On the Advent of Advent

And I said to them, “Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on…” (Ezekiel 20:7a)

We are a few days away from the beginning of Advent 2017. It starts on December 3rd, the first Sunday of Advent. As we focus here on “looking unto Him,” we take note that if we are fixing our eyes on Him, we are unfixing our eyes on what is not Him. And there is so much that is not Him. Many of us have filled our eyes, hearts, and lives with what is not Him. Advent is a time to close our eyes to it all, take a deep breath, and look to Him.

One of the first things I notice (with the Spirit’s help) in averting my gaze away from detestable things is how detestable they really are. It reminds me of the various piles and messes I walk by in my home every day. After a while, I get used to them and they become invisible. Only when I clean them up do I realize how much energy these piles stole from me. I think I’ve added steps to my Fitbit every day just walking around them!

I have some cleaning up to do in my life. The physical piles around me are a small thing; the spiritual messes within me are much more significant. The verse above says that I not only fixed my eyes on detestable things, but I feasted on them. I fed my soul with poison. I consumed toxins that I should have cast away. Casting away is not casual either. The sense the phrase gives is of one throwing something as far away as possible in a big, dramatic gesture accompanied by some kind of involuntary grunt.

Isn’t it amazing how God is always interested in your welfare, in you being and doing better, even through difficult days? His commitment to you overcoming everything you need to overcome never wavers.

When I’m not looking to Him, I’m not seeing His love or His provision. I’m missing out on His mercy. When I do look to Him… finally… I see the miracle the Magi sought, the wonder that captured the hearts of the shepherds, the subject of the lyrics of every song sung by angels… right up to this very minute.

 

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