You Are What You Behold
According to the KJV dictionary, to behold is to “fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care.” The actions used to describe beholding (fix, see with attention, and observe) all take time to do. As with paintings in an art gallery, beholding involves time—to fully take in and comprehend what is being seen.
This concept of beholding is one that many of us have heard before. Even more likely, you’ve heard it in a Christian context. Hearing it challenges us to question where we are focusing our time and energy. What do we spend most of our time doing? What consumes most of our thoughts? And most importantly, are we good stewards of what has been placed in our hands?
If we are honest with ourselves, we get carried away with work, social activities, family, ambitious ventures, mindless scrolling and watching our screens, and so much more. Our lives are so fast-paced. It has become normal to celebrate the “busyness” as a victory, as a sign of success. But is it?
I’ve found that we get so carried away with this busyness that we miss God. And people I’ve been chatting with also feel the noise of busyness drowns out His voice. In the small moments where He delights in the daily pleasures with us, and in the big moments that we will remember for a long time. In the moments with our families, in the quiet of the morning, in the challenging times. We miss God in it all because we get so caught up in the busyness, that we forget to take a step back and behold what He has placed around us and how He is working every single day.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5 NIV).
As you look to Him more and more every day, His radiance falls on you. There will be a glow about you. I imagine it to be like gazing upon something that makes us happy, like in an art gallery, and you walk away from it radiating the joy of gazing upon something truly beautiful. And God certainly is beautiful… just look at His creation.
As a team at CBN South Africa, we’ve been encouraged to lean into God in the small moments — the mundanity of the day-to-day, the busyness, the quiet at the end of the day. To not only wait for and rely on the big moments, but to be consistent and look for those small moments with God. Often, the small moments lead to bigger ones. So today, as you read this, start thinking about how you can seek more of the small, precious moments with God as you tackle the rest of this year so that you may radiate Him wherever you go.
1 Chronicles 17:20 20“There is no one like you, O LORD, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
David is told that God is the One who will build a house for David, not David for God. God promised to have David’s descendant reign forever. That descendant is Jesus, the son of David. I doubt David understood all the implications of what God spoke to him. We rarely do. Still, even in our limited and sometimes faulty understanding, we are in awe that the Creator of the universe would bother with us and even honor us so. Perhaps David thought of an earthly dynasty. That would have been wonderful enough. But I don’t think he could have conceived that the Son of God would be born through his line to bring salvation to all mankind.
There is no one like God. He is the only God. He is the only One who could make such an amazing promise and fulfill it in ways beyond David’s comprehension. He is more wonderful than we can perceive. Our understanding of Him is always limited, for He is infinite. Our appreciation will always fall short.
Whatever your situation or need, know that God is more than sufficient. He can work in ways you cannot understand. When Judah went into captivity, they must have wondered what happened to these promises. God was still keeping them.
Consider: In our darkest nights we can know God is still on the throne of heaven working all things together for our good and His eternal glory.
Giving Thanks – Streams in the Desert – July 23
- 202223 Jul
Giving thanks always for all things unto God (Ephesians 5:20).
No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.
We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing,
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.”
There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony.
Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work!
–C. H. P.
Friendship: A Help to Holiness
From: Intouch Ministries
Strong friendships allow us to have tough conversations and also challenge us in our walk with God.
Of all that God created, one thing did not meet with His approval. With regard to Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The Creator designed people for emotional, mental, and physical intimacy—to share their innermost selves with one another.
Jesus taught His disciples that they should love each other as He had loved them. (John 15:12). In a God-honoring friendship, two people build each other up and spur one another toward Christlikeness. Many people, however, don’t have relationships that sharpen their faith (Proverbs 27:17). They instead settle for the trivial talk of casual acquaintances, about things like the weather or world news.
But the best relationships don’t shy away from vulnerable conversations. Fruitful friendships can begin when men and women risk their pride and comfort to discuss accountability, biblical living, or anything meant to motivate one another in holiness. When there’s trust and submission, two people can confess sin, offer gentle reproof, and share burdens.
The walls we build to keep people at a distance are often defenses against God as well—to keep Him out of our dearest personal business. But if we share openly with a brother or sister in Christ, we will learn to be more honest with God too.