I feel like the Lord is highlighting a message of great importance in this time: the message is BEHOLDING HIM.
I have for many years resonated with this call to behold the Lord. In my college years (1995-1999), the Lord showed me part of my calling in Him was to be a watchman. The word “Watching” in the Scriptures, means to stay awake, be alert and aware, be closely observant, and vigilant. A watchman can be described as one who keeps awake and aware to warn people of coming danger. Although, I wholeheartedly agree that this is part of the watchman’s role in the body of Christ, I believe the primary occupation of a watchman in the body of Christ should be seeking the Lord, gazing on Him, looking for Him. We should be desiring to know what He looks like. We should be asking what He is doing.
I read an article years ago by David Wilkerson that articulated this desire in my heart: https://worldchallenge.org/newsletter/ministry-beholding-his-face
(Here is a sermon with the same title, also by David Wilkerson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91XRVnc0RMY )
Speaking of 2 Corinthians 3, Wilkerson talks about being transformed as we behold Jesus.
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The truth of this transformation is impacting as we consider that we actually become like that which we behold (or worship). If we behold and worship Jesus we become more Christ-like. If we spend our days with our primary affections on the idols of money, people, or self, we will become greedy, lustful, covetous, and self-centered.
Beholding the Lord is not looking at a physical picture of Jesus for hours. It’s actually gazing at who He is through the truth of the Scripture. Seeking His face is learning more about Him, studying His character, seeking His desires, wanting to do what He wants you to do. David Wilkerson’s article defines the ministry of beholding His face as “focused, devoted worship.” He defines gazing on Him as: “we ‘fix our eyes’ this way, determined to see God's glory in the face of Christ. We're to shut ourselves in the holy of holies, with but one obsession: to gaze so intently, and to commune with such devotion, that we're changed.”
At our last Lampstand meeting in June, I talked about the Ministry of Beholding Him, referring to this David Wilkerson article. I also referenced Revelation 4 and the open door we have that gives us access to the Lord.
Later, on June 25th, I shared at Rio de Vida, a Hispanic congregation in Mooresville, NC where our good friend, Luis Sosa, pastors. I spoke again about beholding the Lord and being transformed.
One night since that time I had a dream I was about to speak at a conference on “Beholding the Lord.” In the dream the Lord directed me to share Psalm 27:4 first and how David was one who beheld the Lord.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I 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 inquire in His temple.
Around the same time, Julie also had a dream in which she was standing on a very high platform and was speaking about “seeking the Lord” and it was connected to living holy and set apart.
Then this past Sunday, our associate pastor, Bill Hauck shared a word about “beholding the Lord” being our occupation. He also shared out of Psalm 27:4.
So, what is the Lord saying in all of this? Although this is a ministry for every believer (2 Corinthians 4:1), I know he is highlighting “BEHOLDING HIM” specifically to us in this season. And, it’s brilliant. With all we are facing as a family—the activities, the challenges and pressures and decisions—IT IS WISDOM TO TAKE TIME AND LOOK AT HIM. With all the events that are occurring so rapidly in our region and nation, IT IS WISDOM TO TAKE TIME TO GAZE ON HIM. With all of the news that comes from around the world with reports that grieve and trouble us—IT IS WISDOM TO TAKE TIME TO BEHOLD JESUS.
It is exhilarating to know He is speaking to us, that He cares about us, and that He has a strategy that is not overwhelming. It’s simple, yet so difficult to actually place this ministry of seeking the Lord as a priority. But, it is so worth it!
As the Lord is directing us, know He wants to direct you too. Maybe He is using this to encourage you to SEEK HIS FACE!
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Matthew or Julie Wine