To hear this Morning Devotion, please click From glance to gaze
We all know the difference between a glance and a gaze.
Particularly when it comes to the topic of temptation and sin.
The momentary glance at the “hottie” who walks by your beach chair — and then you go back to reading your book — doesn’t corrupt.
The choice to gaze with the second look, or third or fourth — imagining certain things as the hottie moves down the beach — now that definitely corrupts.
The same principle applies with temptations involving greed or vindictiveness or the craving of public praise. We can be tempted in a brief glance with the opportunities to unscrupulously put ourselves ahead of others in terms of public esteem or job advancement.
But it is only when we gaze at such opportunities, giving them a dwelling place in our minds and hearts, that sin takes root.
Of course, you already know all this so why am I sharing it this morning?
It’s because we need to hear this warning over and over and over again.
For Satan keeps tempting us over and over and over again to turn glances into gazes.
He likely tried to lure you into gazing yesterday or the day before or perhaps even this morning.
He knows the potency of the gaze.
In fact, it’s one of his best tools.
At the core of SO many spiritual meltdowns in scripture have been glances becoming gazes.
Eve gazed at the forbidden fruit.
Ham gazed at Noah’s inebriated nakedness.
Lot’s wife gazed at her burning hometown.
Potiphar’s wife gazed at Joseph’s young, muscular body.
Moses gazed around him to see if he could get away with murder.
Achan gazed at the fine silver bars and fancy clothes in a yet-to-be-burned house in Jericho.
And then there was David’s midnight gaze when he couldn’t sleep.
That was a really, really bad one.
David’s failure to stop at the glance stage regarding the bathing Bathsheba was a terrible choice of epic proportions.
It’s described in today’s I Samuel 11 reading from the One-Year Bible.
I encourage you to read it again. This time, though, reflect on how much better David’s life would have been had he simply said that night, “Oops! I’d better go back inside the house right now. Staying here on the patio is more than I can handle and I know it’s a trap.”
Isn’t it amazing how two seconds of innocence can degrade into 20 seconds of sin that ultimately unleash a world of hell into a person’s life and the life of his or her loved ones?
Though the details are likely different than David’s experience, you’ve tasted the bitter consequences somewhere along the way of allowing a glance to become a gaze.
For a brief moment, you perhaps saw a window of opportunity for revenge against a relative or co-worker or school acquaintance and, rather than glancing then ignoring the trap, you studied it and schemed at how you could get even.
Or perhaps you saw the shipping order and invoice that listed five laptop computers for your business but, when you opened the box, there were actually six. Rather than immediately pick up the phone, you gazed at the paperwork to see if the vendor would ever have a paper trail for tracking down the missing computer.
Please, my friend. Don’t allow Satan to coach you from glances to gazes.
Remember that his central goal is to damage and destroy souls — including yours — so that God receives less worship.
That’s why he tempts.
That’s why he loves it when our glances become gazes.
Don’t let the two seconds become 10 seconds, or 20 seconds or two minutes, or whatever.
The risk of reaping a life of heartache and an eternity of hell is just too great.
As always, I love you