Monday, 22 October 2012

"watch where you're going!...."

Have you ever done this?

I know my children do it on a fairly regular basis.

I can see it about to happen, but usually my pleas to "Look out!" are too late.

Their feet are walking one way, whilst their eyes are looking somewhere else, and...


They bump into something, or trip up, and the tears begin.

"How many times do I have to tell you to look where you are walking?", are usually the words resultant from such an incident.

Door frames, tables, bollards, walls...they have all made impact with some part of my children's body - most often the head!

We were blessed to have a young man preaching in our Church yesterday, who is about to start Theological studies in Grand Rapids, in January.  He was preaching about the incident in I Samuel chapter 12, when the people had asked for a king, and soon realised their error.  Following the prophet Samuel's warnings, they repent of their sin, and Samuel urges them to follow after the Lord.

"yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;"
I Samuel 12:20

Simon, the preacher,  explained that if we are to fully follow the Lord, then we need to have both of our eyes fixed upon Him.  If we look elsewhere we will stumble and fall.

Immediately, it brought to mind the circumstances I spoke of here.  Of my children, not looking where they are going, and ending up getting hurt.  It was just like the Israelites! They were not wholly following the Lord.  They seemed to be, in some ways, but because their focus had shifted onto their own desires and tempted by other things, they were at risk of stumbling and falling.  They knew that it happened before - that when others in the past had taken their gaze away from the Lord, to follow their sinful desires, the Lord had struck them down.  The grumblers in the wilderness were repeatedly given cause to see that their own ways were not the right way to go. However, these Israelites, by God's grace and Samuel's imploring, were given the chance to fix their eyes, fully, back upon the Lord.

Oh how like us that is.  How easily our gaze shifts to other things, instead of looking at the Lord and fully following Him.  There are so many temptations around us, that would draw our gaze away from the Lord.  

As women, in today's society, we are tempted to think that looking for some other purpose in life, other than being a wife and a mother, is greater and more worthwhile. To believe that, contrary to God's Word, leaving our children to be cared for by others, simply so that we can pursue something that the world tells us is better, is OK.  Christian mothers, not just worldly mothers, that despise and belittle their role - the role that is the perfect one that we were created for.  To hate being a wife, and thinking that we are somehow inferior in our role, rather than realising that is being a wife and mother is a privileged dominion all of its own - to be pursued with as much passion and dedication that women out of the home pursue their careers.  Women like that have taken their eyes away from the Lord - they are not looking to his Word to find out their calling.  They are following after what the world thinks is commendable, rather than that what God's Word teaches us.  I have heard women saying "it's God's will" - but if God's Word teaches us one way, how can any other way  be better? The worst part is that the generation that is following is being harmed by such ways.  It's the children who are being handed over to care outside of the home - to care other than the parents which they were born from and who have the Biblical responsibility to raise them - these are who are being harmed more than anything else.  

As always, I am talking about a principle here, and I know that there are circumstances in which a woman works outside the home which would not be their heart's desire, or ideal.  

But, when it is only, like the Israelites seeking a King like the heathen nations around them, for purposes of following the world and being selfish or self-seeking, then it is going to bring harm.  It may not be seen to start off with, but sooner or later the family unit will be harmed in the process.  We can see it already - children who are rebelling, families torn apart by endless problems, and a worldly culture seeping into the homes of "Christian" families. 

It can happen on a far more personal and subtle level, too.  There is not one of us who is exempt from the danger of taking our eyes off the Lord and His ways.  It can be as simple as letting your daily quiet time slip, because your mis-managed life would rather do other things. It can be in the choices you make when you have free time - always influenced by worldly things, and never choosing "the better part".  It could be looking for worldly counsel in child-rearing, rather than what the Bible teaches.  Listening to worldly friends for marriage advice, rather than looking to see what God says and following Him in every way we can.  Numerous moments in every day, we can let our gaze slip away from the Lord, and onto other things. 

I want to guard my life against a major slip up.  I don't want to go walloping into an obstacle because my eyes were not looking fully upon the Lord.  I don't want to cause hurt to those I love most, because *I* took my eyes off the Lord, and His best for me.

I pray that I will learn from what I heard yesterday, and keep both eyes fixed upon the Lord.

"let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 

  Looking unto Jesus..."
Hebrews 12:1-2

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