The Dove Alights and I Gaze

The Dove Alights and I Gaze

Jennifer’s post of Friday morning struck me to tears. First, it was so wonderful and just what I needed. I am at my daughter Julia’s home, dog-and-cat sitting and just being with my precious namesake, Celeste.

My Need and My Gaze

My Need and My Gaze
In this season of grief after my husband’s passing, I have many wonderful, strong days where I am sustained. But mostly I am reduced to utter weakness and dependence where all I hear is ‘rest and wait patiently for the Lord.’ My need is so great that this seems the most difficult task. I say ‘task’ because Jennifer’s post brought me to see the law of effort to gaze. I am discovering again that even the smallest obedience must be empowered by Christ. In these strange days I am sometimes reduced to absolute physical weakness, so much so that I am essentially useless. And with that comes a painful grief – that can’t be defined.

Today is a very weak day. I am sitting on the deck with my NLT Bible and watching a pair of soft gray doves, just perched together on the fence in this silent spring morning. To sit and stare with God has always been my healing remedy for trauma, but this time I am often too fractured and unable to relax. Still, I take my dove-picture and know it means my Lord wants me just to sit with HIM!

Let be and be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 AMP

I have been focusing on gazing and trying to ‘do it’ just as Jennifer described. I feel it’s the only thing I can do, should do. My own words from the past – “What God asks of you, God does in you Himself” – fail me.

To Gaze at Jesus in Delight

To Gaze at Jesus in Delight
Early this morning I was peeling a boiled egg. Common little task. Suddenly the Spirit came on me and literally gave me the gift of a gaze at Jesus in delight. It became an eternal moment. It was like the Father touched me in that insignificant work and I was caught up in His focus and love for the Son. No effort. The Holy Spirit will move me to gaze and my ‘wait’ is to just be still until the Spirit of Christ moves. Patient with me and with…GOD! I have to look to God even for the patience He is commanding.

I read from A. W. Tozer this morning. He wrote that it was not Moses that gave the manna in the wilderness, but his Father. He continued:

“Then it is not the result of man’s labors, it is the issue of God’s grace.”

“Are you laboring for spiritual growth? How we have striven and strained to increase our spiritual measure and our spiritual stature. What a burden we have taken upon ourselves in relation to the maintenance of our own spiritual life! We have almost assumed the whole responsibility for our spiritual life, and made it as though it depended upon our labors in prayer, our labors in the Word of God, our labors in the Lord’s service, our effort, our stress.”

God gives all and all must simply and only be…received. For the thousandth time I come to see anew: I only receive, and even that is His enabling!

To Gaze is by the Spirit

To Gaze is by the Spirit
But I had a second response to Jennifer’s piercing post. It was to put my head in my hands and sob. “Oh, Lord, I know I have written the beautiful gazing as a ‘must,’ a ‘should’ and an ‘ought’. Law!” And I was heartbroken.

I wanted to say, “Forgive me, everybody!” Jennifer wasn’t accusing me at all, that I knew. She doesn’t blame. I was responding to her Light from God.

I was also grieved because I have been exerting such grim effort to relax and gaze and then the Spirit comes lightly, with a divine touch of God’s presence, inside a task where I was exerting no effort at all, just living quietly and working with my hands (1 Thes. 4:11).

I had to turn to the Lord for His view of my writings. Whatever He saw about them, that was what I wanted. It seemed to me He said this: “The interpretation is in the heart of the reader. But remember that the flesh must always come first in any issue. Only by the devastating failure of the flesh do we come to the dependence that lets the Spirit teach all, do all, give all.”

I happened upon Jeremiah 25:7. Go see it…

This was one of the first things I learned as a believer. I wish I could remember who taught it to me, God bless him! We all have our Esau mess, the fervent flesh we so trust to do for God what only God can accomplish. Then by the failure and awful consequence of the flesh, we are given the miracle: Isaac, the child of promise, and the Promise being…Christ.

Let Us Gaze Together as Church

Let Us Gaze Together as Church
So you, Jennifer, are showing me the way to gaze and I am so grateful. It’s one of my greatest desires in this life!

Gaby, also, you show me that He gazes at me. Wonder of Wonders! Gaby’s recent post about God’s gaze is not to be missed. I have printed it to keep in my Bible.

In answer to my cries for HIS answer, the Lord opened this passage (as several gray doves began flying around the pecan trees and cooing):

God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.
Ephesians 1:22, 23 NLT

So it seems that we Shulamites are caught up by the Spirit to come and GAZE at our Glorious Lord. And we are ‘gazing’ together as Church and helping one another. That is so perfect…come join us.

“Then it is not the result of man’s labors, it is the issue of God’s grace.”
A. W. Tozer

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    • tammy

      I love you.

    • LA

      Thank you for this raw, deep honesty. It is where I am right Now, trying to keep a gaze. And I failed …
      But I woke in the night and saw light pouring into my window–it was the moon, hanging low over the horizon and between two trees in my garden: He had captured my gaze! ‘Ask anything in My Name and I will do it…’
      He Alone Is Faithful
      Bless you

    • Sam

      Thank you…

      The Father Himself is looking for Rest. He wants Rest. He has “His Day of Rest”, the “7th day”, which is the “Sabbath Day”, the Lord Jesus. A Day which is solemn… VERY VERY holy.

      How could we ever dream that holiness had to do with rest? Other takes it all, and He opens His hands to make it a “Wonder of Gaze”.

      And you, Martha and your Shulamites, sharing your pain, are showing us that “Wonder” throughout the years. It is just not now.

      Even the Cross and His hands opened to the nails is a “Wonder of Gaze”.


    • Arleen

      Thank you Martha- I’ve had such a blessing from your honesty and openness–I received wonderful insight from the Ephesians 1 passage- from gazing at the verse – progressing to a sence of His Presence to a deeper insight of the verse as He brought it to life – The words – let – gaze -rest are all echoing around me and they are wonderful –

    • Winnie

      But remember that the flesh must always come first in any issue. Only by the devastating failure of the flesh do we come to the dependence that lets the Spirit teach all, do all, give all.”

      Oh my what a confirming word from Father.

      I have found myself in such helplessness during this ongoing season of physical illness. I have lamented to him about this wanting to be strong again. Oh Father don’t answer my soulish prayer.
      I want this flesh to die it has an ugly life of its own and does not die easy.
      Thank you for this “Devestating failure ” I’m experiencing .
      I want to be dependent on you and be able to say as Paul did ” it is no longer I but you that lives in me”

      Thank you Martha for sharing this timely post.

    • Sandy

      And the more He fills all things everywhere, the more beautiful He becomes! And the more we gaze, and gasp, at Whom we will finally see!!

    • Irene

      These are such good thoughts on just gazing on Him! Would you please let me know the source of the quote by A. W. Tozer?

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