We believers look up to see the glory of God and understand His majesty. Psalm 19:1 [NIV] tells us, The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
We look up because we know that is where our help comes from. Psalm 121:1-2 [ESV] …I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Jesus often looked toward heaven when He prayed. Luke 9:16 [KJV] Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. John 17:1 [NIV] After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. So, we often do too. Luke 18:13 [ESV] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
Our eyes are rightly focused up for these things. But, since we live on this earth, we also have to look down or risk missing the full picture. I learned that lesson the hard way recently.
For about a week after the Feast of Tabernacles, I sported a “lovely” special boot on my left foot. Why? Because I wasn’t looking down.
While unpacking the car when we got home from the Feast, and carrying a load of clothes into my room, I rammed my left foot so hard into one of the cases we’d staged in the kitchen, that I thought I broke my middle toe. After trying to tough it out for a day, I gave in and got an X-ray. Thankfully, it is only badly jammed and not broken.
In this world, there is always something lurking around to trip you up. Literally.
Our Christians lives are a lot like that, in that Satan and this world he currently rules are always lurking around, seeking ways to trip us up, if we are not careful – if we are not looking.
Hebrews 12:15 says, Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled. [KJV] Roots are on the ground and the root of bitterness comes from down here on earth – certainly not from heaven. We have to look down into our hearts and minds to be sure that bitterness isn’t growing in us, but also that no other sin is allowed to take root there inside us.
1 John 3:17 tells us, But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? [ESV] How are we going to see that a brother or sister has a need, if we don’t look down at the world around us? Our journey is not just about what is going on in heaven. It is also about taking care of things on earth, like helping others in need.
We often quote Psalm 119:105 [ESV] Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. The Word lights our path, so that we can see the path. And we should look down at the path. Am I traveling closer to Him or further away? Are the steps I’m taking in my day-to-day life building godly character or building habits of sin? God calls us each to a unique path for our lives – how we will serve and grow, use our talents and glorify Him. We should look down and check to be sure we are on that path.
Sisters, the truth is that we cannot succeed in this Christian journey without both looking up and looking down.
We must have our eyes metaphorically fixed on heaven, on our Father there and on our High Priest. We look to the heavens for our blessings, help in time of need, spiritual strength and for Christ Jesus to return.
But, we live on earth and we do our works here on earth. So, it is also very important to keep an eye out for what is going on down here. Sometimes, we need to look down.
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.