Imagine that you go to a grand banquet. With great excitement, you find your name on a place-setting at the table. As you sit there, you focus on your name card. You focus on your name card even as the warm bread is passed. You focus on your name card as the savory soup and then the juicy steak go by. You focus on your name card as the chocolate cheesecake comes around and as the coffee is served. As the evening goes on, you wonder why your stomach is growling.
It is important for believers to know that we are the children of God, the valued sheep of His flock, and the apple of His eye. However, if our focus remains on who we are, our healing will not be complete, and our joy will not be full.
Think about it this way: it would be a good thing to learn that we were someone’s child and that we had a father, right? But that joy, in itself, would be quite limited. The full joy would come in knowing that our father was a kind and patient man!
The fact that we are beloved children of God gives us joy and brings us into God’s Presence. But too often, we stand there and stare at our own feet. Focused on ourselves, we say, “I am God’s child. I am loved.” We wonder why our healing does not progress and why our joy does not grow.
But then … we feel the gentle fingers of Jesus beneath our chin, lifting our head so that our eyes see Him. Here is our full healing! When the Lifter of our Head becomes the focus of our eyes, then is our joy made complete.
It is good to see that our feet are bought by Christ, but our healing progresses when we then focus on the pierced feet of Jesus Who bought us! It is good to know that we are sheep of God’s flock, but our joy is made full as we then focus on the gentleness and wisdom and goodness of our Shepherd.
Our list of who we are in Christ (“I am chosen; I am accepted; I am loved; etc.”) is what we stand on in order to see the awesome “I AM” of God. God uses my “I am … ” to lift my head to see His “I AM.” Our complete healing and full joy come from focusing on Him and on savoring Who He Is.
My “I am … ” helps me to find my place at the table, but His “I AM” is the feast!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Consider Him, so that you do not grow weary or discouraged (Hebrews 12:2,3).
What a great way to illustrate how hurting, brokeness, and trials turn our focus inward, toward ourselves. We see “the problem” the hurts, wrongs and injustices. As we focus on our injustices and self-pity the problems just get bigger. We then wage war on them ourselves. Things don’t work out and we fight harder. We become exhausted. We don’t understand why we are getting nowhere.
Like going to the elaborate banquet looking at “OUR” feet. We miss EVERYTHING except, the aroma of a lovely meal and the sound of great fellowship. The greatest sadness is that we even miss the privilege of the Honored Host. Like being invited to the home of Billy Graham for dinner and staying in the living room.
Jerimiah 29: 11, to me, is a lovely picture of the sweetness,compassion, and promise of our Savior when we are in great trouble and turmoil. He already knows the plans He has set and He knows what we are going through. In this verse, our focus goes away from us and to Him. He says in verse 12 that when we call on Him, He will come and listen. When we seek Him we will find Him and He will bring us back from captivity.
I read recently, that our Lord is always pursuing us and is demonstrated in the first book of the Bible with the first question asked by God. ” Where are you?”
Disciplining to look full in His Wonderful Face,
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”
So true! Thank you, Angie.