I live in a college town with lots of distractions. I’m a 21-year-old male, so I’m sure you can connect the dots as to what I mean by ‘distractions’. But of course, there are other distractions other than members of the opposite sex, such as: money, lack of money, job, family, etc. What I mean by ‘distraction’ is anything that causes us to take our eyes off the Lord. Good things can even become a distraction.
I’ve been rethinking “spiritual warfare” lately. I’ve seen that we, on our own strength, cannot overcome things of the flesh, or the enemy for that matter. Only Christ can overcome these things in our lives. And, according to Paul of Tarsus, Christ lives in you and me. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
So, with that in mind, I’ve been considering what it means to “overcome” something and what it looks like. I’ve wondered, “How, oh God, can I possibly overcome <insert distraction here>. I can’t help it!” I suppose that’s the point, I really can’t help it, only Christ living inside of me can.
So, with such a hope, such an inheritance, such a promise from the Almighty, how do distractions come about? If we know in our hearts that Christ is supreme, preiminate, and Head over everything, than how is it that we get so fascinated with the things of this world? Here is my conclusion: things of this world only take our eyes off of Christ, when to us, they are bigger than Him at that particular moment in time. Essentially, we feel as though this or that will make us happy or whole inside. But it never does.
So, what then do we need? A step-by-step program? A self-help book? Another method? A holiness chat? I believe not. What we need, what I need, is a sighting. A sighting of this wonderful Person called Christ. Once I see how big He is, how wonderful, how strong, how immense, these distractions will begin to look ever-so-small to mine eyes.
It’s like when Saul of Tarsus was walking to Damascus. Remember that, before he became Paul, he was persecuting the church. He gave the okay to stone Stephen, he dragged Christians out of their homes, put men and women in prison, etc. But he had a sighting. He even heard a voice, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” The glance he got was so bright it blinded him, literally.
Oh to be blinded by Christ. To be able to see none other than God Himself. Paul’s sighting wrecked him and eventually led to his death for the church. Paul was very zealous for the Lord but was distracted by religion. He was so distracted by being a pharisee that he could no longer see what God was doing. Though he was blinded, his sight did return.
What made me turn from my wicked ways as a drug-addict and dirty sinner was a glimpse. The God of light lifted the veil and let me see his glorious face. I don’t mean that literally like a vision (though that’s not beyond God to do) but I did see Him. My heart saw Him. All the things that once captivated me, the shiny objects that were only temporary and emotional, lost their thunder. They lost their beauty in my eyes. Even the most beautiful of female can’t compare with the glory of Christ. There’s a line in a song we sing at the church of Gainesville, it goes:
What has stripped the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty but the sight of peerless worth.
So I don’t know about anyone else, but I know that I need a glimpse, a sighting if you will, of Christ. That, to me, is where victory is found. Not in a book, not in trying to live a better Christian life. Only in Christ. Amen.
What are other examples of people getting a sighting of Christ? Can you think of anymore in the Bible? In personal life?