As I sat here pondering this new year, I thought about the name of this blog: Facelift. To many of us this name means a removing of wrinkles, blemishes, odd bumps and making something fresh and new. I submit it is also a removal of old ways and mindsets for a smoother path in our road.
Think “Lift Your Face” not just “Facelift”.
Think “Look Up” and “Lift Your Eyes.”
I remembered that these phrases, to lift up your eyes, to lift up your face are seen all over in the Bible and I decided to sit down and study some of the times when men and women lifted their eyes, so that I might renew my own thinking.
The first who jumped out at me was Joshua. Joshua, the new leader of Israel, is preparing to lead the HUGE camp of the children of Israel into their first battle to lay claim to the land that the Lord God has promised them. He is leading an army of men who have never fought a day in their life. In fact, they have spent their entire life camping in the wilderness. They have not even had to hunt or fish or grow their own food. They are like babies, fed on God’s manna their entire life:
The Commander of the Army of the Lord
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
6 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war;
Joshua Chapters 5 & 6
Joshua’s situation might have seemed hopeless. But Joshua did not look back, he did not look at the walls of Jericho, he lifted his eyes and saw the Commander of the Lord’s Army. When Joshua lifted his eyes and bowed his knee he received the encouragement he needed to go forward. God let him know that He had ALREADY delivered Jericho into his hands and called his men “men of war!”. He also received a specific plan that he followed to the letter and his campaign was a success.
Compare Joshua to the children of Israel about 40 years prior. They are at the Red Sea with Moses and Pharaoh’s army is marching after them set on their destruction.
And when Pharoah drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, ‘Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt, saying, ‘let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.'” Exodus 14:10-12
How quickly can we forget where we came from and what we prayed for when we lift our eyes to look at the wrong thing? When the children of Israel lifted their eyes they did not look toward the heavens or toward where they were going but they looked back at the enemy. This made them afraid and started grumbling, whining and complaining. Thank God that He is still willing to rescue us when we are complaining, but wouldn’t the journey be much more pleasant if it was filled with hope instead of fear?
Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens. Psalm 123:1
When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matt 17:8
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. John 4:34-36
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, John 17:1
The second man I want to look at was Job. Poor Job had it rough. I don’t think many can say they had it harder than Job. He lost EVERYTHING. His entire family died. He lost his home, his wealth, his business. He had horrible boils all over his body. And well, his friends were not so helpful either. But Job, in the midst of all of this pain said something very profound, something we must all remember.
21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace;
Thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;
You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold[c]
And your precious silver;
26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
28 You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.
This is such a beautiful passage. I don’t really recall reading it before, but it sure jumps off the page at me now! Job says lift up your face to the Almighty God, get acquainted or reacquainted with Him. Listen to His Word and let it speak to your heart. When you do this normal earthly gold will no longer be valuable to you, God will be the precious thing in your life. He will remove the iniquity from your life. He will hear your prayers. When you claim something in His name, He will establish it for you. He will light up your life! Amen!
As we set goals and lay plans for the year ahead, let’s lift up our face and our eyes. Don’t look at the natural things in front of you. Look for the supernatural. Look for God. Have you met him? He’s longing to meet with you!