The Eyes Have It

It was quiet in the house in that early morning hour, and my dog and I were in our regular positions for my prayer and Bible time – I on the couch, and Sandy on the carpeted floor next to me.  As usual, he was facing away from me.  As usual, to pet him required me to reach, barely able to touch the back of his head.  Sometimes, I really want to pet him face-to-face, looking into his beautiful golden-brown eyes while he looks into mine.  This was one of those mornings, and I was a little frustrated that he wouldn’t give me his face.  Then I sensed Holy Spirit giving me the bigger picture.

I have been like Sandy so often with my heavenly Father, Who yields to my will, even as I yield to Sandy’s preferences (most of the time).  What part of my heart does Sandy miss by facing away – even when he is near?  What part of the heart of Jesus do I miss because I look at all that is going on around me, when I could look at His face and into His eyes of love instead?

When I stop focusing on all the distractions, turning instead to focus on His face, everything else fades in importance.  His understanding of all my concerns becomes much clearer to me, simply because I have sought to know Him more.  The more I know Him, the more I know His love.  The more I know His love, the less room there is for fear of any kind (the root of my focus elsewhere), and the more I want to know of His love.  Also, the more I practice facing my Lord when I’m in those quiet times, the more I will seek His face during the remainder of my day.  It’s a wonderful circle!

Ephesians 3:17-19 AMP

17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

Will I remain content to know Daddy’s love for me only to the extent I now know it?  Sandy feels somewhat trapped in those rare face-to-face encounters with me – wanting nearness, but on his terms.  Is it the same with me and my Lord?  Jesus came to set me free, that I might truly know my God as Abba, Daddy – with all His unending and unconditional love.  Oh, that I will seek His face so that His face of love will be reflected to others wherever I go!

Psalm 27:8  NIV  My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  Your face, Lord , I will seek.

Those Moments

Ever had one of those moments when it’s clear the Lord has been working in you all along, changing you, without your being aware of it?  I experienced one of those moments during the last day of my first-ever writers’ conference.

The event began for me with an overload of insecurity and inadequacy as I compared myself to others speaking so confidently about their books and their publishing issues – and this was just in line at check-in!  It required a major talk between myself and Holy Spirit en route to my room.  I declared that I am not in competition with these people, though we may seek the same publishing opportunities at some point.  God has called and anointed me to write, even as He has called them, and He’s given each of us at least one story to tell.  Not only that, He called me to this very writers’ conference, so insecurity and inadequacy could have no further say in the matter!  My perspective began to line up with my Daddy’s.

As the contest winners were announced on the final evening, I was completely at ease.  After all, I had not even entered the writing contest.  One of my tablemates had, however, so I was eager to hear her name called, and disappointed when it wasn’t.  I noticed that I was genuinely excited for each of the winners, though I only knew some from brief conversations, and others not at all.  It was the fullness of Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice . . .”  I truly rejoiced with nothing held back (and hope it will remain that way when I have entered!)  But this was only a precursor to THE moment I mentioned earlier.

During our final morning together, I saw what God has been nurturing in me all along.  As conversations took place around me, as I observed the people, as I learned of publishing opportunities some had just received, I had such a desire for each one to be published and to share what God has given them for others.  I was experiencing God’s desires for them!

1 John 4:7 AMP  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].

It’s nothing less than the power of His love at work in me.  It’s been working all along, and will continue working toward greater degrees of fruitfulness, but it’s as if I arrived at a precipice where I see what He’s done thus far.  Here, I see the people He has created more like He sees them, and I can’t help but love and want the best for them, for that’s His heart.

I haven’t arrived at the top of this mountain, by any means, but I have been brought to a greater revelation of the Spirit working in me than I’ve been before.  Through the power of His love and His Word, I am being conformed to His thoughts, His attitudes, His perspective, and His amazing love.  Because of this, I am encouraged to continue onward and upward as Holy Spirit draws my gaze from this view to see the next climb awaiting me, with more of those moments at its precipice.