What could you see if you took your eyes off yourself?
I spent the last two weeks camping on a mountain in the Australian bush. After a two-hour drive, life suddenly changed. I was sleeping in a tent under Australian stars at a place called Hidden Valley; the opportunity of a lifetime. With no outside contact, no electronics, no watch, no mirrors…
Okay, not having a mirror was my own choice. I knew two weeks of camping would be an adventure, but I wanted to capture all I could from every last moment up in Hidden Valley. I didn’t just want an adventure; I wanted something I could take home with me: a change of perspective. Then God challenged me to not look in a mirror for my entire time there. I realized all of the distractions I faced in the western world centred selfishly around me. Who is texting me? How many likes did my photo get? What do I look like? It is amazing how clearly we can hear God when our focus changes from me to HIM. It sounds obvious; I think we all know this. But how well do we actually live it out?
Each day, my mind was slowly detoxed. The more I took my eyes off myself, the more they could be fixated on my Maker.We can have an infinite desire to see life through God’s eyes, but unless we give Him our eyes to work with, we will keep seeing life through the filter of ‘me’ ‘myself’ and ‘I’. The thing is, I always wanted to see myself through God’s eyes… but I never did anything about it. I had to give God something to work with. I had to get out of my comfort zone and do something about my desire. The lessons that stick with you for life are the ones you go out of your comfort zone to learn.
So, I jumped out of that comfortable box. When I jumped, God also jumped out of the box I put Him in. He partnered with me in my desire to see life through His eyes. I just needed to get out of my habits, my routine, my eyesight. However, I looked when I rolled out of my tent in the morning was how I was going to confidently present myself. I had to be okay with abandoning the security and comfort that comes with putting on makeup and fixing my hair. When I stepped out of finding my security in those artificial places, the places that change all through the day, every day, I was able to step into security that was unchanging and eternal.
All my safety nets were gone, but somehow I felt more secure these past two weeks than I have for a vast majority of my life.
God helped me look away from the outer mask I was living inside and He gently turned my eyes upon Him. When I saw Him, I saw myself. “But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) God is the mirror we need to see ourselves in. True identity is found only by first looking at the One who gives it. If we go to mirrors first, they lie. So I challenge YOU to do the same. What are you finding your security in first before you find it in God? Try going without that thing for a day, a week, a month. Just watch and see how God builds up an everlasting confidence in who you are and who you were created to be. He will move when you ask and give Him something to work with!
Ready to get your eyes off yourself and on to God? Find out about our Discipleship Training School.
Sarah is from Minnesota and is a Discipleship Training School alumni, as she did her DTS January 2015. She has a passion for writing and photography and continues to work with nonprofit projects.