I’ll look no other place.

January 4, 2008

That’s what the song says:

My hope is found in You
In Your saving love & grace
I’ll seek the one, true God
& I’ll look no other place
I’ll look no other place

I admit, I often look to other things: fleeting joys, people, overwhelming circumstances, my heart’s wretchedness, worldly devices, the things I want but don’t have, & [sadly, most often] self. In all of this, the shameful proof to my foolishness is this: I keep looking to things that do not save, satisfy, or sanctify.

My gaze is most often inward. My journals are full evidence of this. I walk in circles around my heart – planning, musing, pondering, analyzing, prodding, weighing, & looking so intently at its contents. I’m often so fixed (& hence, so wretched) about what I find within . . . as if I expected to find anything better in a completely depraved heart in desperate need of Christ.

The fact is, I will fix my eyes where my affections lie. I will fix my eyes where I place my heart & my trust. It should be Christ. Only Christ.

There is only one one Savior for every sin, one Balm for every wound, one Source for every need, one Hope for every circumstance, one Treasure worthy of lifelong pursuit: Christ alone. King David knew that . . .

“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD & to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:4-5)

“O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry & weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power & glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat & rich food, & my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, & meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, & in the shadow of Your sings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:1-8)

King David’s ‘best thought by day or by night’ was the Lord. Regardless of circumstances (even when his own life was in peril) & regardless of his own frame of mind (even when he was mentally tormented & in anguish), he directed his thoughts & his vision (the sights of his eyes, the hope of his heart) to the Lord.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
. . . Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
(Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry)

Everything else is but naught – nothing. There’s no need to look any other place, because in one Place, we find our All. In Christ, I find salvation & my heart’s delight. He is my vision, the object of my soul’s constant gaze. I look to Him in love, in humble adoration, in expectant hope.

In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer writes:

“Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God . . .`They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed’ (Ps.34:5). `Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us’ (Ps.123:1-2) . . .

In full accord with the few texts we have quoted is the whole tenor of the inspired Word. It is summed up for us in the Hebrew epistle when we are instructed to run life’s race `looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’ (Hebr 12:2) From all this we learn that faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.

Believing, then, is directing the heart’s attention to Jesus. It is lifting the mind to `behold the Lamb of God,’ and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives. At first this may be difficult, but it becomes easier as we look steadily at His wondrous Person, quietly and without strain. Distractions may hinder, but once the heart is committed to Him, after each brief excursion away from Him the attention will return again and rest upon Him like a wandering bird coming back to its window . . .

Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves–blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do.

Faith is not in itself a meritorious act; the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, `I will set my throne above the throne of God.’ Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line.

All this may seem too simple. But we have no apology to make. To those who would seek to climb into heaven after help or descend into hell God says, `The word is nigh thee, even in the word of faith.’ The word induces us to lift up our eyes unto the Lord and the blessed work of faith begins.

When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is `Thou God seest me.’ When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth.

My life will be over in the blink of an eye. I can easily waste this breath of a life, or I can fix my heart on Him & keep my soul’s gaze there continually until my faith becomes sight.

I pray, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things” (Psalm 119:37) & let me instead “consider Him . . . that [I] may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:3) until I reach my lasting city, where my true citizenship is.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
& the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory & grace

Turn your thoughts upon Jesus
Think deep of His wonderful love
& the thoughts of sin & of self & strife
Will be lost in that rapture above

I’ll look no other place.

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4 Responses to “I’ll look no other place.”

  1. Kau Says:

    tia, thank you for this post…

  2. cathiekimn Says:

    you know my heart well.

  3. matthew Says:

    What is that song called that you mention at the beginning? I’m trying to find it “I will look no other place” etc.
    Thanks

  4. tia Says:

    Hi Matthew,

    I tried searching for it before, too, but I’m not sure if it’s a very well-known song . . . it’s called “No Other Place” by Bob DeLateur (2003).

    If you still can’t find it, let me know & I’ll ask around for you!

    Here are the full lyrics below:

    The Lord is strong, I will fear the Lord my God
    The Lord is wise, I will fear the Lord my God
    He knows all things, I will fear the Lord my God
    He reigns on high, I will fear the Lord my God

    (Chorus)
    My hope is found in You
    In Your saving love & grace
    I’ll seek the one, true God
    & I’ll look no other place
    I’ll look no other place

    The Lord is good, I will trust the Lord my God
    The Lord is kind, I will trust the Lord my God
    He keeps His Word, I will trust the Lord my God
    He gives true life, I will trust the Lord my God


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