We want to grow in our adventure with Jesus and move forward in our faith.
So how do we do that?
Here is something easy to remember that will help you move forward and not backward: Gaze & Graze, but don’t Glaze.
I talk to so many people who want to grow closer to Jesus. They feel like Jesus is so distant and they wonder how they can draw close.
I promise you that walking with Jesus isn’t complicated. After all, Jesus just walked up to people and said, “Follow Me!”
And they did!
So, if you are one of those people who want to move closer to Jesus and know Him, I encourage you to Gaze & Graze, but don’t Glaze.
This is what helps me to stay focused on Jesus and move forward in my walk with Christ.
What do I mean?
Let me explain.
You hear phrases like “Just press into Jesus” or “Look to the Lord.” What does that mean? It starts by fixing your attention on Jesus. Making Jesus the object of your pursuit.
I love to study the Bible and I love to obey the Bible, but sometimes I can get so caught up in acquiring knowledge or practically living out the Word, that I forget that Christianity is a relationship with the One who made me, and you. When that happens, I will just open up to one of the Gospels in the New Testament and say, “Jesus, I want to see you, to get a glimpse of you in what I read today.”
Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus so he climbed up a sycamore tree.
The psalmist cries out: “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You,” (Psalm 63:1-3 NASB).
He had a desire in his heart to get to the know that Lord. That’s all you need. Just a desire.
In another psalm, or song, the songwriter declares: “How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God,” (Psalm 84:1-2).
Do you have a hunger to get to know the Lord intimately, to see Him, to understand Who He is?
If not, start with a prayer, “Lord, please give me a hunger to see You and Know You.”
We can see Jesus in the Bible. We can step back and just watch Him speak, do miracles, teach, heal, cast out demons, and love the people around Him.
Often, we jump so quick to “Okay, what do I need to DO, that we don’t stop and just GAZE at Jesus, just watch Him, get to know Him.
As we see the Lord, we understand how much He loves us. The more we see Him clearly, the more we are transformed into His likeness.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure,” (I John 3:1-3 NASB).
Little sheep and big sheep graze throughout the day when there is grass to eat. If there is no grass to eat, they will wander in search of the yummy green stuff.
The Word of God is living and active. It brings life to our soul.
When I first gave my heart to Jesus, I carried my Bible around with me everywhere. I couldn’t stop reading it. It was so exciting and it made my soul do flip-flops—reading the Scriptures brought me so much joy!
Throughout the years of walking with Christ (since 1979), I have hungered for the Word. However, in the early years I would read the Bible in the morning and forget what I read later, so I would pull out my Bible and read it again. Later, reading Psalm 1 where the blessed man meditates on God’s Word day and night, I realized that I could memorize Scripture and then it would always be handy. I wouldn’t have to lug my Bible everywhere.
Memorizing Scripture changed my life. I could grab a verse or passage whenever I needed it. While driving in my car, I could ponder Bible verses, gaining insight and drawing closer to Jesus. It was so exciting!
The Lord would bring memorized Scriptures to my mind when I was facing difficult circumstances or trying to counsel someone. It was so exciting!
Sometimes, the Lord would urge me to read a certain passage or study a certain book in my Quiet Time. I realized that Jesus was my Bible teacher and all the Bible studies, sermons, and podcasts were just icing on the cake.
My heart began to experience “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake,” (Psalm 23:1-3).
Jesus truly cares about feeding you from His Word. The Bible is full of treasures! Let Him unfold truth to you and teach you as you dig into the Word of God.
So, here we are gazing on Jesus and grazing on every Word He says. How on earth do we keeping getting off course?
Which brings me to…
We have to stay alert.
When someone is talking to me about something I am not interested in, I can glaze.
On the outside, it looks like I am listening, but on the inside, I am tuned out.
We must not tune out God.
Paul warns Christians to be alert when they pray. And to be thankful.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving,” (Colossians 4:2 NASB).
Distraction can sink us! If we get our eyes on other people or our circumstances, we can become self-focused, instead of Jesus-focused. We need to stay alert so that we can pray. In prayer, we communicate our hearts to God. We lift up to Him our burdens, needs, and desires.
We can glaze if we forget to be thankful. When we stop counting our blessings, we forget that God is the giver of all good gifts and we look at what we don’t have, rather than what we do.
We can glaze when we don’t listen to God talking to us. Sometimes he sends people to rebuke us. Ouch! I hate that!
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel,” (Proverbs 12:15 NASB).
I remember in college, when someone accused me of being opinionated. I was so angry and told my sweet friend and roommate about it. She was silent. Ouch! I was opinionated. God was speaking to me about sin that needed to go.
Since that day, I have listened when people rebuke me, although it still hurts. I realize that I have blind spots and those blind spots can make me glaze instead of focus on Jesus.
Finally, steer clear of sin. Over the years, I have seen how sin can tempt and lure us. It promises, but doesn’t deliver. When we get caught up in sin, we glaze. We don’t want to grow in Jesus, we just want Him to bless us and leave us alone.
“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me,” (Psalm 101:3 NASB).
As you seek to become what Jesus has called you to be, remember that Jesus is our Source of Life. Gaze at Him in Wonder. Graze on His Word. And please, please, please, don’t Glaze.
God bless you!
Love in Jesus,
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