What are You Looking at?
Scripture Text: II Kings 6: 15b- 17 “And [Elisha’s] servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
Matthew 14: 28- 30 “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And [Jesus] said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”
Key Scripture: Micah 7: 7 “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”
What you look at the most is what has the most influence on you, whether for good or for bad. Most people, instead of looking to Jesus, look either at their problems or other people.
In our text, Elisha’s servant and the Apostle Peter were frightened when they looked at the circumstances surrounding them. It took supernatural intervention for them to see that their salvation was not in their abilities or what they could see, but in God.
Take a penny in your fingers. Hold it up close to your eyes. If you hold it close enough, you will not be able to see anything else. Your entire vision is taken up by something worth only one cent. Now hold it at an arm’s length away. You still can see the penny, but now its true significance can be seen because it is in its proper perspective.
Most of us see our problems like we see the penny when it is close to our eye. The problem is all we can see. Our human nature tends to focus on the negative, the discouragement, the bad news. When we realized that Jesus is in full control, ant that He knows what is best, it’s like holding that penny for away; the problems are still there, but in the proper perspective they are far less intimidating.
Have you ever said, “I want to be just like that person”, or perhaps, “I never want to be like that person!”? Most of us probably have. This is an example of focusing on people. Like it or not, “that person” has the most influence on your behavior. Paul the Apostle wrote “…they, measuring themselves by themselves …are not wise.” (II Corinthians 10: 12b)
We will always find someone better than ourselves or worse than ourselves, and we will always find hypocrites in the church. But Jesus is our only perfect example, and He is the one who should have the most influence over our lives. We should look to others only as they emulate Christ.
It is vitally important for all believers to have Godly leadership (see Ephesians 4: 11, 12), but our confidence and trust must be on Jesus, not on man. What would happen if you depended on your pastor for all your spiritual direction, and then God called him to another field of ministry or another part of the world? If you have learned to set your sights on Jesus, and follow the man that God puts in that line of sight, then you will be okay, because the next man that God puts in that line of vision will be a man you can safely follow.
Sometimes even good leaders stumble and fall. If you are too close to the man, and don’t have your vision fixed on Jesus, it could be that you would fall into the same snare as that leader. As the Apostle Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (I Cor 10: 1) As a prayed-up believer, with your vision firmly set on Jesus and His Word, it may even be that your prayers for your leaders will help them to remain strong and true in the faith.
Whether it be our circumstances or the people around us, we must always look at everything in the light of God’s power and love, and not look at God in the shadow of all our problems and questions.
Thoughts to Consider:
This lesson is not meant to be taken as any kind of rebuke, but rather, a reminder that God sees all and is in control. Whenever you are overwhelmed with problems, remember this lesson and be encouraged.
Think back to the times when God provided answers to your prayers in such a way that you knew only God could have done it. Did you ever receive an answer to a prayer and then realized that God had the answer in the works before you were even aware of the problem?