The Single Eyed Way of Life

A very malignant disease

There is a very terrible disease among believers today.

This disease has stealthily saturated the hearts and minds of today’s believer, from the pulpit to the pew. And this disease has completely blinded us, corrupted us, and rendered us absolutely impotent in the modern world.

As a result of this disease, the salt has lost its taste and has now been tossed aside and trampled underfoot.

The name of this disease is worldliness.

In very simple terms, it is the adoption of worldly values in the believer’s scale of preference.

Please, take note of the two underlined phrases.

Worldly values

15 What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. ~ Luke 16:15

There are two things you must know about worldly values:

First is that worldly values are those things that are highly valued among men.

It doesn’t matter what they are; as long as they rule the affections of men and determine their choices and decisions, they constitute worldly values.

Second is that worldly values are detestable in God’s sight.

Understand that if it is highly valued among men, then it is simultaneously despicable, abhorrent, and loathsome before God.

The disease that is ravaging the hearts of believers today is worldliness: The adoption of things that are highly valued among men, but detestable in God’s sight.

Scale of preference (SOP)

This refers to the list of all the things that are important to you, arranged in a descending order of importance.

For instance:

SOP 1

SOP 2

SOP 3

SOP 4

SOP 5

SOP 6

Money

Money

Education

Education

God

God

Education

God

Money

God

Education

Money

God

Education

God

Money

Money

Education

The above instance displays several scales of preferences. Essentially, however, there are actually only two scales of preferences:

  • The worldly scale of preference: This is a list of all the things that are highly valued among men, arranged in a descending order of importance.
  • The Godly scale of preference: This is the list of all the things that are highly valued before God, also arranged in a descending order of importance.

    When the things that are highly valued in your heart, correspond with the worldly scale of preference, you have become infected with the worldliness disease.

The illusion of Godliness

Look at this illustration again.

SOP 1

SOP 2

SOP 3

SOP 4

SOP 5

SOP 6

Money

Money

Education

Education

God

God

Education

God

Money

God

Education

Money

God

Education

God

Money

Money

Education

In SOP 1 – 4 God is not first. So, they are obviously carnal and worldly. We understand that.

But what of SOP 5 – 6? Both put God first before other things. So, they must be at least a bit godly. Right?

As believers, we replace various versions of SOP 1-4 with various versions of SOP 5-6. Then we congratulate ourselves for not being worldly; for putting God first.

But, does a ‘God first’ lifestyle really qualify as godliness?

The answer is NO. A ‘God first’ lifestyle does not qualify as godliness.

A lot of us have bought into the illusion that it’s ok to share the same values as the world around us, as long as God is first in our hearts. What a lie!

The truth is this: As long as God is still one among other highly valued items in your heart―regardless of His placement in the arrangement―you are still infected with the malignant disease of worldliness.

Genuine Godliness

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”
~ Matthew 6:22

Jesus made the above statement within the context of treasures. In the preceding three verses, he taught:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
~ Matthew 6:19-21

So, he is talking about treasures; about the desires of our hearts; about the things that matter to us. And according to Him, “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”

In other words, our hearts should accommodate only a single treasure.

Our scale of preference should contain only one item: Him.

You see, putting God first among other highly treasured items in your heart does not qualify as godliness at all. Genuine godliness is when God becomes the sole desire of your heart. Otherwise you are still infected with the malignant disease of worldliness.

When God becomes the sole desire of your heart, you have become single eyed. This is the essence of true godliness―the single eyed way of life.

Only one thing is needed

When Jesus came to Bethany, a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. This happened because she held Him in very high esteem. He was highly regarded and valued in her heart. Consequently, she left all she was doing in order to sit at His feet. She gave Him all of her heart and attention.

39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word.
~Luke 10:39

So, even Martha’s sister, Mary, became affected by her fascination with Jesus; and also sat at Jesus’ feet in rapt attention.

Unfortunately, Martha’s focus on Jesus was not long lived. She became distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. So she left to attend to other ‘important’ matters. Meanwhile, Mary stayed put. Mary refused to participate in Martha’s distractions. Mary made the unpopular choice to remain at Jesus feet.

Mary’s choice drove Martha nuts. Eventually she completely lost it and vented her frustrations on Jesus.

40 …”Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
~ Luke 10:40

No doubts Jesus mattered a great deal to Martha; she definitely held Him in very high esteem. However, other things mattered as well: her reputation. She had to offer first class hospitality to Jesus and His companions, in order to register a great first impression on the guests.

The person, presence, and words of Jesus Christ mattered to Martha. But her reputation mattered as well.

Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter:

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
~Luke 10:41,42

Martha cared about many other things besides Jesus; so her eye was not single at all. Jesus let her know that there should only be one item of treasure in her affections.

Don’t forget this: As long as God is just one among other highly valued items in your heart―regardless of His placement in the arrangement―you are still infected with the malignant disease of worldliness.

Also keep this in mind: When God becomes the sole desire of your heart, you have become single eyed―that is, truly godly.

According to Jesus, only one thing is needed. In other words, our hearts should accommodate only a single treasure.

Our scale of preference should contain only one item: Him.

The Single eyed way of life

David eventually attained the single eyed state.

This is how he described it:

4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
~ Psalm 27:4

And this:

25Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
~ Psalm 73:25

The single eyed state happens when God becomes all that you seek; the sole desire of your heart. In this state, nothing else matters; your heart accommodates only a single treasure; your scale of preference contains only one item―just Him.

But be warned: The single eyed way of life is a very dangerous way to live. It attracts a lot of enmity from the world, as Mary learnt from Martha.

Two gates and two ways

Essentially, there are just two ways of life on earth. Jesus referred to these two basic lifestyles in terms of ‘gates and ways.’

13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
~ Matthew 7:13,14

The wide and broad: Worldliness

This way of life has the following features:

  • It has a wide gate.
  • It has a broad way.
  • It’s highly visible, so easy to see.
  • It has many subscribers; so it’s popular, conventional, and widely accepted.
  • It is pleasurable initially.
  • But it ends in destruction: that is, frustration, restlessness, suicide, pain, misery, rehab, and so on.

When your scale of preference is in alignment with that of the world, it will reflect in your choices and decisions. You will value the same treasures as the world, and pursue the same ends. So the world will embrace you and love you as one of her own. Thus you become a friend of the world and an enemy of God. This is worldliness; the worldly way; a malignant disease.

The small and narrow: Godliness

This is the single eyed way of life. It has the following features:

  • The gate is small.
  • The way is narrow.
  • It is hidden and hard to find.
  • It has very few subscribers; in other words it’s unpopular and unconventional.
  • It is bitter and difficult at the onset.
  • But it ends in life: that is, peace, joy, fulfilment.

When God is the sole desire of your heart, the only treasure in your scale of preference, it will also reflect in your daily choices and decisions. The things that are highly valued among men will become practically detestable to you. This will attract the hostility and enmity of the world around you. They will hate and persecute you. This is godliness; the single eyed way of life.

The way of the cross

When you become single eyed, you will become an enemy of the world. Those who want to share your affection with God will hate you when you refuse to cooperate. Like Martha did to Mary, they will attack you viciously.

To live the single eyed life, you must be willing to bear the cross of the world’s rejection and enmity.

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters―yes, even his own life―he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
~Luke 14:25-27

The single eyed way of life is a cross. It can only be lived by hating your own very self; by dying to this world; by coming to the point where even your own life doesn’t matter anymore to you.

This is the small gate; the narrow way; the way of the cross.

It is sad that while this lifestyle is rapidly becoming extinct among modern believers, death cults are embracing it with their heartless suicide-bombers who care only about fulfilling the death wish of their master Satan.

And the unpalatable truth is this: Unless today’s believers shake off our pathetic embrace of worldly values, we and our empty religious platitudes will soon be discarded as worthless thrash in the dung heap of absolute irrelevance.

Becoming single eyed

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are the temple of the living God. In other words, only He should occupy our hearts and affection. He alone should own our devotion.

It may be true that the terrible disease of worldliness has stealthily saturated the hearts and minds of today’s believers from the pulpit to the pew; and it may also be true that this disease has completely blinded us, corrupted us, and rendered us absolutely impotent in the modern worldbut it is certainly true that God can heal us and restore us to His ancient pathways.

That is, if we can repent and turn to God.

19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
~ Acts 3:19

Let us confess that we have adopted worldly values, become friends with the world, and enemies of God. Then let’s ask our Heavenly Father to forgive us.

Let’s then go on to ask the Precious Holy Spirit to lead us back to the foot of the cross; to scan our hearts for all rival treasures; to help us completely devalue them and eliminate them from our scale of preference; to help us follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and His faithful Apostles.

Let us continue to ask Him to help our hearts become single eyed:

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
~Psalm 86:11

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