10 May Who Are You Pointing To?
Everything we do as an embodied image bearer reflects the nature of God. Do … [you] point others back to Him? (Body Matters, p.42) That question stopped me in my tracks. The idea that everything I do with my body being intended to point to God suddenly became huge. From what I eat to what I wear to what I say to what I do at any given moment, all of it is supposed to point to my heavenly Father.
Put that way, I quickly realized how woefully short of the mark I fall. Now it’s not that this was the first time I’d been exposed to the thought. Biblical Femininity (which I’ve gone through numerous times) explicitly says the same: As image-bearers living out the capacity of inviting, women are to draw others in to bring glory to God. But often, that is not the destination to which we point them. What are you inviting others into? (p.61) But this time, God, in His personal discipling of my heart, focused my attention upon that question in a way I could not miss. Conviction and condemnation rushed in. How could it be possible to always point others to Him? What would that even look like?
Although I’ll never fully grasp the answers to those questions, one thing is becoming clear: the one I’m living for at any given moment is the one to whom I will ultimately point others. If “me, my and mine” is sitting on the throne of my heart, then the natural outflow in word and deed will point right back to myself. Whether self-promoting or self-protecting, in both positive and negative ways, I’ll keep the spotlight on me. Christ will be diminished in the other’s view. But if Christ is the one I’m treasuring, if He is the One who is rightfully reigning from my heart’s throne, then it’s far more likely that I will point others toward Him and the life He alone offers. John the Baptist says it best: “He must increase, but I must decrease,” John 3:30. Again, Biblical Femininity fleshes it out: Any woman may glorify God by finding her sense of contentment and significance in Jesus… but she must never be deceived that she is the ultimate end of her allure. Those who ‘see’ her need to ‘look through’ her and treasure the One she reflects (p.55).
“The one I’m living for at any given moment is the one to whom I will ultimately point others.”
Perhaps, then, that’s where some of the “how to” is found. Treasuring Christ in daily devotion and intentional obedience will orient my life in His direction. A daily focus on the gospel which works itself out in viewing all of life through a “gospel lens” will give the Holy Spirit the greatest opportunity to manifest the life of Christ through me in ways that will clearly point others to Him. But I must remember that, in my own power, it is an impossible task. Jesus makes that quite clear in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” The key is the daily walk of abiding devotion and focus.
The Valley of Vision beautifully articulates the prayer of the woman who recognizes her inability to point others to Christ on her own and who appeals to the One who alone can reflect His nature through her:
Sovereign God, Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart, and I appeal to Thee with greatest freedom to set up They kingdom in every place where Satan reigns; Glorify Thyself and I shall rejoice, for to bring honour to Thy name is my sole desire. .. Lord, use me as Thou wilt, do with me what Thou wilt; but, O, promote Thy cause… (p.320-321)
Although there’s much I don’t understand about this aspect of my calling as an ezer, and so many ways in which I fall short of it, I’m thankful to have been reminded afresh of the high and humbling privilege to pursue such a goal. O Lord, promote Thy cause!
Who are you reflecting to others? Are you living for yourself, another, or Jesus? How are you treasuring Christ daily in your life? Are you making time for devotion and prayer?