Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Ministry of Beholding His Face

So, I realize that it has been a really long while since I have shared anything on this ministry.  And I'm not sure what God has planned in the future for The Indwelling Word Ministries; I'll have to pray about that. But God placed a message on my heart today that I thought I should share with you.

The Lord has been teaching me much lately about simply studying Him.  Remembering Who He is and what He has done for us.  I know I've talked about this before, but it is so easy (for me!) to forget to look full into His wonderful face.

I'm sure there are many passages I could share, but the one God laid on my heart this morning is Isaiah 40:9-11.

~~Isaiah 40:9-11~~
"O Zion, You who bring good tidings, 
Get up into the high mountain; 
O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, 
Lift up your voice with strength, 
Lift it up, be not afraid; 
Say to the cities of Judah, 
"Behold your God!" 
Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, 
And His arm shall rule for Him; 
Behold, His reward is with Him, 
And His work before Him. 
He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
 He will gather the lambs with His arm, 
And carry them in His bosom, 
And gently lead those who are with young."

After these three verses, Isaiah goes on to talk about how there is absolutely nothing that can compare to our Lord.  But look at that command in verse nine:  "Tell everyone you know, shout from the rooftops, lift up your voice with strength.  And say: Behold. Behold your God."

Wow.  What is the command we receive here?  We are instructed to behold our God.  To muse on the works of His hands. To meditate on what He has done for us.  To think about Who He is.

There have been seasons in my life, where I honestly haven't focused my heart upon His character and goodness.  And those were times where I was oft distracted by the things of the world, oft discouraged by my own imperfections.  But these past few days, God has been calling me back to Himself.  Calling my just to walk hand-in-hand with Him and allow Him to turn my eyes back onto things that are eternal. And I can testify from personal experience that beholding His face is the most amazing thing ever!  Last night, I was so overwhelmed with His grace in the face of my own weakness and unfaithfulness, that I was simply overflowing with praise!  I understood through my own experience what the psalmist said when he wrote, "My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King, my tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:1).  I couldn't contain the joy inside and couldn't help but share God's goodness with some friends. =)

That is how my perspective changed by beholding my Lord.  And honestly, it was one of the most amazing things I've done.  It continues to be, as I continue to look at Him.

I suppose I can't make you begin to behold His face once you hit "exit" after reading this post. But I can share my own experiences and the Word of God with you. I'm not going to list off 101 benefits of meditating on Him.  Nor am I going to list off all the Scripture passages that talk about how we should do it.  I only ask that you might come away from the things of this world that are so empty and will never satisfy, and allow your gaze to be fixed upon the King of kings. There is nothing more amazing.  Nothing.

If you wonder where to start, or how even to begin beholding His face, I suggest two things for you:
  1. Read the Scriptures.  You can start with Isaiah 40, which says so much about Who God is and how absolutely amazing and incomparable He is.  God's Word reveals to us Who He is.  Be faithful, my dear friend, to read it and muse over it.  This Word literally has the power to change your life, as you gaze upon the King (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  2. Keep a thanksgiving journal.  I've been writing down the things that I'm thankful for and it's really helped me to look around and see God's presence in my life and how good He has been. It's forced me to watch for His answers to my prayers and I've witnessed Him at work.  And watching Him in my own life has definitely put a song of praise in my heart.
And with those thoughts, I leave you.  My friends, God is so good.  <3 I'm overwhelmed at His mercy and His grace.  Even that He has brought me to this place in my spiritual walk where I realize that nothing is more important than Him.  Without His help, I would have never reached this place, but would have continued to wallow in misery and selfishness.  God is ever so good to His children!

"Praise the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name." ~Psalm 30:4