Do you ever see something so beautiful you just can’t take your eyes off it? That happens to me all the time with my bride Lynn. (Okay, okay, I know you’re all rolling your eyes right now because I’m a total sap…I might be from Jersey, but I’m also all-Italian, and let me tell you – we are saps)!
But anyway, sometimes I get caught just gazing at Lynn, smiling, and she gets confused and says, “What?” And I almost always say, “Nothing…you’re just being you.”
I love looking at my bride because I love who her. I enjoy seeing who she is and who she is becoming. (Plus I’m still getting comfortable with how far “up” I was blessed to marry)!
Lynn and I have conversations like this a lot, and lately it’s made me wonder, how does God feel when He looks on us, His creation? Maybe that sounds weird, but hear me out. Whether we realize it or not, we base so many of our decisions in life off of trying to win people’s approval. We make choices based on how we think people are perceiving us, or looking at us….so if we don’t know how God looks at us – or worse yet, we imagine He’s looking at us with disapproval – then all of our decisions end up motivated by fear and insecurity.
But here’s the most beautiful truth: when Jesus looks at us, He looks at us with love. And it’s a way deeper love than the romantic love we often experience as human beings.
And it might sound counterintuitive at first, but part of Jesus looking at us with love is also seeing us with an eye for refinement. What does that mean? Same thing as how He looks at us with love: it means that Jesus sees us in a way that no other human being can. He knows the real us… our inner thoughts, our highs and lows, our motives, agendas, and disappointments.
But as Jesus looks at us, He wants to help us shake off the bad stuff, to “refine” us. Why? To make us all that we can be. You see, Jesus is a heart modifier. A purifier…King Solomon knew it. He wrote, “Silver and gold are tested by flames of fire; our thoughts are tested by the Lord” (Proverbs 17:3).
Jesus’ friend John saw one of the most amazing visions of Jesus, describing Him as having eyes like a flame of fire (Revelation 1:14). God’s greatest work is done when we welcome Him into our lives and ask Him to turn up the heat. If we are living a life that is fully engaged in walking with Jesus, God sees us with His refining gaze, and He faithfully shows us what’s really going on in our hearts!God’s greatest work is done when we welcome Him into our lives and ask Him to turn up the heat Click To Tweet
It’s kind of ironic, though—it’s when we finally decide to walk out our faith and serve Jesus fully that the impurities of our hearts, our real motivations, bubble to the surface. I’ve definitely had this happen in my life. That junk that nobody knows about, even the stuff we don’t necessarily see in ourselves…it all comes out the more we allow Jesus to do His perfect work in our lives.
Does that sound uncomfortable? It can be! But don’t worry. It’s all part of a process the Bible calls sanctification, which is when God changes us for the better. I like to say, we’re all in process. When God tells us He wants to throw some of our trash out and see some things change, we can be confident that we’re on the right track. He knows it’s the only way we can really grow.When God tells us He wants to throw some of our trash out and see some things change, we can be confident that we’re on the right track. Click To Tweet
Are we ready for His work in us? Are we open to it? Do we welcome His refining gaze? Because at the end of the day, we know that our refinement is set against the backdrop of God’s perfect love. So we don’t need to have any fear, only the satisfaction of knowing God is making us better.
What steps do you need to take this week to let God turn His loving gaze on your heart this week and do His perfect work? How is God inviting you to respond to his own heart? When you simply respond to Jesus and his work in your life, amazing things happen…just wait to see what happens in your relationships at home, at work, and in your ministry to your family and friends. It will absolutely blow you away. It might sound scary, but I assure you it’s worth it!
Love is the Point!