We become what we behold.
This is not just an awesome alliteration, but sound truth that should be at the forefront of every believer’s mind. Whatever we behold, that is what we will become.
What are you beholding daily? What is the object of your attention on a regular Thursday?
There is much for us to look at in this life. We live in the social media age, where we are allowed to peer into the lives of thousands with one click of a button. We can get breaking news sent straight to our cell phones. If we consume enough of it, we are often left with an anxious mind and a heavy heart.
We can behold the many bills on our table that remind us that we don’t have enough to make ends meet. What about our children, spouse, and jobs? These are responsibilities we have to tend to daily, or our lives will be negatively affected.
Whether it’s social media or our spouse, things are constantly vying for our attention. The list of what we can fix our gaze on is truly endless. Now on that list can be a plethora of “good things,” but we have to be intentional not to settle for beholding “good things” when we are to behold the very One who is the giver of all good and perfect things. (James 1:17)
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth here and is drawing from a scene in Exodus chapter 34. Moses veiled his face after speaking with the Lord because the people of Israel were afraid to gaze at his face shining like the sun. Each time he would unveil his face to talk with the Lord and, upon exiting, would cover his face again so the people would feel comfortable looking at him. Beholding God’s glory altered Moses’ appearance and transferred to him the same glory he encountered.
Like it was for Moses, so it is with us. Beholding the glory of the Lord transforms us into the same image we behold. Unlike Moses, we don’t have to veil our faces after beholding God’s glory. We can allow the radiant light to shine bright for the entire world to see.
How Do We Behold The Lord?
How do we go about beholding the glory of the Lord in our present day? Most of us in the Western world don’t have a Mount Sinai that we can climb to talk with the Lord and behold his glory in the cleft of a rock. We don’t have this, but what we do have is Christ.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” John 1:14 RSV
Each time we fix our eyes on Christ, we behold the glory of the Lord. Each time we pick up the Word of God and read it, we behold the Lord because his word is an extension of him. The word of God reveals the character, intentions, and motives of our King. It all points to our glorious God and Savior.
Do you want to become like Christ, behold him in his word. Do you want to be conformed to his very image? Dive deeper into the pages of Scripture, and you will reflect the image you behold. Change is inevitable when we make a concerted effort to set our minds on the Lord and his kingdom. Who can truly behold the Lord and not be forever changed by what they see? So know that every second we spend in prayer, every minute we meditate on God’s word, and every hour we give to studying the very nature of our God positions us to receive transformation. Every purposeful effort given to see and know the Lord will result in us being conformed to the very likeness of Christ.
Beholding Christ Produces A New Perspective
Now, I know you may be thinking, how exactly does this play out on a typical day? Are we to live with a Bible in front of us at all times? Are we to ignore the injustices we see in our nation or the problems that arise in our personal lives, all in an attempt to have our eyes fixed on Jesus? Am I not to pay attention to my husband and children since the Lord wants us to behold him at all times?
The answer to these questions is no. Having our eyes fixed on Jesus doesn’t mean we don’t see anything else. It just means that we see everything else through the person of Christ. I will always notice my husband, but when I haven’t been beholding Christ, I notice him through my lens. When I behold Christ, I notice my husband through the lens of Christ. This is a far greater perspective. It allows me to see things the way they really are and the way they should be.
GK Chesterton says it best, “God is like the sun; you cannot look at it, but without it, you cannot look at anything else.”
What Happens When Our Eyes Behold Lesser Things?
If we are honest, I’m sure we all have averted our gaze from our Creator to his creation at some point in our walk. We are so easily distracted and can turn our eyes from the true and living God to idols that can do nothing for us. They do nothing to benefit us but still have the ability to change us. If social media has your attention, you can quickly become a people pleaser and grow more discontent by the minute. If success is the object of your attention, you will become busy and restless, striving to attain it. When we fix our eyes on our problems, we can become fearful and even hopeless. These attributes are not in Christ but resemble the god of this world, Satan. When we behold worldly things, we become like the god they represent.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be transformed into the image of the evil one. Instead, I’d rather be transformed into the image of the Son. I want to become like Christ in every way. I pray that we share in this ambition. I pray that we will fix our eyes heavenward and allow what we see in Christ to change us from glory to glory. Why settle for gazing at worthless things when we can behold the worthy One? (Psalm 119:36-37)
Let’s Behold Him
The Lord desires our full attention. I pray you will join me in giving it to him. Let’s behold him, saints. Let’s allow our lives to be forever altered by the vision of Christ we will see. As we behold him, we will become like him. And what a glorious sight that will be.
- What has been an indicator for you that your eyes have turned from the Lord onto worldly things? How much time passes before you recognize your gaze has shifted? What can you do to minimize this time if it occurs again?
- In your opinion, do you find it hard to keep your eyes fixed on the Lord? If so, why is that? What step can you take this week to build the discipline of beholding the Lord in your life?