by Kathi Pelton
Last night a group of seven of us went to a very oppressed area of downtown Portland to do a prayer-walk (we’ve been prayer walking this area for the past six months). Though we had a very effectual night with amazing breakthrough, what our eyes had to look upon could grieve even the hardest heart. There were so many lives snared in the net of demonic oppression and addiction. Yet, as we stood on a particularly dark corner one of our team members said that the song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, was running through his mind the whole night but the word “turn” was changed to “fix.” We all stood in the midst of the darkness (even people screaming at us) and began to sing,
Fix your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace…
As we sang, prayed and declared we watched as the things of earth grew dim. We fixed our gaze on the beauty of Jesus and the darkness was dispelled in the midst of His light. From that point on we had miraculous breakthroughs that we had been praying for over many months.
I share this testimony with you because the change and freedom came when we “fixed our gaze upon Jesus” in the midst of darkness.
“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking [Him] in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
As we fixed our gaze upon His beauty the darkness around us began to tremble. There were physical and natural happenings that we witnessed in response to the light and beauty being brought into the midst of darkness and depravity. We honestly stood in awe at what we witnessed last night because it was supernatural.
Though we shouldn’t have been surprised, honestly we were greatly shocked and surprised at the turn of events. I should know this truth well because in my personal life I strive to continually “fix my gaze” on Jesus and His beauty day and night. The sight of Him and “dwelling in His temple” has become my refuge and my fortress.
When trials or storms come, fixing my gaze upon Him becomes the place where my perspective is aligned with truth and victory. Fixing my eyes upon His beauty lifts me out of the circumstance that seek to “steal my gaze.” It lifts me from the captivity of fear into the freedom of the finished work of Christ.
If you are going through a storm and all you can see is the wind and waves, then now is the time to turn your eyes upon Jesus and fix your gaze upon His beauty. It will not only lift you above the storm but it will also calm the storm.
Often we empower storms or assignments sent against us when we fix our focus on them. The enemy seeks to steal our gaze and our light through darkness and fear. When this happens, we actually become a force that strengthens the storm rather than calms the storm. As you refocus your gaze upon Jesus it releases His power to calm the storm and moves you into freedom.
“For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19
As we fixed our gaze on Jesus last night we saw creation respond. Creation was waiting for the sons and daughters of God to arrive on the scene in a place where darkness was given dominion. Though there is still much work to do, we found that as we fixed our gaze upon His beauty and released what we saw, the mountains trembled and demons began to flee. Light dispels darkness, beauty transforms depravity, love overcomes hate! This works in our personal lives as well as in our cities and nations.
If you need freedom from oppression and circumstances that have left you captive; turn your gaze! Refocus your attention and your eyes upon His beauty and watch as peace comes upon you and the storm is stilled. Your perspective will change but circumstances will shift as well.
Fix your gaze and watch freedom come!
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