By Joanna Robbins
As I arrived in South Korea, I entered an empty apartment for my 2-week quarantine. Whatever does one do …in a foreign country…..in quarantine …..for 14 days ….all alone?
We ponder…a lot. I pondered the word “obedience.” I sighed…a lot. Why is it so evasive?
I forbade myself to make a list of do’s and don’ts and failures in my evasive quest to be holy. Obedience isn’t and was never a list! Obedience is an invitation.
I pondered the words in Mary’s heart. An invitation delivered by an angel. Impossible. Glorious.
“You have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end,” Luke 1:31-33.
One word. I saw one powerful word in that passage. The word was a key to a door through which I longed to enter.
What keyword captivated me in my captivity of quarantine? Behold!
The angel announced, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all the people.”
Behold is an invitation to great JOY. Even Elizabeth’s unborn baby leaped for joy!
Obedience is an invitation to hear His voice, leap, feel, taste, and see. We are invited to behold Him and thoroughly enjoy a multi-sensory encounter with the King of Kings!
John said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” This Lamb of God, Jesus, prayed, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God as it is written of Me in the scroll of the Book.”
There it is! Obedience and Behold together in one sentence. Jesus beheld His Father; THEN He obeyed what was prepared in advance for Him to do.
Beholding and Obedience are inseparable.
Mary said, “Behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.” Blessed because of her obedience to accept the invitation to what was prepared in advance for her to do, Ephesians 2:10.
We too are invited, but too often, we turn our eyes away, and the glory of God fades from our view. We immediately begin to sink like Peter into the turbulent sea.
The key to joy and victory is beholding. We read in Acts 6:15 how Stephen’s eyes were fixed upward, and his face reflected God’s glory. Even while being stoned to death, he shouted, “Behold!” Stephen was known to be filled with the Holy Spirit, gazing into heaven, and he saw the glory of God (Acts 7:54-60).
Behold means ‘to gaze, to give full attention to; to observe with care, to fix your eyes upon something’ or …. someOne! Behold is an invitation to “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author, and Perfecter of our faith,” Hebrews 12:1-2.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Oh, we don’t want to miss what is prepared in advance for us, so let us take our eyes captive and gaze upon Jesus.
Only through our act of obedience of accepting the invitation, moment by moment, day by day, will we drink in the endurance needed to fight the good fight and run the race of faith set before us with a resolute joy in every step.
Let’s accept the invitation to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and give Him our full attention by fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and perfecter of our faith.
As it was sung long ago, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face And the things of earth will grow slowly dim in the light of His glory and grace,” Helen Lemmel.
Let’s accept the invitation to obedience. Let’s behold Him “so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:20.
Oh, dear beloved, Behold Him….until Christ is formed in you,” Galatians 4:19.
Read more by Joanna on her website: https://www.joyannarobbins.org