Thursday, September 24, 2015

"First Look"

     I don't know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, a thousand different paths of thought, consideration, and planning seem to present themselves to my heart and mind.  Nine hundred and ninety nine are distractions from the way I desire to first consider.

     "In the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and look up" (Psalm 5:3).

    Upon first consciousness, I often tend to look around rather than look up.  There is no law that demands a Heavenward gaze unto the Lord as our first focus.  The grace and truth of God in the Lord Jesus Christ rather calls us into a fellowship of love wherein we freely determine to respond to His overtures or not.  Our Heavenly Father desires genuineness of devotion, as opposed to mere ritual of discipline.  The question then becomes, How do we more consistently direct our first gaze to our Father?  What motivates us to look up rather than around?

    The answer lies in His gaze.  "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous" (Psalm 34:15).  Or, as the Apostle John declared, "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).  Our devotion to God ever proceeds from His devotion to us.  We awaken to every new day under the gaze of God's love, and thus, in the wonder of His determination to work in accordance with our best interests.  The sooner we remember this truth, the sooner we get our spiritual bearings, as it were, remembering how rightly the Psalmist affirmed, "This is the day which the Lord hath made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24).  We don't make our own days.  "The way of man is not in himself.  It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).  We rather "live and move and have our being" in God (Acts 17:28).  Thus, the first gaze of our day best sees and affirms God's gaze upon us rather than ours upon Him.

    The challenge of beginning our days involves our native tendency to forget that through the night, and always, our Father maintains His concentration on us for the holy purpose of conforming us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus (Romans 8:28-29; Philippians 1:6).  The more and better we remember such truth, whether in the morning, at noon, or during the night, the more our hearts respond in kind.  Love begets love, that is, the heart of God for us elicits our reciprocal heart for Him, or regarding the present consideration, our first gaze.

"When Thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek."
(Psalm 27:8)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
(Romans 8:9)

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