Monday, October 6, 2014
Day 6 :: The gaze of the soul
A woman came to Jesus uninvited. She had heard of His whereabouts, that He was dining in the home of a Pharisee, and even though she knew her presence wouldn't be favored by most, she came anyway.
She came to pour. To anoint Jesus' feet with precious oil and wash His feet with her tears.
The owner of the house scoffed inwardly at Jesus, thinking that if Jesus was a true prophet, He would know this woman's past--her reputation as a 'sinner'-- and He would never would have allowed this demonstration.
As Jesus often did, He responded to these thoughts with a parable. A moneylender had two debtors, one owing significantly more than the other. The debts of both were cancelled, and Jesus asked which debtor would have loved the moneylender more. Of course the one who had the larger debt, the Pharisee replied.
Jesus then compared the Pharisee and the sinful woman to these debtors. The woman was anointing Jesus' feet because she had been forgiven much and therefore loved much. The Pharisee hadn't even bothered to give Jesus water for His feet upon entering the house.
Jesus looked at the woman and said, "Your sins are forgiven...Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (story from Luke 7:36-50).
While Jesus used the woman's pouring of oil on Him as a teaching point, it was not because of this act that He saved her.
Her faith in Jesus saved her from her sin. The pouring of expensive oil and washing of Jesus' feet was a demonstration of her faith.
We can pour blessing on the Lord, acknowledging who He is, but if we don't have faith it is worthless.
"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
I believe God. I believe in His Word, and the promises that He has given. But sometimes, when life gets hard and I don't understand what He's doing, Satan comes and throws fiery arrows of doubt and my faith is threatened.
It is in those moments that I take up my shield of faith, and I fix my eyes upon God and keep believing.
A.W. Tozer said, "Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God."
And when my soul is gazing upon God my faith can remain. The things of this life that Satan uses to try and shift my gaze, grow dim. God in His glory and power becomes brighter.
If faith is a gazing of a soul and blessing is a kneeling of the soul, I need to get into the habit of gazing upon God in order that my soul might kneel before Him in blessing.
Tozer calls it 'the inward habit of beholding God'.
"A new set of eyes will develop within us enabling us to be looking at God while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world." (Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
This is what I want. To live in this life, with the pain and struggles that come, but to never look away from God. I want my soul to stand firm in belief.
If my gaze is on God, I think blessing Him can't help but happen.
In the midst of busy days and troubling circumstances, may the eyes of our souls be fixed upon God and as our gaze remains on Him, may we, like the sinful-forgiven woman, pour blessing upon the Lord as a demonstration of our faith in Him.