by David Wells
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December 12, 2011 Ė Brightened Eyes
27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father charged the people with the oath. So he dipped the end of the rod in his hand into a honeycomb and put it to his mouth, and his [weary] eyes brightened. Ė 1 Samuel 14:27 AMP
The Israeli army was worn out. They had pursued the Philistines all day with no food. King Saul had forbidden them to eat until the Philistines were defeated and even made the men take an oath affirming his words. But Jonathan wasnít there. He didnít hear the pledge, ate some honey, and his weary eyes were brightened. Something sweet changed his whole perception and frame of mind.
Have you ever been working so hard that you forgot about eating? Maybe you were in the eleventh hour of a project at work or just working in the yard around home. You just got so busy that you lost track of time, it was too late for lunch, and you just needed a little pick-me-up before dinner. Sure, a little honey could have tied you over, but in this day and age you probably just reached for a candy bar. But in the end your body was only temporarily satisfied. It would be great if such situations depicted our physical lives, but they also paint a picture of our emotional and spiritual lives as well.
Our emotional lives have brightened eyes throughout our whole life. This time of year especially brings brightened eyes as Christmas approaches. Thereís the happiness that comes from giving as well as receiving Christmas presents. I say giving because letís be honest. It is fun to receive presents, and receiving always brings us joy, especially if it something we really want. But as a husband and parent I can tell you there is no greater joy than seeing the expressions of your wife and children when they open their presents. Even receiving Christmas cards in the mail gives us the warm fuzzies inside. This is truly a time of year when our emotional eyes are brightened, even for those who are not Christians.
Our spiritual eyes, however, are something that should never have to be brightened. We should always want them to be brighter, but they should never be weary. When spiritual sight becomes weary, Christians have arrived at a very dangerous place. It is treacherous because Christians will always be looking for that next dose of honey, or that next quick fix, to get them through until the next time their faith weakens.
For years I looked for the next best thing that would send me over the top for God. I thought attending conferences would help. I thought learning more about spiritual warfare would get me going. I thought giving money to televangelists would please God. Where did I end up? Sitting over in a corner with weary eyes, wondering where and when I would be able to see the light.
Churches over the years have begun to play the eye brightening game. Many times their pastors deliver a feel good message to the congregation week after week. There are always attempts by the leadership to try something new to get new members and keep them connected into church hierarchy. New outreaches are started full steam ahead but fizzle out and die because the project was started for church reasons and not God reasons. Not only is the church looking for that fix of honey, but theyíre feeding it to their members every week. Meanwhile, the membership is just sitting there in their pew, and wondering when they will ever be satisfied. Sadly, some Christians never think twice about being able to be satisfied; they just go from one honey fix to the next.
16 Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you, lest, being filled with it, you vomit it. Ė Proverbs 25:16 AMP
This may seem like a Scripture for our unsaved friends, but there is a major lesson in these words for our spiritual eyes. You see, at some point for the drug addicts out there, there is a point of rejection. This causes some people to be hospitalized and detoxified while it kills others. Weary spiritual eyes may not literally kill you if you continually look for the next big thing. But there may be a point where you just give up and your faith grows cold. You could still claim to be a Christian, but you wouldnít take the whole concept of faith and religion seriously. I know because I was there. I became one of those seemingly good Christians who never opened their Bible. I would listen to the sermon on Sunday and nod my head like I knew what the pastor was talking about. Then I had a revelation. I didnít need all the conferences. I didnít need all the small groups. I didnít need all the tee shirts, bumper stickers, and Bible covers. I didnít need any of the stuff about God; I just needed God.
This is where churches and Christians alike have failed. Churches have become so obsessed with appealing to the masses in society that God has been left in the parking lot. The numerous projects they undertake have become measures to boost attendance and not efforts to add members to the body of Christ. In the same way, individual believers are hopping on the bandwagon the masses are riding thinking that if it appeals to society then something about it must appeal to them as well. But the cycle never ends. Churches continually search for the next big thing while believers yearn for the real thing every day. And the whole time, the Christian faith in general is weakened.
Are your eyes weary? Are you always bouncing from one thing to the next thinking youíll see God like never before? Do you put more faith in your church than in God? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may need to have your eyes brightened.
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