Fixated on the Master’s Hand

An older man in Elizabethan period dress looking outside from a doorway

If you dine out at a fine restaurant, you will usually find that the person who waits on you will be extremely attentive to your dining needs. Drop a fork or knife, and your server will appear almost immediately, replacement in hand. When the level of the beverage in your glass begins to run low, your server is already present, refilling your glass or exchanging it for another previously filled before even a word has been spoken. Should a question or need arise on your part, a simple glance in the server’s direction will be all that is necessary to bring him or her to your assistance. It seems like the server’s eye is constantly on you. If you are a regular patron there, the wait-staff might even have become so knowledgeable and observant of you that your movements, your habits—your very body language—will attract their presence so that there is no need for an additional indication from you.

This is not limited to a restaurant only. In the home of someone of significant wealth or stature, there is usually a butler or trained employee who is so focused on the commands of the owner of the house that they are able to immediately and discreetly detect the signaling of their employer’s hand and its meaning. The signal might be as simple as a raised, bent index finger indicating that a particular dish is cold and needs to be replaced. Or the hand could be uplifted slightly to the left, signaling for a particular hat or coat. Whatever the indicator used, the servant is always fixated on the employer, remaining ready to fulfill any upcoming request or need at once.

This is the concept the psalmist was referring to in Psalm 123: “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that [lives] in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God…” (Psalm 123:1,2). But for many, their eyes do not remain focused on the Master, even though they genuinely have the desire to please Him. They allow themselves to be distracted, looking at something or someone else when they should be attentive to His call, no matter how small. As a result, they miss the subtle cues and indicators that they should have noticed and responded to at once.

When Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, had his eyes focused on Christ, he actually walked on the water one time to meet Him. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). He allowed himself to be distracted by the stormy wind and took his eyes off of the Master. He was doing fine before, but it was then that he began to sink.

A man in linen garment holding a portion of fishing net in hands

In our relationship with Jesus, we need to be constantly looking to Him in order to reach the point that we know just what He wants us to do. We cannot allow ourselves to become spiritually inattentive to His needs and desires. Just imagine how we would feel if we went into a posh restaurant and were ignored for a good portion of our visit. We sit and wait and wait for a server to take our order. Then several side dishes are delivered which are either incorrect or already cold. We raise our hand to signal the server, but only after a lot of vigorously waving do we finally catch the server’s attention. Our beverage glasses remain empty so long that all of the remaining ice has melted. We look forward to having dessert after the main meal, but the wait-staff is too busy or inattentive to even look our way. We very likely become angry and upset at this point, so we get up and leave the restaurant. After all of their initial efforts to please us and do what is right, the servers have allowed themselves to become distracted to the point that they have driven us away!

But how often have we as believers in Christ done this to our Master? We go to church, we read the Bible, we pray to God. Yet, in all our efforts to please Him, we have failed to keep our eyes continually attentive to the movement of His hand. He has subtly spoken to our hearts, but in our zeal to do what we think is right, we have missed it. Instead of just trying to do what is right before God, why don’t we go beyond that point and strive to reach the place where “our eyes wait upon the Lord our God”?

Lord, help us to be so close and established in our relationship with You that we are able to know and discern the meaning of every movement and indication of Your hand. Amen.

 

[Image credits: Tamas King/freeimages & Veronica Moore/freeimages]

Pleasing God by Faith

“…without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

We all encounter many kinds of complications as we go through life. Most people go along with no hope of going through them successfully, while many face various difficulties because their selfish desires hinder them in trying to have a relationship with God. Difficulties can also come from lacking faith in who God really is. In their search for inner peace, people often reach out to the physical things of life, yet what they really lack is perfect, divine, peace in their hearts. Where can such perfect peace be found? It comes from God alone.

The Lord Jesus Christ came into my own life and heart many years ago, yet I can still remember that special day when I repented of my sins and accepted Him.

I can still remember that special day many years ago when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into my own life and He spoke to my heart: “My son, I have chosen you to bear My name.” When we truly welcome Jesus into our heart, we become His followers. He chooses us to become a ‘living’ vessel to bear His name. Then we can experience true, divine, eternal union with Him.

If we don’t accept Jesus Christ into our heart and life, then we do not have true faith in God. Therefore, it is impossible to please Him.

And what is the essence of faith in God? We must first believe in who He is—in His nature as God, in order to have the kind of faith that truly believes when we approach Him. When we believe in His true nature, we please God. Once we have been renewed in the spirit of our mind and become one of God’s people, created in His own image, then we are to bear witness to others as to who He is.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the name used for God is “Father”. This name describes Him as the One who produces all things, and as the Creator of all men. Therefore, all people have a relationship with Him as part of His creation. But this does not automatically guarantee that we all have salvation (deliverance from the power and effects of sin). Jesus said, “If you had known Me [personally], ye should have known My Father also…” (John 14:7). If we understand that God sustains all life, then we can better understand who He is. He is Jehovah-Elohim (“Lord God”)—the Creator-God—who is not detached from His creation. He takes care of His people by attending to their needs. In fact, the Lord Himself came down to Earth in person in order to help and save us all. By doing this, He demonstrated Himself to be the God who keeps His covenant with man.

The image of God that He put in man is man’s source of kinship with Him. God wants us to “…put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him…” (Colossians 3:10 emphasis mine). At that point, a new creation in Him comes forth from this unique, eternal bond as we are united with our divine Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. Once we enter into this eternal relationship with our heavenly Father as a new creation—a “new man”—then we can also devote our lives to His Son, Jesus. This all comes through having faith to believe in Jesus, according to what He did for us when He died in our place on the Cross. Then we can be renewed in the spirit of our minds in Him.

All of us were born originally from our mother’s womb. But all true children of God have also been “born again.”

This second birth comes by the Spirit of God, through reading or hearing the truth of the Bible, which is the Word of God. Jesus Christ has always been in the world, but not always visible to man. “When the fullness of time was come…” (Galatians 4:4), then He became God made known to man in the flesh, or the human form. He is the divine representative of His heavenly Father on Earth as His only begotten Son (born of the Virgin Mary).

This unique, divine, and eternal relationship that Jesus—the Son of God—has with His ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ in the Lord is simple to understand. But the understanding of this relationship only comes to those who have been made alive in a new life—“born again”—by His Holy Spirit. They have become God’s children, so they are now considered to be the brothers and sisters of Jesus. And He has a love relationship, both intimate and eternal, with all who believe in Him by faith.

Many call themselves Christians, claiming to belong to Christ. But the heavenly Father does not know or receive all of them, because many will not let go of their sins. Nor will they acknowledge the heavenly Father’s divine authority over them.

God continues to love them. But they permit their sinful nature to continue to rule over them, which then keeps them apart from Him. What about you? Do you want to personally know God? Do you want to be saved from the power and destructive effects of sin and the sin nature? Then you need to personally know His Son, Jesus Christ, the great Savior. Listen to His voice as He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) and respond to Him while you can. “…He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

If you want to know more about how to come to God personally, please click here.