One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
Once upon a time, one of my good friends gave me this piece of advice:“Gina, when you close your eyes to worship Jesus, take note of what you are seeing. Are you picturing yourself worshipping Him, or are you picturing Him? Are your eyes truly fixed on the throne?”
That rocked me.How often do I think I worship God, while actually worshipping myself? A lot.It’s taken some time, but I’ve left that behind. Now, when I look up, I look to Him. When I look up in worship and in surrender, I see Christ; and I stay there. I gaze on the beauty of the Lord. I look on the glories of His majesty – that He would leave His throne to die as a human and love me with His whole life. I see Jesus, now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us. I see Him.Recently, standing outside of my favorite greasy diner in Worcester, Mass, waiting for my table with my headphones in, listening to gospel music, eyes looking up to Jesus, I had a thought.
“I wonder what this looks like. What do people think when they see me looking up, mask on, eyes fixed on the clouds? Do they know what I see?”
Hm. I wonder.
Some time later, sitting inside the diner with my brother, I look up again. Only this time, I’m indoors – and the ceiling of the diner is covered in stickers. Stickers from Starbucks, stickers from colleges, stickers from politicians, stickers from everywhere you can imagine.
Subsequently, inside the diner, I felt I had more permission to look up. It felt more publicly acceptable because there were obvious things to see – the stickers! Mostly anyone would be able to see the same stickers I saw. Thus, I felt a bit more released to lift my eyes to the Lord inside the diner, because it wouldn’t look as weird from the outside.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit convicted me.
Gina, no matter how it looks or what people think, wherever you are – keep looking up.
Jesus has been continuing to minister this point to me. For as we maintain an upward gaze on the beauty of the Lord, those who do not know Him will notice how we lift our eyes. They will wonder what we see. They will see the subsequent affects of true worship in our lives – and they will wonder how it is you can be changed just by seeing.
“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
When our eyes are fixed clearly on the throne room, we become more like Jesus.
And as we keep our eyes on Him, the Lord opens the eyes of the lost…the eyes of those whom He has been looking on with love this whole time.