John T. Willis

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lift Up Your Eyes

All of us tend to look below and look around. We are surrounded by sickness, loss, depression, divorce, crime, poverty, failure, malicious enemies, reverses, disappointments, old age, death. It is very easy to become gloomy and pessimistic. In this brief blog, I want to encourage you to LIFT UP YOUR EYES. Look ABOVE, not on the issues of earth. God summons us to do this through the Bible. Here are four examples.

1. When Abram was encountering serious conflicts with his cousin Lot and ultimately had to separate his household from that of Lot, the Lord said to Abram:
"Lift up your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever." (Genesis 13:14-15). God calls all of us to move far beyond "where we are," lift up our eyes to God in heaven, and see what God has in store for us. What a tremendous encouragement.

2. The worshipper speaking in Psalm 121 affirms:
"I lift up my eyes to the hills--
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore."
What a wonderful promise! What a marvelous assurance! Lift up your eyes, and God alone is your help.

3. The singer of Psalm 123 declares in verses 1-2:
"To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he has mercy upon us."
God is our MASTER; we are his SERVANTS. Thus, the only position of a servant is to kneel before the master and wait and expect for the instructions and blessings of the master. God the Master is enthroned in heaven; he is our king. The only appropriate response we have is to lift up our eyes and receive his next move.

4. Paul proclaims to Christians [originally at Colossae]:
"If you have been raised with Christ, SEEK the things that are ABOVE, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. SET YOUR MINDS ON things that are ABOVE, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:1-3).

Our feelings and motivations and actions all emerge from the heart, to think through and determine whether we are going to wallow in the pessimism of sin and trouble and disappointment in daily living OR to lift up our eyes to our God, the king, in heaven and live daily optimistically, because HE is always with us, and gives us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Have a great day, a great week, a great month, a great year, a great decade, a great life. God empowers all of us to do this if we just trust in him daily. See Ephesians 3:14-21.

Share YOUR dreams, YOUR drives, YOUR ambitions. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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