This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
A Single Eye
Meditation on Matthew 6:22
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
What is your aim in life? On what have you set your eyes? Are you focused?
David’s son Absalom had his eye on his father’s kingdom. With that focus he plotted, planned, and curried the people’s favor. But later, in Jerusalem, he listened to the counsel of Ahithophel and then the advice of Hushai. Ahithophel suggested that Absalom send some men after his father David and strike him while he was tired and on the run. Hushai told Absalom to wait until a large army was gathered that Absalom himself could lead against his father. Absalom chose the advice of Hushai.
Certainly Absalom’s eye was on success! He wanted the kingdom of his father. But his eye was also focused on being seen as the leader of a mighty force, perhaps as great a leader as his father had been in his younger years. Pride was before his eyes. What pleases our sinful nature the most is often what seems best to us. Because Absalom was vain, he chose Hushai’s advice to his own destruction. In a worldly sense, Absalom did not have a single eye. Rather he had an evil eye. “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Spiritually, you and I must have a single eye. “The eye,” says John Calvin, “is the torch or lamp of the body. If the hands and feet and mind are improperly directed, blame the eye.” The Greek word for ‘single’ means simple, uncomplicated, without speck, sound, and not double. This same word is at times applied to the heart (see Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22). A single heart is sincere, has integrity and uprightness, and unmixed with ulterior or selfish motives.
What is to be our single eye? What is our life to be focused on? For those who are God’s children, washed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and indwelt with His Spirit, there can only be one focus: to promote the glory of God! We have in life one aim, one focus, one goal, and one eye.
But in the service of God, you are and will be grievously tempted to be distracted by the private feelings and interests of our old sinful nature. When these desires assert themselves, you will be tempted to lose the clear, simple, and single line of duty to do God’s will. You wish to do God’s will, but at the same time you are unwilling to sacrifice the sinful desires of the flesh. Other desires cloud your sight like cataracts. You do not have a clear sight of the right path.
Oh, the struggle that we have with the old sinful nature! We are called to crucify the old man. You are called to choose the cross. No one can combine two opposite goals: glorifying God and satisfying the yearnings of the flesh. Matthew 6:24 tells us, “No man can serve two masters.”
How we need to look to the Captain of our salvation. In the Garden, he cried out, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” We look at the grace of God at work in the Apostle Paul’s life when he was on the Damascus road. Paul cried out, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” We see the singleness of eye, the utter disregard for personal interests in the Apostle Paul’s entire devotion to the service of his Master. In I Cor. 9:27, Paul says, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.”
May we pray for a single eye for the glory of our God, and a single eye that we follow in Jesus’ footsteps. The Light of the Word of God must be held before our eyes, filling them with light. Pray for that single eye. Pray for that eye that you may see clearly. Our focus must be on our great covenant God and His marvelous love manifested towards us in Jesus Christ. Is it yours? When God fills our eye, all else fades in comparison A single eye: is it yours! “None of us liveth to himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
“Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord unto Thee, Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love, At the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee; Take my voice and let me sing Always, only, for my King, Always, only, for my King. Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages for Thee; Take my silver and my gold - Not a mite would I withhold, Not a mite would I withhold. Take my love- my God, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store: Take myself - and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee, Ever, only, all for Thee.” ~ H. A. Cesar Malan, 1787-1864