I recently came across this great turn of phrase in a book I’ve been reading: “behold His irresistible beauty, remarkable splendor, and unfathomable love.”
What a compelling thought!
The book went on to say, “It’s essential that we become fascinated, gripped, and captivated by the Lord. If not, we will struggle with boredom, and our hearts will be vulnerable to pursue other things.”*
The beauty of the Lord.
For years I have prayed, “O Lord, capture my focus and captivate me!” In other words, “draw my attention to You and then enthrall me with Yourself.” It is as the great song declares:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I’ve found that to be true.
I found it interesting that three times in Scripture it mentions that holiness (a primary attribute of God) is considered beautiful.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! – 1 Chronicles 16:29b, Psalm 29:2, Psalm 96:9.
Holiness is not a list of dos and don’ts, regulations to follow, or commands to keep. Holiness is merely God Himself. If I become captivated with Christ, I will become captivated with His nature (perfect holiness, love, etc), for that is Who He is.
As I was recently reminded, when we see the beauty of creation we are seeing an external picture (or a pale glimpse) of the true beauty of the Creator. As Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
Do you seek after the beauty of the Lord? Do you desire to be captivated by Him?
In Psalm 27, David says he has one passion and desire, “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Is that your desire as well?
The Psalms also declare:
- Psalm 50:2 – “From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.” (NLT)
- Psalm 96:6 – “Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty [fill] His sanctuary.” (ESV)
Jonathan Edwards once wrote that “the divine beauty of Christ bows the wills, and draws the hearts of men.”
May Jesus woo and draw our hearts to Him as He captivates us with His divine beauty.
T. Austin-Sparks once wrote in his book The Gospel According to Paul,
When Christ really captivates, everything happens and anything can happen. That is how it was with Paul and with these people. Christ had just captivated them. They may have had their businesses, their trades, their professions, their different walks of life and occupations in the world, but they had one all-dominating thought, concern and interest—Christ. …
There is no other word for it. He just captivated them. And I see, dear friends, that that—simple as it sounds—explains everything. It explains Paul … it explains these believers, it explains their mutual love. It solved all their problems, cleared up all their difficulties. Oh, this is what we need! If only you and I were like
this,if we really after all were captivated by Christ! … After all, nine-tenths of our troubles can be traced to the fact that we have other personal interests influencing us, governing us and controlling us—other aspects of life than Christ.
If only it could be true that Christ had captured and captivated and mastered us, and become—yes, I will use the word—an obsession, a glorious obsession! When it is like that, we are filled with joy. There are no regrets at having to “give up” things. We are filled with joy, filled with victory. …
Oh, we need the captivating to wipe out our selves—our reputations, everything that is associated with us and our own glory—that the One who captivates may be the only One in view, the only One with a reputation, and we at His feet. This is the gospel, the good news—that when Christ really captivates, the kind of thing that is in this letter happens, it really happens. Shall we ask the Lord for that life captivation of His beloved Son?
Yes, I think we should. May the desire of our hearts be the captivation of Christ.
Know I am cheering you on unto that end.
* The book is “Insurgence” by Frank Viola. I’m only a few pages in and though I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read thus far, as a reminder, always read with biblical discernment.