October/November 2016 - Vol. 88

 looking over the cliff
                            illustration by Kevin Carden
Wearing Spiritual Blinders
by Tom Caballes

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? 
- Job 31:1 ESV
When I was young, I was fascinated by horse-drawn carriages and why do horses wear blinders [or blinkers]. Later, I discovered that wild horses have eyes on the sides of their heads for safety against predators. Horses wearing blinders are inclined to be more focused on the direction of a straight and narrow path and is much easier for the person controlling the horse to direct it where to go. We are like that horse – because we are sinners, our tendency is to wander off from God. We ‘leak’ spiritually. Our ‘wild’ side makes us spiritually adventurous. The ‘virgin’ in Job 31:1 can be pleasure, power, possession, etc. – anything that can grab our hearts away from God. It is great to have foresight in life, but regarding sin and discipleship, we want to be narrow-eyed as much as possible. How I wish I always have spiritual blinders that keep me on a straight and narrow road to God – do you?

So How Do You Develop Having Spiritual Blinders in Your Life?

  1. Do you have a personal mission statement for your life? Have you clearly identified what you want to accomplish in your life? Do it now if you have not done it yet. Having ultimate goals in life gives you a sense of direction on what will you do in the immediate, short term and long term goals in your life.
  2. Know what your personal weaknesses are. What will you look for if you are free to wander off spiritually? What bad habits, sin, and temptation attract you most? You need to be single-minded for God and walk the narrow road ahead of you, rather than wander off spiritually.
  3. God knows you intimately. In spite of your sinfulness, God wants to draw you to Him. He is forever faithful, and His mercy is always available for those seek Him. Ask forgiveness from God whenever you fall. God does not keep a tab on the number of times you failed, but He counts the number of times you rise and walk with Him again. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:16 ESV]
  4. Sometimes we need help when we are confused or when we wander off to the wrong direction. That is why it is important to ask help and guidance from those who can help us grow in the Lord. We should not make major decisions in life without talking with a person we trust to look after us well.
  5. Lastly, desire to follow God wholeheartedly. Offer every day to God and claim it for his glory. Have you thrown away your peripheral vision for worldly pleasures, riches and fame, and sinful things? Is your heart set on God and God alone? Are your eyes fixed on heaven?
Other Scripture passages:
  1. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. [Psalms 63:1 ESV]
  2. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… [Hebrews 12:1 ESV]
  3. For all that is in the world -- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life -- is not from the Father but is from the world. [1 John 2:16 ESV]
  4. … Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. [James 4:7-8 ESV]
  5. Other Scripture references: 1 Timothy 6:10-12; and 2 Timothy 2:22.
For personal reflection or group sharing
  1. Are you walking a straight path to God, or do you tend to wander off? Can God easily direct you?
  2. What are your personal weaknesses, and how do you control them?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

"Looking Over Cliff" illustration by Kevin Carden
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