God desires to lead us by his eye
We are not pack animals who are to be guided by bits in our mouths. God desires to lead
us by his eye. But how can he lead us by his eye if we are looking out for our own interests and not God’s? This passage shows us Paul’s and Timothy’s hearts for the Lord as well as for others. Where is your heart today? Does it beat for the things that God desires the most? Do you see where God’s eyes are looking, or is the bit chafing in your mouth?
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the Lord of the harvest, and it is I who raises up laborers to work my fields. I AM the Master builder of my Church and it is I who choose whom I want to be builders and coworkers in its construction and furnishing. Just as I chose only 300 soldiers out of tens of thousands of Israelites to fight with Gideon, I am less concerned with numbers and more concerned with devotion to me and commitment to my cause. I take great pleasure of seeing my children catch my heartbeat for the spiritual welfare of the world. When your eyes are on me, you can see where I am looking. I won’t even have to command you like I would a slave, you will just know what I would do. And like a father who sees his son join him in his own work, I too love it when my children lay down their own ambitions in this life to want to work with me out of love. I AM the God of all encouragement and I will bring together others along side of you who share my interests, and you along side of others who are dedicated to the service of my church for their maturing and strengthening. And as a result, my work will spread and multiply – “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” And just like I told Elijah in order to encourage him, “I have reserved 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, remember my promise that I will raise up dedicated men and women to stand with you in this work when you ask me to. Just remember to keep yourself pure and useable for my work’s sake, and to be an encouragement to the other workers who are with you.
My wife wrote a poem many years ago which I would like to include here below as a spiritual eye test to see what kind of heavenly vision we have.
A few years ago when our son was just four he had trouble it seemed with his eyes,
The news that he needed to start wearing glasses was not a tremendous surprise.
At last when we put that first pair on our son, he looked up with wonder and joy,
Not knowing before that his world was unclear, from that day he was a new boy.
I think that Jesus desires to give us a glimpse of his infinite view,
Heavenly glasses that open our eyes to the things of eternal value.
Instead we live life in a world out of focus and think this is all that there is,
Wasting the days of our transient stay in this world ‘til we join him in His.
Millions of people have gone on before us who now dwell in heaven above,
Praising the name of their Almighty God, and filled with the joy of His love.
If they could talk with us here down below, for one time they each lived here too,
What kind of wisdom would we gain from them, if we could see life as they do?
They might reveal that our time on earth isn’t as endless as we would profess.
Once the time’s over it won’t really matter how many nice things we possess.
Things that we think we cannot live without like new stereos, TV’s, and cars,
Will seem rather worthless compared to the glorious time when all heaven is ours.
Or they might mention our nearsighted vision that only looks out for our own,
When so close at hand but just out of our view are those hungry and hurt and alone.
They would exhort us to reach out as Jesus would, calling us out of the pews,
Giving what we cannot keep to invest in the treasure that we’ll never lose.
And what of those living forever in hell with its torment as told in God’s Word,
On earth they rejected Christ Jesus as Lord or perhaps of Him they never heard,
I’m sure they would beg us to give up the meaningless pleasures of life that we cherish,
And go to their loved ones proclaiming the Way of Salvation or they too will perish.
Do we store up riches on earth and forget that too soon all our days will be past?
These things we hold on to will just waste away but those treasures in heaven will last.
Let’s put on some heavenly glasses and look at our life now and where we will be,
And pray that the Lord gives us vision like He has for now and for eternity.
Written by my lovely wife Donell Trostrud
You can read a related post from Colossians 4 to continue this thought. If your eyes are not on Christ, how can you know where he wants you to go? If your ears are not listening for his voice, how can you hear what he wants you to say? As one author says, “God is at work all around you, look for opportunities to join him. And don’t ask what is your will for my life, ask what is your will; then change your life to match it.” “Lift your eyes to the fields for they are white unto harvest.”
As always, more to come