(Painting: ‘The Hand of God’ by JongSung Kim).
Earlier this year, on two separate occasions of worship whilst at home, I felt the presence of God so strongly in my room that I opened my eyes to find none other than Jesus standing there—very close. He had positioned His face in front of mine—nose to nose—and I felt His gaze move beyond my eyes to settle upon my heart. In both of these encounters, I understood that Jesus was actively knowing me. I was stunned. Overwhelmed. Vulnerable. I shouldn’t have been… but I was.
I don’t know about you, but when someone physically invades my personal space and gazes into my eyes that deeply, it’s like I can actually feel the person and I know that they are seeing exactly ‘what’ and ‘who’ has Lordship over the world that hides behind my eyes.
So from those vulnerable positions in front of Jesus up until to now, I have begun to understand that intimacy is exactly as Mark and Grace Driscoll (2012), described it: “into-me-see.”
Behind the eyes of my physical body, dwells my soul and my spirit. I believe that Jesus was gazing into all my lines of sight and thus, all three parts of my being: body, soul and spirit. Into-me-He-saw. And into me He extended an invitation… a directive: “All eyes on Me!”
Because I am made up of spirit, soul, and body, any one of these parts of me can be in charge at any given moment. I can see the world through my physical eyes, and that can aid in cognition. I can measure distance, height, depth and width, etc. I can see when a physical altercation is occurring, and I can create things by using my physical sight.
(I can also filter the Words of God through my physical eyes and they can remain as flat black letters upon white pages of boredom)
My second line of sight is through my soul. My soul involves my mind, will and emotions. By using the eyes of my soul, I can appreciate when something is beautiful, sad, happy, lovely, etc. I can also make decisions based upon my soul sight, such as, “I see that this isn’t working out so i will try a new way,” or “I perceive that this situation is dangerous, so I will act accordingly,” or “I judge that person to dress sub-par to my standard of dress,” (lol, like that will ever happen!), or “Awwww, what a sweet-natured labradoodle!”
(I can also filter the Words of God through my soul’s eyes and read emotionally-filled black letters on white pages of semi-boredom)
Finally, I can see the world through spiritual eyes. My spirit is without spot or blemish. It is one hundred percent redeemed, set free, set apart, sanctified and made whole. My spirit knows Jesus and my spirit is known by Him. My spirit is able to see things that are not of this world. It is able to see possibilities, hope, and the limitless nature of the Kingdom of God. My spirit is able to see people, places and things that are not only out of reach from my body and soul lines of sight, but they are also of another world—they are of another Kingdom.
(I can also filter the Words of God through my spiritual eyes and see multi-layered words come to life on pages that were birthed from the Kingdom, due to Holy Spirit revealing life through my spiritual eyes)
Every single person on the planet has eyes. Where they position their eyes will be what will materialise or manifest in their world. Whether they are seeing through physical, soulish, or spiritual eyes, and whether they are looking at things in or outside of Jesus, is what they will manifest in their worlds.
Since the two encounters with Jesus earlier this year, I have kept hearing Jesus say, “Catherine, all eyes on Me!”
“All eyes on Me!”
All eyes… all focus… all attention on Jesus!
Matthew 14:25-33 recently drove this home for me:
“And in the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid!”
Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.”
He said, “Come!”
So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water towards Jesus. But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Then those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
The first thing that stood out to me about this story, was this: Jesus walked to the disciples across sea water, and He went in the third watch of the night (behold, the bridegroom comes). When the disciples saw Him, at first they defaulted to physcial and soulish sight: “Must be a ghost on the water because there’s no way a human being could do that!”
Alternatively, Peter saw beyond the box and was the only one to do so in that moment. This meant that his thoughts quickly moved beyond the presenting issues to the limitlessness of possibilities of the supernatural. The beyond natural. His spiritual eyes were on Jesus: “Because Jesus is walking on the water, I can walk on the water too if He commands it!” Peter took the initiative and asked Jesus to command him to walk on the water. So Jesus did exactly that.
Side Note: It’s not like the water was completely calm that night. It says there was a wind, which would have meant that the boat possibly pitched to and fro in the water. The waves would have been making a noise as they slapped against the bow and the boat would have been in a state of constant motion, but…
…Peter stepped out.
The wind would have been roughing his hair and the salty water would have been spraying his face…
…but Peter proceeded.
The other disciples would maybe have been in shock, awe, or extremely verbose in their disbelief…
…but Peter had all eyes on Jesus.
The two worlds at play could not have been more obvious: 1. this world, and 2. the world of Jesus. That was it. Black or white. Hot or cold. No grey shadings. Whichever world Peter focused on (Jesus or gravity; Jesus or earth) was what became the highest reality in his world. He was either “all eyes on Jesus,” and walking on water, or He was “all eyes on the world” and therefore sinking beneath everything going on around him.
I have had moments this year when I have felt so very alone. For example, when CoVid isolation first hit, my aloneness (and all of the reasons for it) were magnified for the first week. It was brutal. But just as I would begin to sink beneath the things my earthly eyes had rested upon, I would hear Jesus say, “Catherine, all eyes on me!” I would turn and fix my eyes on Jesus and the accusations, the aloneness, and the emptiness would fall away. My line of sight would become His world, His love ordinances, and His proclamations of: “You may have dug your grave, but it is My role to take your place and resurrect you from it!”
There has been a lot going on in the world while lockdown has been in place, but I have repeatedly heard Jesus say, “All eyes on me! I have overcome the world. Fix your eyes on Me, and My reality will rule. If you pray with your eyes fixed on the world, the systems of the world will rule.”
There are unfathomable possibilities in the words, “All eyes on me!” “All eyes on me” flies in direct opposition to where my curiosity naturally wanders. I mean, Peter knew what he was walking on. He knew it was water. He knew he could drown. He wasn’t oblivious to what he had stepped out onto—but he was initially more focused on Jesus. To begin with, Peter was “as wise as a serpent but as innocent as a dove.” He was wise to what was taking place around him, but he was innocent to it because his intention was to do what Jesus was doing.
Another side note: There is also the possibility that if I were Peter, I could become so distracted by my own two feet walking on water and the fact that I am involved in something completely supernatural, that I could completely miss Jesus in the middle of it. How? Well, if I can defy the odds by walking on water, then “Whoo! Yeah! I know who I am! I’ve got this! I know it all! And I…”
…start. to. sink.
Even in the middle of something supernatural that Jesus Himself has commissioned me to do, I can still take my eyes off Him and place them onto the wonders of Jesus’ instead of Jesus Himself.
It is wondrous knowing Jesus. There is so much endlessness and boundlessness in everything He is. In everything He says. And in everything He does.
Hearkening back to the two encounters at the beginning of the year: I could not take my eyes from Him because I realised that His love is the thread that runs through it all. And without Him—without walking in that place of vulnerability to, in, and through Him—there is only my world, the rules of my world, and the laws of my world, which all function outside of true love, and in the sight-realms of my body and soul.
Love is what formed the world. Love gave His life for the world. Love was the new judgment over the world.
I cannot give that kind of love, unless I know the person of Love. I cannot know the person of Love, unless I fix my eyes on Him with the eyes of my spirit, soul and body.
“All eyes on Me,” says Jesus. “All eyes on Me.”