And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!
When I was in ninth grade I asked my dad to teach me to play the guitar. I quit two weeks later. In tenth grade I asked my dad to teach me to play the guitar. Again, I quit two weeks later. After my junior year and the impending departure of my college-bound best friend (and guitar player in our youth group’s worship band), I asked my dad once again to teach me to play the guitar. I stumbled through a year of attempting to help lead worship for our youth group. Luckily we had a super cool girl drummer, a vocalist who could sing the pants off of any song in the whole world, and several people who just automatically knew how to play the bass. All of whom made all of my janky “I’ve been playing for 3 months” type of sound seem a bit less treacherous. And, of course, I always had the “it’s beautiful to Jesus” phrase to fall back on, right?
I remember packing to go to college the following summer and debating whether or not I should even take the guitar because I assumed my worship “leader” (for lack of better words) days were over. I was wrong.
After thirteen years, there has consistently been a place for me to strum the little chords…and it does sound a bit less janky every now and then! All of that to say…
At practice last night… God once again spoke to my little soul through the lyrics of a worship song.
I LOVE that my music pastor takes note of Psalm 149 which starts with “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song…” But I also LOVE that he appreciates the beauty of those “old” songs. The ones that have been around for so long, yet still speak so much truth!!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
I hate to say, “I grew up in church” because that phrase can mean so very little depending on the setting. So let me say it this way…I was a kid that grew up around people who were extremely impacted by the awesomeness of Jesus! So I’ve heard this song tons of times! But last night as I was standing there playing, the end of that chorus hit me so hard. The things of earth will grow strangely dim…in the light of His glory and grace.
When we are so concentrated on Jesus. So focused! Other things simply fade away. They don’t hold as much importance. They don’t consume us. Worldly things grow “strangely” dim.
Example…Hads watching cartoons! Dude! This kid can not even hear what’s going on around her in those moments. She doesn’t care that her brother is eating her shoe. Or that her sister is coloring on her homework. Or that I’ve asked her to put her shoes in the closet three times. Completely, 100%, in the zone. Everything around her seems to fade away.
Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” (1 Peter 2:11-12, MSG)
All this worldly stuff is rubbish! It doesn’t matter, right? Or maybe it does matter to us… when we are looking at life through a worldly perspective. So what if we were to turn from that perspective. Turn our eyes upon Jesus! If we were to look full in His wonderful face. Then the things of this crazy, busy, hectic, unfulfilling, materialistic world would grow strangely dim compared to His GLORY and GRACE!
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)
Let us not lose sight of where we are headed! I pray this world grows strangely dim to us and that we seek Jesus and look so intently toward Him that we are consumed by His magnificence, engulfed in His love and blinded by His light to a point that we become completely dependent on His guidance!