Then there were some people to whom Paul spoke: he told them that their look was much too near. He said, ‘You only see what is immediately before your eyes, your vision is merely of things near you, these are the things that influence you’. Too short a range of vision leads to your life becoming smaller than the Lord would have it; you become far too easily satisfied and contented in the realm of the things of the Lord; you have a small, narrow horizon – you are not looking right on. Things near – that may apply in different ways. The things that are near are always the things that are most likely to upset us, to limit us, to disconcert us. We do become so occupied with the thing that is nearest. When we are right up against a situation and something is right up against us, we are in such danger of thinking that is all, that is everything, that we forget we have negotiated many such an obstacle before which we thought was going to be the end of everything for us. We learn our lesson so slowly. Here is another thing right at hand, right before our eyes; another mountain, another hedge, another real difficulty; and again we think – ‘This is going to spoil everything, this is going to be the end of everything’. All we see is the thing near at hand.
But to look right on means surely to say this – ‘Yes, this is a difficulty, but there is another side to it, it is not going to be the end’. It is one of the things that is included in ‘laying aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset’.
What is “the sin which doth so easily beset”? It is this, that the big difficulty of today blots out tomorrow, seems to get right in the way of any future at all. That is the easily besetting sin. Do not have too near a view, do not have too small an horizon. “Let thine eyes look right on”. There is something very much more than the difficulty of the day, the very present thing, the near thing. The Lord will teach us as we go on that we can reckon on very much more than the things which are up against us now. We shall go on and leave them behind. Do not let us take them as the limit. Whatever they are, they are not the end.
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