Thursday, June 28, 2007

Look not unto yourself...

Something that has been ever on my mind lately is...myself! I try to contemplate how I can solve a problem, how I can make the right decisions, how I can care for others that God has placed in my life, how I can please God through my life and do the right things. These are just a few examples of how I try to depend on myself and my own strength. And though we do play an active role in "working out our own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 3:12) I tend to forget the last part of this passage: "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 3:13) I forget that though I do work out my salvation through obedience and active decisions to please God through my life... It is really God's work in me, through His Son, that makes it all possible! Looking to myself is never the answer, I am called to look to Christ...yet I so quickly forget to do so. The result is usually weariness, grumbling, and feelings of being defeated. It usually when these things appear that I realize what is going on and God kindly refocuses my gaze back onto His perfect son, whose bled was shed for all of my weariness, that I can have victory!

This is how God brought this to my attention this morning:

“Looking unto Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:2

It is the continual work of the Holy Spirit to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great to be forgiven; your repentance is not real; you will never be able to continue to the end; your faith is weak!"

All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self; He tells us that we are nothing but that "Christ is everything." Always remember that it is not your hold on Christ that saves you, it is Christ Himself (and his hold on you); it is not your joy in Christ that saves you--it is Christ (and His joy in saving you); it is not even faith in Christ, though faith is the instrument of your salvation--it is Christ Himself (His blood and merit) that accomplishes salvation.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we want to overcome Satan and have peace with God, we must do so by "looking unto Jesus." Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon your mind when you wake up or when you lay down each night. Don’t let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; look to Him, and He will never fail you.

“My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

-Morning and Evening 6/28
Charles Spurgeon

I pray that we can be reminded to look to the author and perfecter of our faith and run with endurance the race that is set before us. He is the one who has gone before us, and He is the one that makes the way possible.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2


Mrs. Ellis said...

Very timely word, Sweetie!!! Thanks for sharing it. Love, Your Mama

Lisa and Christian said...

Hello Laura-This is Lisa. I don't know if you remember me from COR or ground zero...but I found your website on Hannah's and I just wanted to tell you that I am so happy for you and your husband! You are absolutely adorable together... I can immediately see how you are just glowing and overflowing with joy and love in your pictures! Just beautiful! I just had to tell you that:)

Sera said...

Good post.