Where you are looking in the Christian life will determine to a large degree whether you keep on growing in the Lord or whether you wither up and die, spiritually speaking. Our text illustrates that it is important to GOD where we look.
Where you are looking in the Christian life will determine to a large degree whether you keep on growing in the Lord or whether you wither up and die, spiritually speaking. Our text illustrates that it is important to GOD where we look. When Israel sought deliverance from the dreadful snakes, God commanded Moses to set up a bronze figure of a serpent on a pole, so that those who were bitten could look to this bronze serpent, trusting in God’s healing power, and live. Now the only way a person could be delivered from the deadly venom of these terrible snakes was to LOOK by faith upon that bronze serpent. God’s purpose in this instruction was two-fold: First, God was trying to teach them about faith. It made no sense that if they simply looked upon that bronze serpent, they would be healed. That was just too simple! But God said that anyone who, by faith, simply look at the snake would be healed.
Second, God was giving us a picture of Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross. Jesus said in John 3:14-15 --“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” What Jesus was saying was that the only way for Him to provide salvation was that He had to be lifted up just like Moses raised up the brazen serpent. Jesus was speaking of His death on the Cross. He was saying, in effect, that the ONLY way to be saved was to look to His death on Calvary when He shed His blood for our sins. But where you look is not just important to attain salvation. Once saved, it is just as important that you keep your spiritual eyes on the right things. Let me share three things that we as believers in Jesus Christ ought to look to. First, we must LOOK TO JESUS! – Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This is the cure for disappointment and disillusionment with people who let us down.
People will ALWAYS disappoint us; but the Lord NEVER WILL! God brings wonderful believers into our lives to influence us, but it is dangerous to put too much confidence in people, no matter how great they seem to be. Second, we must LOOK TO OTHERS’ NEEDS – Philippians 2:4 – “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” This is the cure for selfishness and self-centeredness. Paul says not to look on your own needs, but to look out for the needs of others. Third, we must LOOK TO THE HARVEST FIELDS – John 4:35 – “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” This is the cure for a self-centered, introspective church. If a church loses its vision and purpose—it begins to look WITHIN, instead of looking OUT to the harvest fields—and it begins to become preoccupied with itself. This eventually engenders strife and all kinds of internal problems—not because the problems in the church are really all that bad. It is just that what problems are there get magnified and blown out of proportion because its focus is on the wrong thing. We must never lose sight of one of the main purposes of the church—to win the lost to Christ and teach them to become disciples of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 28:19-20).