by: Jonathan Painter
The eyes are the gateway to the heart of a man. What a man sees will eventually affect the way his heart turns. Job 15:12 says “Why doth thine heart carry thee away? And what do thy eyes wink at,” It is vitally important that we protect our eyes if we want to guard our heart. This is an exceptionally hard thing to do today. We live in an age and period of time when the world makes many passes at our eyes, on billboards, magazine racks and the internet. It seems as though every time we turn around the guard on our eyes is challenged. Sometimes it seems like such a hopeless fight, yet it is a fight worth fighting.
Job was a wise man, and he realized the correlation between the eyes and the heart, as well as the mind. Job 31:1 says, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job knew that whatever he saw would begin to turn in his mind, and would eventually affect his heart. Young person, it is your responsibility to set your defense in array and prepare for battle, because the enemy is coming at you hard and fast. How will we raise our defense? How will we guard our eyes, mind and heart?
First of all, PRAY. Prayer is one of the most valuable weapons at our disposal as a Christian soldier, yet we so rarely use it. Pray daily and ask God to help you guard your eyes, heart and mind. I don’t mean a simple ten-second prayer, but pray from the heart. Put thought into your prayer. When you start out your day with the Lord, your day has a good start. Make your preparations, set forth a personal strategy of defense for yourself, but never forget, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31
Secondly, MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE. When I was about fifteen, I realized the importance of keeping the guard of my eyes. I had good parents who taught me to look away when I came across such things that I should not see. However, I found myself slower and more reluctant to look away, and eventually even looking for things that I should not see. My conscious smote my heart, and I turned to God’s Word. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:9) I began to look up and study verses that had to do with the eyes. I memorized Job 31:1 as well as Psalm 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.“ I used these verses to strengthen my defenses, and every time I was tempted to look at something I should not have, I would use God’s Word which I had tucked away in my memory to help me resist temptation. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) I know that all this may seem simple, and you have heard it many times before, but it is true and it works!
Next, AVOID. “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” (Proverbs 4:15) If you are serious about defending your eyes to save your heart and mind, then you will avoid sights and situations that would put such defense in jeopardy. I had a young man tell me one time, “I go to the local swimming pool during the summer; I just don’t look at everyone else.” That is crazy, yet this is a young man who said he was called to preach. He made this statement many years ago, and not only did he never preach; he isn’t even in church anymore. “Mine eye affecteth mine heart…”(Lamentations 3:51) I cannot tell the future or predict what could have been, but maybe he would have fulfilled his call to preach if he had been more careful about guarding his eyes.
One of the materials, I struggled with was Sports Illustrated. I loved sports, especially college sports, and Sports Illustrated could be found in almost any doctor’s or dentist office. However, I found that the pictures and advertisements posted in this magazine covered far more than sports. When I began to strengthen my defenses as a fifteen-year-old boy, I resolved never to read a Sports Illustrated magazine again. I needed to avoid it, to turn from it, and pass away. That was almost ten years ago, and I have kept that resolution. I have never been sorry for it, and I don’t feel I have missed out on much. I rather feel I have been spared a lot of trouble with my eyes by avoiding that publication.
It is important not to forget to WATCH THE BACK DOOR! After you have set up the defenses we have already mentioned, be sure to be on your guard against the little things. When we think of guarding our eyes, we generally think of pictures. However, there is another avenue of temptation for the eyes that is quite as deadly as pictures. WORDS! Be careful, my friend, what you read. When you read things that are inappropriate it creates the images in your mind. You may not have let your eyes rest on a wicked photograph, but what you read created a wicked picture in your mind. Be on your guard, Satan, is sly, and this old wicked world is out to get you. The internet will not be your friend, be careful what you search for, be careful what pages you visit, be sure to be on your guard every minute.
It may be necessary to GET HELP. If you get caught up in the sin of the eyes, and you feel that your defenses have been broken down, get help. Don’t give up! God has put good people all around you who can help you build your defenses again. ACCOUNTABILITY is a huge reinforcement for you defense system. “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 24:6) Guard your heart! Guard your mind! Guard your eyes!
Lincoln Baptist Church