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November 30, 2015

Gazing Upon His Beauty Brings Freedom

God has really been pointed lately in impressing on me the glory of Him alone. He has been convicting me of my tendency to neglect to stop and gaze into His awesomeness, His holiness, His perfect otherness. It could be influenced by the sermon series at our church in Exodus and how God revealed Himself to Moses, poured out His power and wrath on Pharaoh’s Egypt, the setting of His people Israel free through the Red Sea, water flowing from the rock, manna every morning, quail every night, victory of the Amalekites, fire and thunder and cloud booming from Mt Sinai. God will not share His glory with another. Not another god. Not another king Not another place. No another thing. Nothing else. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Now I know some who know my niche might be asking what this has to do with moving forward with confidence in Christ and without fear in light of past wounding or abuse. I would say, “Absolutely everything!” If I do not believe He is this awesome God, who alone can conquer what rules me – fear, anger, worry, bitterness – or provide what I need for perspective and healing – surrendering of rights to be judge, discernment of truth for wisdom, trust for what matters most to me – then who else do I have with the ability to make me whole. Gazing upon His beauty enables me to see beyond my pain and confusion. His justice which flows from His holiness enables me to release the judgment I feel obligated to make against those who have played a part in my wounding. His righteousness enables me to see my need of forgiveness and softens my heart to forgive and love others instead of staying in self-protection mode.

Jesus is beautiful for being fully God, knowing humans would sin, already having a plan in place to enter into our world to redeem what would be lost by that sin. We don’t deserve Him and yet He chooses us and dies in our place, offering not only forgiveness, but restoration of relationship with Him. And THEN He remakes our sinful hearts into His image by shedding His loving, searching grace into our darkness, helping us to surrender what hurts us and accept what remakes us into His image. We look into our personal mirror and see more of Him in our affections, and motivations. Others see Him in us when we become less self-centered, less fearful, more grace filled, offering His goodness instead of our own sufficiency to make wrong things right or protect our reputation.

We become more and more invisible and Jesus becomes more and more see-able to a world that needs a better answer to brokenness than thinking positive and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Jesus helps us escape the confines of a broken world and offers an eternal, powerful answer to sin and the effects of it on our world, which we who have been abused have so fully experienced. He is the answer. He is enough. He is the Creator. He is the Just One. He is the Righteous Right-Maker. He is the Sacrifice for Sin. He is the Forgiver of Sin. He is the Restorer of all broken things. He illuminates the darkness with Himself as the Light of the world. He feeds our hungry souls with Himself as the Bread from Heaven. He is Immanuel – God made flesh to dwell among us, to be known by us, to be transformed by Him.

This strengthens our faith, causes us to embrace His way and His will for us, so that we can have confidence in Christ, freed to live forward as He calls us, laying aside fear and shame and hurt, letting Him rebuild our foundation so that it is firm and unshakeable. Can you just imagine what people around us would see if that were true? It is my prayer for me and for you, that this would be a destination and a continuing reality flowing from God through us to others. True freedom as we rest in the arms of the One who alone is God.

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