Charles Henry Mackintosh

Singleness of Eye

C. H. Mackintosh

"If thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light". (Luke 11:34).

God will ever guide the humble, obedient soul; on the other hand, if we do not walk according to the light communicated, we shall get into darkness.  Light not acted upon becomes darkness, and oh, "how great the darkness"!  Nothing is more dangerous than tampering with the light that God gives.  It must, sooner or later, lead to the most disastrous consequences.  "Take heed, therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness".  "Hear ye, and give ear: be not proud; for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness".  (Jeremiah 13:15-16).

This is deeply solemn.  What a contrast between a man having a single eye, and a man not acting on the light which God has given him!  The one has his body full of light; the other has his body full of darkness.  The one has no part dark; the other is plunged into gross darkness.  The one is a light-bearer for others; the other is a stumbling block in the way.  We know nothing more solemn than the judicial acting of God, in actually turning our light into darkness, because we have refused to act on the light that He has been pleased to impart.

Christian reader, are you acting up to your light?  Has God sent a ray of light into your soul?  Has He shown you something wrong in your ways or associations?  Are you persisting in any line of action that conscience tells you is not in accord with your Master's will?  Search and see.  "Give glory to the Lord thy God".  Act on the light.  Do not hesitate.  Think not of consequences.  Obey, we beseech you, the Word of your Lord.  This very moment, as your eye scans these lines, let the purpose of your soul be to depart from iniquity wherever you find it.  Say not, "Where shall I go?  What shall I do next?  There is evil everywhere.  It is only escaping from one evil to plunge into another".  Say not these things; do not argue or reason; do not look at results; think not of what the world or the world-church will say of you; rise above all these things, and tread the path of light — that path which shines more and more unto the perfect day of glory.

Remember, God never gives light for two steps at a time.  If he has given you light for one step, then, in the fear and love of His Name, take that one step, and you will assuredly get more light — yes, "more and more".  But if there be the refusal to act, the light which is in you will become gross darkness, your feet will stumble on the dark mountains of error that lie on either side of the straight and narrow path of obedience; and you will become a stumbling-block in the path of others.

Some of the most grievous stumbling-blocks that lie, at this moment, in the pathway of anxious inquirers are found in the persons of those who once seemed to possess the truth, but have turned from it.  The light which was in them has become darkness, and oh, how great and how appalling is that darkness!  How sad it is to see those who ought to be light-bearers, acting as a positive hindrance to young and earnest Christians!  But let not young Christians be hindered by them.  The way is plain.  "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding".  (Job 28:28).  Let each one hear and obey for himself the voice of the Lord.  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me".  The Lord be praised for this precious Word!  It puts each one in the place of direct responsibility to Christ Himself; it tells us plainly what is God's way, and, just as plainly, how to find it.

Extract from "God's Way and How to Find It", by C. H. Mackintosh, with pronouns updated to reflect modern English usage.

Singleness of Eye