A turning of our gaze in the wrong direction

By Dave Henning / July 25, 2019

“Sin is not a distance, it is a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction.”- Simone Weil, Waiting on God

“When I gaze at the people and dreams I’ve left, rather than focusing on what God is calling me toward, then I’m looking in the wrong direction.”- Tina Boesch

As Tina Boesch continues Chapter 2 of Given, she observes that Jesus issued a direct call to follow to His disciples.  Without disclosing the destination.  In addition, when Jesus spoke to the crowds gathered around Him, he explicitly stated the demands of following Him: “So therefore, anyone of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple (John 14:33, NIV).”

Hence, both the leaving God asks of Abram and the renunciation Jesus speaks of involve letting go.  Most noteworthy, the call to let go of material blessings reveals where our loyalty lies.  However, Tina adds:

‘”If I cling to them, tightening my grip, then they begin to possess me, and I’m no longer free to live given to God.  The call to let go is a threshold leading into the exhilarating freedom to follow.”

Finally, Tina describes three implications of God’s promise to Abram that provide insight into the nature of blessing:

  1. provision – in order to make Abram into a great nation, God needed to provide a heir through Sarah.  Thus, the Creator who spoke life into being out of nothing now shows His ability to create life within a barren womb.
  2. protection – God’s blessing serves as a shield of protection around Abram and Sarah.  And God will make sure that a few cannot rob the many of His blessing.  Furthermore, the hand of God powerfully symbolizes His abiding presence and ability to protect His followers.
  3. presence – the ultimate blessing from which all other blessings flow.  A wellspring.  God walks among us.  Tina concludes: “Living in the blessing of God’s presence means recognizing that God’s goodness is in the atmosphere surrounding us.  His mercy is the oxygen we breathe.”

Today’s question: What things cause a turning of our gaze in the wrong direction?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The hand that guides, wraps around me”

About the author

Dave Henning

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