The moment the Holy Spirit gave me my title for this week’s blog, He also put a song in my heart. Little did I know that the song, entitled “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, was also known as The Heavenly Vision. The hymn, which was inspired by Isabella Lilias Trotter, a missionary, was actually written by Helen Howarth Lemmel in 1918. The chorus is widely known today and is based on Isaiah 45:22. This is an old hymn which has been reprinted in a number of church hymnals (…and caused many a tear to flow). For your information, I have included the first verse and chorus below:
|1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?|
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
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The reason why this song means so much to me is because of the first line in the chorus. I discovered many years ago that whenever I was tempted to veer off into mischief, the first thing that I should do was to turn my eyes upon Jesus. Naturally, it took a lot of head bumps to accomplish this, but I finally did. Isaiah 45:22 says, “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other.”
Prior to turning my thought to God, I was turning my thoughts on just how to resist the temptation. In other words, all I was doing was stroking the misdeeds, implanting them deeper into my psyche.
When we yield to Truth (Jesus Christ) and His teachings, we win!
Did you know that the more you think about not yielding to temptation (the bad things), the more you do think about temptation? In other words, it becomes an all-consuming fire inside of you. The thing that is tempting becomes subliminal in your mind. (“Subliminal” is a marketing technique used to influence a person to act upon something.) So, you see, you are not helping yourself at all when you think about how to avoid temptation. All you are doing is reinforcing its strength.
One way to yield to Truth and not to temptation is to practice humility. The best example to do that is to cultivate a close relationship with a trusted friend. Someone you can confide in. Someone you can share your inner most thoughts with. Someone who will hold you accountable. Let me be completely frank with you. It’s okay to show weakness! For 1 Peter 5:5b says: “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.” Therefore, resist the Evil One and he will flee from you.
If this blog has helped you, I invite you to pick up a copy of Reverend Rick Warren’s book entitled, The Purpose Driven Life. Read it and weep and allow your tears to wash away all darkness, fears and doubts. Every word in this book was a blessing and confirmation to me that God truly wants to converse and reveal his Truths to us all. Especially when we have to deal with temptations and emotions that shackle us to this world.
Scripture Lesson: “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.'” James 4:4-8a
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