37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
These words have saved my life. I have prayed them thousands of times. Countless moments when I have felt weak, I have whispered these simple words, and found the strength to endure temptation.
Without question, the most prominent period in which this stands out was when I was in college. Walking across campus each day, I was constantly around young women trying to get attention by showing as much skin as they possibly could.
Thoughts came: It’s okay to look. There’s no harm in that. Everyone does it. Besides, who would know?
The devil’s lies always make sin seem harmless. It seems pleasurable and delightful. But in the end, it always - always - produces emptiness, heartache, and death.
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell. Proverbs 5:3-5
God created sex and sexual attraction, and He instituted the boundaries for it from the very beginning of Genesis: between a man and a woman within the covenant of marriage. (Gen 2:24)
It’s the devil who has perverted sex. And for many years of my life, that perversion brought me emptiness, heartache, and pain. So I know this first hand.
But I began to learn God’s way. His plan & purpose. His intended blessing. And when I learned that He had someone in mind for me to marry, I decided to honor God and honor my future wife by letting my eyes be only for her. Even though I had no idea who she was.
It wasn’t easy. It was one of the greatest challenges of my life. This quiet battle that no one on earth knew I was fighting. Day in and day out, not letting my eyes or affection drift toward the skimpy dress, or the magazine cover at the cash register, or one of the countless other temptations.
When I would feel that tug, that desire to look, I would turn my heart toward the Lord, and say, “Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
And every time, He did. Every time.
So, are there “worthless things” that are constantly trying to get your attention?
Maybe, like me, they are overtly wicked and will destroy your peace, health, and well-being.
Maybe they’re just harmless distractions that are quietly sapping your strength from God’s perfect will for your life.
If you feel hopeless, if you feel like you have lost control and don’t have any power to say no to whatever that thing is - know that the Grace of God has the power to turn your eyes away from worthless things and to set you free!
Know that Jesus is committed to you experiencing the freedom that He died for you to have!
So take these words to heart, and when you are tempted to look at, or meditate on those worthless things - let God’s word get you back on track. Pray, “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
And you will find the strength to overcome.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.