1 Samuel 8:19-20
“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”
The children of Israel became the result of a horizontal look instead of a vertical look. When Israel took their eyes of God, they then saw what all the nations around them were doing. Had they kept the vertical look towards God, they would have never thought about wanting a king like all the nations around them. Had they kept their eyes on the LORD, they would not have thought about what they were “missing out on.” The only reason Israel wanted a king like all the nations was because they were looking the wrong way.
You cannot have a horizontal look in life and keep your eyes on the LORD at the same time. One of the greatest reasons many believers end up becoming disenchanted with church is not because of the church, but because they took their eyes off God and placed them on the world. It is when you start looking the wrong way that you will want to be like all the people around you. When you take your eyes off God is when you will want another king like all the people around you instead of making the LORD the King of your life. Four things will happen when you start looking the wrong way.
First, looking the wrong way takes your eyes off God and places them on you. You will find that when you get a horizontal look in life that you will become very selfish in your thinking. As long as you have your eyes on God, you will never worry about yourself, but the moment you take your eyes off God, you will find yourself making life all about you.
Second, looking the wrong way makes you see what you are “missing out on” in life. Israel would have never thought about setting up a king had they kept their eyes on the LORD, and you will never know what the world has to offer as long as you keep your eyes on God. The only reason you think you are missing out on some of the things of the world is because you have taken your eyes off God to see the offers of the world. My friend, the world’s offers always leave you empty and full of regrets. The world’s offers always lead to a rebellious spirit towards God, a selfish outlook on life, and a bitter spirit towards what you have “missed out on” from living the Christian life.
Third, looking the wrong way makes you hate the peculiarity of living the separated life. The only reason anyone would hate the separated life is because they have been looking at the world. When you keep your eyes on Christ, being peculiar doesn’t bother you because you realize Whose presence you abide in by living the separated life.
Fourth, looking the wrong way makes you want to be like the world instead of desiring to be like Christ. What happened to your desire to want to be like Christ? What is it that took that great desire to be like Christ from the inside of your heart? The answer to this question is that you took your eyes off God. It is when you take your eyes off God that being like Christ no longer seems appealing. A world viewpoint makes being like Christ look so boring, but a Christ viewpoint makes the world and its lifestyle look so appalling. If you keep your eyes looking the right way, you will have the right desires in your life.
Which way are you looking? You will easily keep a great desire to be like Christ if you never take your eyes off God.