Faith Focused on Christ
A. W. Tozer
"Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens" (Psalm 123:1).
Tozer once said, "Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God." It is nalways occupied with the Object upon which it gazes. "While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves . . ." Tozer continues: Faith is not in itself a meritorious act; the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, "I will set my throne above the throne of God." faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line.
. . . . To those who would seek to climb into heaven after help or descend into hell God says, "The word is nigh thee, even the word of faith." The word induces us to lift up our eyes unto the Lord and the blessed work of faith begins.
When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us . . . When the eyes of the soul looking out, meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth.
. . . . Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. it would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for the weakest and poorest of all.
. . . Since believing is looking, it can be done without special equipment or religious paraphernalia. . . . looking is of the heart and can be done successfully by any man standing up or kneeling down or lying in his last agony a thousand miles from any church.
Since believing is looking it can be done any time. . . . As long as Christ sits on the mediatorial throne every day is a good day and all days are days of salvation.
Neither does place matter in this blessed work of believing God. Lift your heart and let it rest upon Jesus and you are instantly in a sanctuary . . . You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him. . . . constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God.
Many have found this secret . . . .They know that something inside their hearts sees God. Even when they are compelled to withdraw their conscious attention in order to engage in earthly affairs there is within them a secret communion always going on. Let their attention but be released
for a moment from necessary business and it flies at once to God again. This has been the testimony of many Christians. . . .
. . . . A new set of eyes (so to speak) will develop within us enabling us to be looking to God while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world. . . .
All the foregoing presupposes true repentance and a full committal of the life to God. . . .
When the habit of inwardly gazing Godward becomes fixed within us we shall be ushered onto a new level of spiritual life more in keeping with the promises of God and the mood of the New testament. The Triune God will be our dwelling place even while our feet walk the low road of
simple duty here among men. . . .
O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze
upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe. Amen (The Pursuit of God, pp. 92-98).
Tozer, A.W. (Aiden Wilson) (1897-1963)
Pastor, author, editor; born in Newburg, Pennsylvania; family moved
to Akron (1912); very little education; held pastorates in West Virginia
(1919-22), Toledo (1922-23), Indianapolis (1923-28), Chicago
(1928-59), Toronto (1959-63); editor of The Alliance Weekly (1950);
father of seven children; library included 40 versions of Bible and
writings of church fathers and Christian mystics such as Athanasius,
Bernard of Clairvaux, Eckhart, Fenelon, Guyon, Augustine, à Kempis,
Brother Lawrence, Tersteegen, Wesley; wrote biography of A.B.
Simpson, Wingspread, other writings: Pursuit of God, The Divine
Conquest, Keys to the Deeper Life, Born after Midnight, Man-The
Dwelling Place of God, That Incredible Christian, The Knowledge of
the Holy; biography: David J. Fant, Jr., A. W. Tozer: A Twentieth
Century Prophet, Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1964.