I believe this is Jesus’ way of explaining that. Physically, our eyes see by allowing refracted light to enter and then our brain processes that information. But our eyes take in much more than just light. It takes in images and scenes and creates a story in our minds to refer back to later. Imagine if someone saw a silent movie of just what your eyes see all the time. What would they be able to tell about your character just by seeing what you see every day? Would they see you reading your bible, bowing your head to pray, and your family smiling at you? Would they see pornography, lots of food, and disappointed people?
With our eyes, we might occasionally see things we prefer we hadn’t, but usually we focus on the things we want to see. If our eyes then, focus on worldly things instead of heavenly things, we are essentially planting seeds in our minds, hearts, and souls of the world and not of God. We are filling ourselves with worldly visions and thoughts and obscuring the heavenly connection that God wants to have with us. If we focus on Him, the Light, then we will be filled with and edified by the Light so we will walk in the Light. But if we focus on the dark things of this world, then it will be our influence and we will continue to be slaves of darkness. In John 15, Jesus goes into great detail to explain our relationship with Him and the Father and there is a passage that explains the importance of focusing on the Light:
9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
By staying focused on Jesus, we can keep His commandments and abide in His love. We become filled with His love and thus full of joy. Another way to look at it is the common phrase, “you are what you eat.” Our eyes, being the spiritual intake to our soul, are our spiritual mouths. We become what we take in. If you don’t believe it, hang around someone that talks differently for a while and see if you don’t start picking up some of their vocabulary and even their accent! So then, if we always focus on Jesus, we can imagine how much we will adapt His ways of speaking, acting, and thinking. We make being a Christian such a difficult experience because we continue trying to focus on the world while trying to obey His commandments and the two just do not mix. Have you ever tried focusing on two things at once?
So, if we continue focusing on worldliness and our own lives, we will never enter the Kingdom of God because we are filled with darkness. If we focus on Jesus and what He has to offer us, we will be filled with His Light. Let us not only restrict this analogy to the physical realm but also the spiritual. Many have heard it said that we have spiritual eyes or a spiritual eye (it depends upon whom you talk to). Not only does what we see physically affect our souls, but also what we see spiritually. The majority of the New Testament tells of the spiritual things people have seen. Do they accredit the miracles they see to God’s power working in their lives or coincidence? Do they explain it as, “well, I don’t know how that happened but it certainly wasn’t God,” or do they recognize the power of the creator at work restoring His creation? Keep in mind what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
The revelation of the gospel, the message that Christ came to set the example for us and become the entrance into the Kingdom of God, is better seen with our spiritual eyes than with our physical. Sure, we can see miracles, but the realization that God exists and that there is power in His name is purely spiritual. So then, if it is with our spiritual eyes we recognize these good things about God, there is also a negative side. Many folks are belabored with evil spirits, demonic influence, witchcraft, and spirit manipulation. All around the world there are people who have created a religion around appeasing the spirits around them so they can live in peace. They also try to manipulate the spirits to “bless” them with fertility, good children, bountiful work, and good health. Yet we know that these spirits are anti-God because they draw worship away from Him. They don’t care about our well being, just being a distraction.
So be very aware of how you feed your soul, physically and spiritually, so that your eye does not become badly focused on the things of this world and remains fixed on Jesus and His Kingdom.