NEWSLETTER

MARCH 2015

BEHOLDING GOD'S BEAUTY


 

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple” Psalm 27:4

Given the context of Psalm 27, David’s passionate declaration in v. 4 may seem out of place and unrealistic. Throughout the text, the Psalmist de-
scribes a variety of overwhelming difficulties. Enemies and evildoers were seeking to devour his flesh. They had tried to do so in the past, v.2. They were attempting to do so in the present, v. 11-12. These trials where so pressing in his life that he writes about the inevitably of his despair, v. 13, were it not for the hope of the resurrection [see 2 Cor 1:8-11]. Yet it is in the midst of these perils that David seeks Christ’s beauty with an all-consuming single-mindedness.

The sight of the beauty of the Lord is the balm against worry in heart-wrenching trials. It is the shield against of the fear of difficult people which is a snare to the soul, Prov 29:25. To behold the beauty of the Lord is to experience the blessedness of Prov 14:30 – “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones.” To see His beauty is to
experience His refreshing rest. Whether we are in quiet or tumultuous
circumstances, the beauty of Christ should be the main pursuit of our day.

Application:

1. Identify sin as your enemy because it hides Christ’s beauty: Heb 12:1-2 commands us to lay aside the sin which easily entangles us fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ. This text reveals both the means of laying aside sin and the motive for doing so. If we fix our eyes on Christ, the flesh’s power to entrap our souls will be vanquished. Likewise, if we do not lay aside the sin which so easily entangles us, we will not be able to fasten our gaze on Christ.

Let us therefore lay aside sin with intense determination. We must internal-ize the cost of sin. Sin blocks our eyes from Christ’s beauty. It does so with entangling ease. Sin therefore is our dreadfully cruel, personal enemy. To behold the beauty of the Lord we must tap into the Spirit’s hostility against sin, Gal 5:17. We must internalize His indignation toward it, 2 Cor 7:11. We must abhor sin, Rom 12:9, because it is a constant and awful threat to what is supremely important. Sin entraps us in the flesh. And in this terrible state, we have no power or compulsion to behold the beauty of the Lord.

2. Depend upon the Holy Spirit to behold God’s beauty: In his natural faculties, the believer has no power to behold the beauty of the Lord. The flesh profits nothing, Jn 6:63. It is the Spirit’s ministry to reveal Christ. 2 Cor 3:17–18 – “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being trans-formed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” We must depend upon the Spirit of liberty to mold us into the image of Christ as He
reveals to us with a progressive clarity the transforming sight of God’s glory.

Like Jacob in Gen 22:22-32, wrestle with the Spirit persistently with the benefit of
beholding the beauty of Christ clearly in mind. Often we have not because we ask not, James 4:2. Prevail upon the Spirit to dominate you with a passion to see the Lord. Matthew 5:6 - “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 63:1–2 – “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You ear-nestly; 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.”

3. Make beholding God’s beauty the “one thing” that you do: David shouldered a great variety of weighty responsibilities as the King of Israel, as the general of this nation’s armies, and as the spiritual leader of his home. His life was life perilous and taxing. And yet He states that the single, supreme objective of His prayers was to behold the Lord’s beauty – “this one thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek . . . ”

At a time management conference, the speaker used a visual aid consisting of a large, empty, plexiglass container to drive home his lesson. He first filled it with large rocks. Then he asked his audience if it were now full. When someone answered, “yes”, he poured a bucket of gravel into the container. He again asked if the container were full. No one dared say “yes”. He filled it with sand. Still the audience was reluctant to say it was “full”. The speaker poured in a pitcher of water. Now the speaker asked his audience, “What is the point of this lesson?” One businessman responded – “if you focus on time management, you can squeeze more into your day then you ever
thought possible.” The speaker said, “No, that is not the point! The principle is that if you don’t put the big rocks into the container first, you will never fit them inside.”

What are the “big rocks” in our day? They have to go into the container first or we likely won’t get them in. Every week unplanned interruptions compound the many things that vie for our time. In Psalm 27, the Holy Spirit indicates the “big rock” of each day is beholding the beauty of the Lord. He who makes God’s beauty the
ultimate pursuit of the day will lie in bed at night reflecting on the wonder that is Jesus Christ regardless of personal hardship. His glory will make even extreme adversity manageable and secondary to the satisfaction of experiencing Him.


Pastor Blain


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427