by Susan Sampson
Behold, believe, bow, and boldly go forth as a vessel of His glory!1
I looked up the definition of “behold.” It is a verb and it means “regard or look at.” Then I looked up the synonyms. Here are just some:
Feast one’s eyes
Lay eyes on
Which one speaks to your heart? I love “feast one’s eyes.” I also like “survey” because the song “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” comes to mind. I want to feast my eyes on Christ. I want to feast on His Word. David feasted on the Lord and then said, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5). I want to behold His power and glory! One of the ladies in my group said she loved the word “behold” because it made her think “be holding.” We are called to abide in Christ, to draw near, to come to Him. I can have this “great quiet time” — reading the Word, saying “Yes, Lord!” And truly it is minutes after I get up that I think to myself, “What did I just read?” I so want to hold onto God’s Word throughout my day, truly believing it, meditating on it, beholding it, and living it out.
The Spirit in me desires this. But the flesh wages war against the Spirit in me. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal. 5:17). This is why our flesh must be put to death. This is why we must say, “No.” No to our wrong thoughts and wrong ways.
Laurie said our stubborn and rebellious flesh holds us and binds us to the dry and weary land. Praise be to God that Jesus came to set the captives free! We are not alone. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” (Isaiah 61:1).
We are the clay, jars of clay. He is the Potter. I love this picture. It is so helpful. Dry clay is not good for anything. But when the Potter pours water over the clay, and kneads it into the clay, it becomes pliable, useable, useful, and eventually a beautiful vessel of His glory. We must behold, believe, and bow to His Word. My flesh balks at the word bow. My flesh does not want to bow. Our hearts are hard. The only way they will become soft is if they are soaking in the Living Water. Doesn’t it seem like it takes just minutes for our hearts to harden when we step away from the Fountain of Life?
This is why we must constantly behold the Lord. Survey the cross. Witness His death and resurrection. Observe His testimonies. Contemplate the Gospel. Place ourselves in His Word — the Fountain of Life — His living and active Word every day and choose by faith to believe and bow. Put off the flesh by saying, “No” to it and put on faith by saying, “Yes” to Jesus and humbly accepting the truth of His Word.
So where are you looking? Where are you going to look? My eyes are so very often on the storm and not Christ. Dust storms happen almost daily in this dry and weary land where there is no water. Some more severe than others. Some last longer than others. But they always come and they cloud our vision of the glory of the Lord so easily. My husband thinks it’s funny that I can spot one tiny speck of dust on his suit as he is getting ready to go to work. It’s so easy for me to have my eyes on the dust.
Jesus was sleeping during the storm. He commands the storms. He stood as King at the flood. He is reigning and ruling as I type this. He is all powerful. He is Sovereign over all. His glory fills the earth. He is always with us. There is no place we can ever go — the valley or the mountaintop where He is not. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10).
Let us behold Him. “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29). The Lamb has set us free. Let us daily choose by faith to feast our eyes on the Lamb — behold, believe, bow, and boldly go forth as a vessel of His glory!
1These were points from one of Laurie Aker’s lectures for Falling in Love Again with your Lord, Lesson Four: Your Power and Your Glory.