THE UNSWERVING GAZE
Heb. 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The simple concept of faith is difficult to describe. It is more than just a decision you make or an act of your will. It is not just adherence to a set of beliefs. Faith is totally spiritual. If you don’t think I am too weird, I would say it is mysterious or mystical. It is something that does not originate in the human realm, it is birthed by God. He is the author of our faith. Faith originates from God. Martin Luther struggled with his spiritual life, even as a monk living in a monastery, until faith was awakened in his heart. Suddenly he saw what he could never see before, ‘the just shall live by faith’. Our being just or righteous was not of our doing, it was purely a gift of grace given to us by God. Here is something Luther said of this beautiful thing called faith.
“Some people imagine that faith is a quality that sticks to the heart on its own, with or without Christ. This is a dangerous error. Christ should be placed directly before our eyes so that we see and hear nothing apart from him and believe that nothing is closer to us than Christ. For he doesn’t sit idly in heaven but is continually present in us. He is working and living in us, for Paul says, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He also says that you “have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Therefore, faith is an unswerving gaze that looks on Christ alone. He is the conqueror of sin and death and the one who gives us righteousness, salvation, and eternal life.”
“Faith is an unswerving gaze that looks on Christ alone”. That’s it! Faith is the God given ability to see or perceive the things of God. Faith is the awakening of our spiritual senses. The effect of God’s grace on our soul is the ability to hear God’s voice, see His glory, and taste His love. This changes everything. Instead of trying to pump up our faith by quoting slogans or even scripture endlessly, we can rest. We can rest in our quiet pursuit of God Himself. When we touch Him (or He touches us), suddenly our faith is awakened. It’s not a struggle, it is a joyful receiving of God’s gift of grace found in Christ alone. This becomes our life, following after Him, living this knew life of faith. He is not only the author, He is the finisher. He will bring our journey of faith to total completion.