“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way” (Psalm 119:37).
Left to ourselves, we seek fulfillment in things that have no fulfillment to offer. The Psalmist understood this about himself, and thus prayed that God would actively engage in the work of wrenching his gaze from vanity unto the path of life.
The world, the devil and the flesh tell us that dead things possess the potential to fill and fulfill our hearts. No one is excluded from the temptation to this wayward gaze, including the most godly among us. Thus, we must join the Psalmist in asking God to show us where we are seeking the living among the dead.
Our Lord’s answer will involve every aspect of our inner sensibilities. Thought patterns, attitudes, beliefs and affections all possess the potential to cause us to “behold vanity.” Indeed, it may feel good to think and believe a certain way, or to hold an attitude with which we have become comfortable. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man” declared Solomon. The wise man didn’t stop there, however. “But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Only God can fully deliver us from spiritually and morally wandering through graveyards, as it were, hoping and expecting to find life in venues of death.
“Heavenly Father, we join the Psalmist in seeking Your aid in redirecting our gaze from death unto life. Show us where we are seeking the living among the dead. Cause us to see the wickedness and insanity of such a futile pursuit. Turn our hearts toward life, the life of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and the truth of Your Word. Thank You for Your patience and mercy, and for Your promise to continue Your work in us until our gaze is ever and only upon You. In the name of the Lord Jesus we pray, Amen.”
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”