Aligning our ‘Look Upon’

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, ‘Seek my face.’
My heart says to you,
    ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’
   Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!..

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies…
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!” Psalm 27:1-9,11,13

David is pursued and pelted by enemy assailants, but he’s not overcome by their dark press. He gazes at, holds onto, and sings of the Light that is his God. Every opponent, every onslaught, pales into the background as he focuses on his one thing: dwelling with his Lord every waking moment, beholding His beauty in intimate communion. His hope is fixed in the anticipation of looking upon the goodness of the Lord forever.

We get pressured by so many things that rob attention from the one that is vital. Work and financial responsibilities, maintenance of material goods, petty grievances and irritations with people and politics- each has its place, but none is foremost. Jesus realigned Martha when He directed her to turn from busy tasks to gaze, and listen. It’s not that there aren’t important duties to manage, nor challenges and enemies to contend with, but as God’s children we know all these are providentially in place as instruments for a higher knowing of Him in the midst. (Luke 10:38-42; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; James 1:2-4)

What occupies our focus? How would we perceive things differently if we began each day aligning praise, passion, and purpose with God as our light and salvation? When and how will we seek His face?

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
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.” ~Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)

Lord, train me to focus my energies and sight to look upon You, so the perspective of all else is framed and understood by Your glory and grace.

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