The Purifying Eyes of Jesus
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. - Psalm 139:23-24, emphasis added
When we are tempted, we need to discover Christ's purifying eyes. He looks at us in our temptation much like a parent looks at a child. Jesus foresees what choice we are going to make, and wants us to seek His help to avoid sinking into that temptation. At such times, He will give us the needed consecration and purity.
Let's consider how God helped Joseph in this respect as we examine portions of the account of his life in Genesis 37-50. Joseph is a wonderful example that true success comes from the Lord being with us: The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Genesis 39:2). Every other success is merely temporal.
If the Lord is seen in your work, like Joseph, you should be blessed in everything that you do: "The Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand" (Genesis 39:3). As you give your life totally to the Lord, He will make you prosperous also. Although I am talking here about evident blessing, and not monetary prosperity, sometimes God grants that as well.
Here is a classic case of the purifying eyes of Jesus when we are tempted: Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass . . . that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master . . . has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:6-9).
Joseph was always aware of Jesus' eyes upon him-His purifying eyes that lead to consecration. Jesus continually sees our business, social, romantic, private, and public lives. If we, like Joseph, acknowledge that He is watching us, there will be a very strong consecrating effect on us as well.
I can personally testify that being aware that Jesus is watching works anywhere. The first time I traveled overseas I was all alone, thousands of miles from home, with every conceivable temptation confronting me. Whether it was literature, people, or things, I was so aware that God was watching that I would sometimes even talk out loud and say, "Lord, help me." It is always possible for you to know the purifying power of seeing the eyes of Jesus watching you everywhere, every time.
Jesus can keep you pure in temptation. Joseph was kept pure when he faced being disloyal to his employer and sinning against God. He could not have had a more direct attack on his personal holiness than this, so he exercised his will and ran. Keeping pure involves far more than standing in the midst of temptation and saying, "Lord, save me." God has not promised to remove you bodily from temptation. Rather, He expects you to choose to flee evil (2 Timothy 2:22). So turn off the television, throw away the literature, or stop being around that person who drags you down spiritually.
At the instant of any temptation, Jesus' purifying eyes are watching you so that all you have to do is look up and say, "Lord, help me!" If you just ask Him, He will give you the grace to resist: God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but . . . will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
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