As far as we know, no human has ever seen God.
Moses famously asked to see God. He was allowed to see only the “hindmost” part of God. The result was the glory of God shining in the face of Moses. Someone pointed out that Moses covered his face, not to hide the glory of God, but rather to prevent others from seeing the glory fading from his face. I wonder if that speculation is true. “But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:23)
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that God has allowed me to enter His fellowship, a fellowship not to be despised, but one that will endure. Jesus says, He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. I know of no place that says one day we will see the Father; I only know that we will look fully on the face of Jesus, and the Scripture says, “we shall become like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”
Recently I worked on scanning family photos a bit more, with my goal one day being able to have them all in digital format. I confess to being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people in those pictures who have passed on—some to eternal life, and I am thankful that one day soon I will begin eternity with them, but others to face judgment. What is it that Jesus meant when he said, (Luke 14:26) “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”?
I think part of the answer to this question lies at the heart of this verse: No one has seen God, the Son has declared Him. If our priorities are right, then our faces are fixed firmly towards Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. All other things of this world become secondary. As I grow older, and sprout the gray hairs that McGee declares to be a warning from God that my life is nearing an end, I have noticed faith in other fervent aged souls. Somehow those who teach me the most are those who go beyond the sickness of their devoted spouse, who go beyond their own ailments and loss, and look to Jesus to bring that which this life cannot bring.
It is not that those people do not find happiness in life; they are some of the most happy people I know. But their happiness is centered in Christ, and even their very faces begin to shine with the glory of the Lord—for they have spent their lives looking to their Lord, and they anticipate with their whole being the transformation that will come one day by looking fully upon His face. Not willing to wait for that glorious transformation, they are walking with their God, moment by moment and day by day being transformed into His glorious image. Is it any wonder that I admire such men and women of faith? Step by step they are drawing unto their Lord, and the people and the things of this life are growing strangely dim.
I thank God this Thanksgiving for all of the saints that I know who have gone before me, not willing to just go, but willing every day of their latter lives to watch the face of their Lord.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
2. Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are!
3. His Word shall not fail you He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Lyrics: Helen Howarth Lemmel