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Fellow ship > The Subtle Trap

The Subtle Trap

Or, Taking Your Eyes Off Jesus

"Ye that seek the LORD: look unto the Rock whence ye are hewn"
(Isaiah 51:1).

by Tom Stewart


e, who have been "waiting for the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 1:7), are prone to fall into the trap of taking our eyes off Jesus. Whether you have been impressed with a particular date or simply a general season, you can easily become "weary in well doing" (Galatians 6:9). That weariness translates into a loss of patience, which would stop us from truly waiting on our LORD's coming. "And the LORD direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2Thessalonians 3:5). Further, we could then be justly accused of seeking a time for our deliverance more than we seek Jesus. Instead, we ought to "count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:8) and keep "looking unto Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2).

Neither Know We What To Do

When faced with an unimaginable obstacle or a wearisome battle of waiting, we may feel what King Jehoshaphat of Judah felt when he faced an invasion from a
"great multitude" (2Chronicles 20:2) of Moabites and Ammonites. "O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do" (20:12). If we do not immediately counter this sense of helplessness with an act of faith, we will sin. "But our eyes are upon Thee" (20:12) was Jehoshaphat's heartfelt cry to the LORD.

The difficulty is not that we cannot be afraid. But, how do we respond to fear?
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3). Again, Jehoshaphat recognized the difficulty of his situation, but he also correctly responded with faith. "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah" (20:3). So long as we act in faith, we will not fall into the subtle trap of taking our eyes off Jesus. "I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4).

Lest Ye Forget

We were not always aware or interested in the events surrounding the Second Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [the Resurrection], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope" (1Thessalonians 4:13). A greater understanding and awareness of prophecy gives us hope and certainty about the future. "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25). If, for some reason, we forget the "Covenant Of Peace" (Numbers 25:12) that the LORD has promised to those that "love [His] law" (Psalm 119:165), then our LORD, Who is a "Jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4:24), will respond to us as a "Consuming Fire" (4:24), i.e., He will deal harshly with us. "Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the Covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you" (4:23).

Provoke Not The LORD

When we take our eyes off Jesus, we provoke the LORD.
"Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not His testimonies" (Psalm 78:56). The LORD "knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14); therefore, it is not unreasonable that the LORD would be provoked by our taking our eyes off Jesus.

Looking Unto Jesus

Walking in faith is
"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" (Hebrews 12:2). When we see the LORD Jesus as The Answer to all of our needs, then we are walking in faith. "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

Look To Jesus As Our Saviour From Sin And Sinning

Joseph was told by the angel in a dream,
"[Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus means literally, Jehovah is salvation. Jesus saves His people from the eternal consequence of sin-- eternal death. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath Everlasting Life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). Jesus also saves His people from sinning. "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him" (1John 3:6).

Look To Jesus As The All-Powerful One

When the LORD Jesus was ready to ascend back into Heaven, He gave His Great Commission to
"teach all nations" (Matthew 28:19). With His command to evangelize the World, He gave His authority and power. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth" (28:18). Only the Living God possesses All Power. "9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: 10 That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11). Trust Him to empower you until you reach Heaven. "And the LORD shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His Heavenly Kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2Timothy 4:18).

Look To Jesus As Our Wisdom

Wisdom is the best application of the means to the end. Jesus is the Best Means to be applied to our ends.
"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption" (1Corinthians 1:30). Whatever is the question, Christ is the answer. "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ The Power Of God, and The Wisdom Of God" (1:24). How we are to "occupy" (Luke 19:13) until the LORD Jesus comes for us, requires wisdom. "5 If any of you lack Wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and It shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed" (James 1:5-6).

Look To Jesus As Our Hope

Hope is what we do not see.
"For we are saved by Hope: but hope that is seen is not Hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" (Romans 8:24). We do not yet see our Rapture-Deliverance from this world, so we must continue to hope. "Looking for that Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). All hope is tied to the person of our LORD Jesus Christ. "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and LORD Jesus Christ, which is our Hope" (1Timothy 1:1). Those who are delivered after the Pre-Tribulational Rapture need to hope in the LORD as much as those who are Pre-Tribulationally Raptured. "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD" (Psalm 31:24).

Look To Jesus As Our Healer

Not only is spiritual healing in the Atonement, but physical healing as well.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Justification for our LORD's earthly healing ministry was found in that quotation from Isaiah. "16 When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:16-17). This physical healing will be essential for the LORD to preserve His people in these wicked days where government uses health care to control and manipulate people.

Look To Jesus As Our Life

The LORD Jesus is our very life.
"When Christ, Who is our Life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:4). Any expectation we have about our physical or spiritual life comes from Him. He is the Sustenance for our life. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread Of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). He cools us at His fountain. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink" (John 7:37). We have the privilege of taking these verses of Scripture as Promises of physical supply as well as spiritual supply-- if we can receive it. "Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29). Before these End Times are completed, the Body will surely want to believe these verses for everything they are worth.

Look To Jesus As Our Shepherd

We are familiar with the 23rd Psalm--
"The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want" (23:1). We realize that the LORD Jesus is that Shepherd. We are comforted by the realization that Jesus is in Absolute Control of our lives in these turbulent times. "I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (John 10:11). Jesus has already proven that He is the Good Shepherd by giving His life for us on Calvary. We prove that we are His sheep by hearing and obeying His Word. "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine" (John 10:14). We need all the feeling of Security that we can get, while all is in turmoil around us. "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1Peter 2:25).

Look To Jesus As Our Bridegroom

For Jesus to be our Heavenly Bridegroom, offers us the picture of the greatest intimacy that can be allowed two humans-- to be man and wife.
"25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:25,32). What sacrifice our Bridegroom has made, and will make, for us because we are Spiritually joined as "One Flesh" (Genesis 2:24)! "He that is joined unto the LORD is One Spirit" (1Corinthians 6:17). We have a Wedding Feast to attend after the Tribulation Week is over.

Look To Jesus As Our All In All

We cannot remotely describe all of the End Time events, much less all of the needs of God's people. Suffice it to say that Jesus is our All In All.
"21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be The Head over all things to the church, 23 Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:21-23). Who but God can be our All In All?


As we occupy and wait for our LORD's
"coming" (1Corinthians 1:7), we must not take our eyes off of our Rock, which is Christ (10:14). We began our spiritual journey by looking to Jesus that we might live. "And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8). "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14).

We cannot finish our pilgrim journey of faith without Jesus.
"Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). All of our needs that occur on our journey are merely opportunities to trust the LORD to be our Supply. "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Have confidence that our God is a Finisher as well as a Starter, when it comes to the work of faith that He has begun in us. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (1:6).



Tom Stewart


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