The purpose for our lives is to worship God with all our mind, soul and body at all times. Worship means submitting our freedom in God’s hand by using the freedom that Jesus gave us. In order to move forward in the tasks assigned to us by God, we should have a clear mind to discern the things that discourage us. We often fail to remove the beam from our own eyes but continue to peck at our neighbour’s eyes in search of specks and injure them in the process.
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:5
The Bible says that everything in the world restrains us from seeing the love of our Father in heaven. John, in the below verse, recorded three major things in the world that blinds our eyes.
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.1 John 2:16
Lust of the Flesh
God has designed our body in such a way that our flesh instinctively needs essentials to accomplish the will of the creator as we live a short span of life in this word. However, satan intends to stop us from fulfilling the will of God and lures us to eternal death.
God has a father-like heart towards human beings that whatever they desire, he fulfills that. Knowing God’s tender heart, satan intensifies the wish of a person into a strong feeling like craving or lust. Once ignited, the human mind stops thinking before acting and focuses on fulfilling its craving.
Sin accomplished its purpose in the life of David when he looked at a woman bathing from his balcony. Though David had many wives, he still craved for another man’s wife, and became not only an adulterer but a murderer too.
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.Romans 7:11
Jesus warns us of this situation and tells us that even if we look at someone lustfully, we have already committed adultery in our hearts. The Bible says that God fulfills our heart’s desires (Psalms 20:4, 37:4).
Lust of the Eyes
One of the main contributors to agony in our lives is the lust of our eyes. We desire for whatever is in front of our eyes. To curb ourselves from buying all we see, we browse and limit ourselves to window shopping. We should admit that once we purchase the desired thing, our passion for it has vanished. At the same time, if we are unable to buy it, our craving will increase day by day, even causing us insomnia.
Another aspect that pushes us to work for our desired object is our limitations. Because of financial crunch, when some objects are out of reach, we tend to push ourselves hard to reach that object. This is because we are not content with our lifestyles and end up in a life full of debts and stress.
In the garden of Eden, Eve underestimated her personality and longed to become like God. She was ignorant of the truth that she had been created in the image of God. We are not content with what we are, as we are unaware of the plans of God and are ignorant of the truth that we are His children.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.1 Timothy 6:6
Pride of Life
There are many characters mentioned in the Old Testament who were doomed because of pride. One among them is Nebuchadnezzar, who lost his kingdom because of his pride (Daniel 4:31-32). Because of the pride that Pharaoh had in his authority, God hardened his heart to gain glory for Himself (Exodus 14).
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.Proverbs 16:18
Those kings have had some credentials to feel proud of and though we do not have anything to feel proud about, we think of ourselves more highly and accumulate pride in our lives. We know very well that everything we have today is because of His grace, yet we speak too highly of ourselves. While we ought to abase pride, we rather make it our base. Pride never allows us to learn and understand the secrets of heaven.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.Romans 12:3
Jesus is not willing to treat us like robots and has set us free from the consequences of sin so that we stay away from it. He expects that we should shred off the things that lead us to sin (Matthew 5:27-30).
Lust of the flesh intensifies us to satisfy our wrong desires while lust of the eyes stops us from identifying who we are. Pride separates us from God and leads us to our eternal fall. God pulled these planks out of our lives and placed that yoke on Jesus’s shoulder.
For this reason, denying ourselves and carrying our cross to follow Jesus has now become easy as Jesus has made our cross lighter.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.Matthew 11:29-30