I want you to think about something. Is it easier to walk with your eyes open or your eyes closed? Try walking around the entire room as fast as you can without jogging or running. Now this time close your eyes very tightly, no cheating, no looking, and walk around the entire room just like you did before. You moved much slower the second time around, didn’t you?
If you had someone in the room with you, you may have started listening to their voice(s) trying to instruct you. They probably told you which way to move, but your progress was very, very slow. If you listen to the voices around you, one may tell you to go right, another will tell you to go left, somebody else will say that there’s a chair right in front of you, and you might respond to ALL the voices that speak to you. Many times we’ll start to pay heed to the voices around us because we feel like we need to hear a Word, and there’s plenty of people around who want to give us a word like, “Turn to the right; you’re about to hit something,” or “Stop!”
See, if you had someone in the room, you responded to those voices, didn’t you? The only problem is, none of those voices was the voice of God. It’s just the voice of carnal-minded men and/or women in your life who are speaking as if they’re some sort of authority in regard to your life. “Turn to the right. Oops, no, there’s a wall to the right.”
Walking with your eyes closed, you tend to run into things. You’re likely to trip. When walking with your eyes closed, you’re prone to listen to the voices around you. Do you understand? You’re listening to all the voices around you because you want some direction; you want wisdom, but you don’t know how to get it. You think that all you have to do is listen to everyone else say, “Turn left and do it quickly,” Then you do it, but you do it with a little distrust because you have begun to realize that you can’t always trust what everyone around you is saying.
When we’re walking blind, that’s when we’re the most susceptible to listening to the voices, and those voices oftentimes will run us into a wall, a ditch, or trip us up. The prudent man considers well his steps.
The way to walk in the promises of God is to move forward with your eyes open. God is calling you to move forward from wherever you are. You can identify whatever area of life you want to; it may be just one specific area or a variety of areas in which God is calling you to move forward.
What steps are you willing to take in order to get there? Not what are you willing to give up or willing to sacrifice. See, as long as you look at Christianity that way, it will remain a chore and a hard thing. When you keep your eyes open and on the prize, it’s an easy thing!
The Hebrew’s writer, probably the Apostle Paul, said, “Be not entangled in the things of this world that come in and are encumbrances on you; be not entangled with the sins that so easily trip you up (paraphrased).” The way to do that is not to focus on sin, the way to do that is to focus on the promises; focus on the prize; focus on the goal! That was Paul’s key; he was focused on the prize. That is what empowered him to walk with purpose with every step.
Some of us are stressing and straining, and probably half of you who are reading this right now think you’ve been wrestling with the devil. You haven’t been wrestling with the devil; you’re wrestling with yourself! Some of us have even been wrestling with God! I submit to you that the devil is not your worst enemy, your own carnal mind is!
This is such an important topic, I want to continue to develop it a bit further. I hope that those of you who live in the greater Cumberland and Hoke County area are able to join us this morning at Cliffdale Christian Center. Sister Vickie, Zach, and I just returned from the Dominican Republic and are excited to be with our CCC family once again. We hope to see you there!