The Power of a Gaze
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The phrase looking unto Jesus is from a Greek word that means to look away from everything else and to look at something with an attentive and unwavering gaze. To look at Jesus this way, we must look away from our own failures and insecurities. We must look away from past experiences. We must look away from our personal fears and weaknesses. When we see only Jesus, life takes on new potential.
Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. His sights were set on harming the Christian church and hindering its purposes. His vision was transformed by the blinding light of Jesus’ visage. Three days later, Ananias laid hands on Paul and not only was his physical sight restored, but his life vision was changed! For the rest of Paul’s life, he looked at the Son of God, and became one of the greatest saints of the church age.
Noah found grace in God’s sight, and was chosen to save a remnant of humanity from the deadly flood. For 120 years after God spoke to Noah, he “looked unto” the flood, and worked feverishly to build the boat God designed. Noah’s vision set him apart from his generation. His vision of the coming deluge moved him past the criticism and sarcasm of his age. The mocking and ridicule continued unabated decade after decade, and Noah never moved from his convictions because his continually looked at the coming flood and God’s command.
Abram was called out of a city of idolaters who worshiped the moon. God’s promise that he would father a child with his 65 year old wife changed his life forever. Abraham became the Father of faith as he gazed at the stars in the nighttime sky. God promised that he would have as many kids as the stars he could see. As Abraham gazed upon the sand on the shoreline of the ocean, he was reminded that he and Sarah’s days of barrenness would end with the blessing of being the father of a multitude and of the whole world benefiting from God’s promise to him. Abraham’s life changed because he no longer focused on his inability but on the promise of God.
Keep the vision of your intimacy with Jesus ever before you today. In Him we live and move and have our being. You are seated with Him in heavenly place far above Satan’s rule and power. You are loved and favored by the Father. You never face one life event alone. The Greater One is in you to enable you in each task today. He is intimately involved in every relationship and in every circumstance. Keep looking unto Jesus and there will be no room in you for discouragement, darkness, and dread. What you see is what you will get!