Sitting at the beach, on the countless grains of sand and looking out over the endless expanse of water God spoke into existence, I am reminded of my own minuteness. No matter how many commitments I make, things I do right, fruits I see growing on the vine, I am still so infinitely small compared to the God of the universe.
Why do I need to remove myself from the suburbs and the hum of city life to be reminded that the world continues to spin on its axis when my phone is locked in the glove-compartment of my car? I behold myself and my own obligations way more frequently than I behold God, seated on his throne.
All to quickly I become sidetracked by working and creating paths for my own sanctification. God is ready and able to do the work on my behalf if I would take my eyes off myself and fix them on him.
According to Paul, sanctification doesn’t begin with our to-do lists and doesn’t end with our follow-through.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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.” –
We are not transformed, as we strive and work our way toward perfection. We are not transformed as we focus on our own sinfulness. We are transformed uniquely as we look on Christ: his beauty and his righteousness. Because of his holiness, we long to be holy. ()
The transforming work we long for has to begin with the Spirit of the Lord. We can’t force it, we can only plead for it. Do-it-yourself sanctification is a prescription for spiritual death. I must partner with God in his sanctifying work. My constant struggle is not usually found in the working part of the equation; it is in the beholding.
So today, I behold.
Behold Our God by Sovereign Grace Music
Who has held the oceans in His hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice
Behold our God seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King—nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him
Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds?
Who has felt the nails upon His hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign
You will reign forever
Let Your glory fill the earth
Jonathan Baird, Meghan Baird, Ryan Baird, and Stephen Altrogge
© 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 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. (ESV)
63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands. (ESV)