The Eyes of
Peter is a good example of
what God can do with a man whose heart is totally surrendered
to Him. Peter began walking with Jesus when he was but a
rough-hewn, rugged fisherman who smelled like the sea. In
the various accounts of his early days as a disciple, we
find that most everything he did was impulsively done. But
over time, he would become totally surrendered to Jesus.
One of the first Bible verses
I memorized is one of my favorites -- 2 Chronicles 16:9:
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout
the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed
to him. I've always been intrigued by that verse
and have often used it as a plumb line for my life to judge
whether or not I was living up to God's expectations. Am
I fully committed to Him? Are you?
In my quiet time, God spoke
to me through similar verses from 1 Peter 3: For,
'whoever would love life and see good days must keep his
tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He
must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and
pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face
of the Lord is against those who do evil' (10-12).
Though Peter is quoting from
Psalm 34, these words seem particularly well placed in his
New Testament letter. It's not only a reminder that "the
eyes of the Lord are upon us," but also of another
truth: "and his ears are attentive
to their prayer." He watches and strengthens
us, but He also hears us when we pray.
Notice the conditions for these
heavenly favors; there are six. We must keep our "tongue
from evil, and our lips from deceitful speech."
We must "turn from evil and do
good;" we must "seek
peace and pursue it." These six conditions represent
both the attitudes of our hearts as well as the actions
of our lives.
Some might read these and conclude,
"It's hopeless!" But it really isn't. Not only
does God provide the strength to be able to meet these conditions,
we've also seen them lived out in others' lives and know
it's frequently done.
Like you, I want the eyes of
the Lord upon me and I want His ears attentive to my prayers.
But do we have His eye...and His ear? Take a moment to glance
over these conditions again and ask God to reveal to you
whether or not you're meeting them.
Sometimes we may feel as though
God is not answering our prayers; but according to this,
it may be because we've not kept our tongues from evil,
our lips from deceitful speech; perhaps we've refused to
turn from evil and do good, and maybe we've failed to both
seek and pursue peace. Pray that God will help you bring
your life "in plumb" with the truths of His Word.
And pray the same for each member of your church. It's important
that we're in-line with Him as He's outlined in His Word.