2012 - Lost in the Gaze of the Lion

"I want you to get lost in the gaze of the Lion."

This picture and statement was what I heard the Lord say January 5th, in response to a prayer asking Him for anything He had for me regarding the year 2012. 

Just that quickly, I found myself looking into the magnificent eyes of a Lion.   I was instantly overcome with the knowledge that this was no earthly lion.  The power of His presence and unwavering eyes reached deep into the core of my being.  I knew I was looking at Jesus manifested in the powerful form of the Lion of Judah. 

His eyes were intense beyond description. They reinforced and made all things possible.  As I looked at Him, it was like He reminded me of everything He had spoken to me about my life and destiny.  It reviewed in my mind's eye.  Before I could even ask a question like, "How is that going to be possible?" or "What about this?" it was already answered.  I knew that HE WAS and that was all that mattered. 

As I stood before Him, I felt things start to change in my soul.  It is hard to describe but it was like under the gaze of His eyes, distrust, fear, anxiety, and everything that was not of Him, was being consumed and burned away.  I felt it burning inside me almost like beams or lasers were locating and removing the darkness from within me.

There was absolute certainty in His gaze.  I realized He does not only believe we can do what He has called us to do.  It is already done.  He believes because He sees it already finished.  He sees the fruit.  There is no question in His mind. 

He did not speak physically but I heard Him clearly say these words directly into my spirit:  "Go forward looking into the eyes of the Lion.  I want you to get lost in the gaze of the Lion.  Because if you will keep your focus here, you will not wonder if you will succeed.  You will not doubt.  You will have no fear because you will see that it is already done.  Get lost in the gaze of the Lion."

Those who wait...change

I believe one of Satan's largest goals, especially this year, is to keep the us distracted and looking at
anything but the eyes of Jesus.  He wants us focusing on finances, politics, our jobs, situations in our personal lives, what is happening in the world around us, etc.  Good things, bad things, busy things... literally anything but Jesus.  The reason is quite simple:

The longer we gaze at Jesus, the more like Him we become. 

Being in Jesus' presence and seeing how He sees us starts burning away all of Satan's carefully planted and tended weeds of fear and distrust.  It shatters the chains of intimidation and weakness.  Doubts are vaporized.  Deception loses it's hold on us.  We are no longer in the dark about God's will and purpose for our lives.  We are strengthened and empowered to move forward in a victorious fashion.  This terrifies the devil because it looks like Jesus on the earth all over again.

Take a look at this well known scripture.

Isaiah 40:31 AMP
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall CHANGE and renew their STRENGTH and POWER; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (emphasis added)

I used to not like this scripture very much because of one word: WAIT.  So many times in my life I have felt everything snag on that word and drag to a halt.  It sounds so helpless.  Just stop everything, stay still, look at my watch, tap my foot, and wait for some undefined length of time until God decides to move.  Not very spiritual, huh?

After my experience with the Lion, I have felt God shift my perspective of waiting on the Lord.  He showed me that I am not waiting passively.  I am actively participating in something God is doing.  When I stood captivated by the gaze of the Lion, it was definitely not the same as waiting at a bus stop or train station for something to happen.  I was being CHANGED.  To wait (or, as He has been showing me, to REST in God's presence) is an invitation to CHANGE and be EMPOWERED.

What does Isaiah say?  "Those who wait...change..."  This is an active statement because something is happening that is vital to our moving forward.  I have to become more like Him in order to go forth and conquer.

Those who wait...CHANGE.  How do they change?  They change from earthly mindsets to Kingdom visionaries.  They become like Jesus.  They become less associated with the world and more connected with heaven.  The ties of fear, insecurity, worry, doubt, and weakness that hold us down are burned away and we are set free to soar with God.

Here's a thought.  If those who wait are changed and empowered...what about those who don't wait?

The Lord showed me a picture to illustrate this exact thing.  He showed me a spiritual gas station.  Cars were pulling in and out of the station continually.  Some stayed long enough to be filled up completely.  Others drove round and around the parking area before taking off down the road again without getting any fuel for the journey. 

The meaning is sobering.  Those who wait/park in God's presence and allow themselves to be captivated by the gaze of the Lion are filled up.  They are changed from empty to full, from weak to strong.  They become powerful, unstoppable, and able to go long distances.  But those who do not wait may be found on the side of the road a little ways away, out of gas and wondering what went wrong.

Can you see why it is so vital to "Get lost in the gaze of the Lion"?     

Knowing God = Knowing you = Identifying the devil

We have talked about how resting and waiting in the Lord's presence changes us to be like Him.  While it is obvious why Satan would want to do everything possible to keep this from happening, there is another reason as well.  The more we become like Jesus, the more easily we can identify the lies and movements of Satan in our lives and around us in the world.

The Lord showed me an example of this in the book of Ezra.

Here we have the people of God being released from captivity and sent back to the promised land with instructions to rebuild the temple of God.  In chapter four we have the record of an encounter with the people who have taken up residence in the land while Israel was in exile that illustrates what I am trying to say quite well.

Ezra 4:1-2 AMP
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles from the captivity were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel,

They came to Zerubbabel [the governor] and to the heads of the fathers' houses and said, "Let us build with you, for we seek and worship your God as you do, and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here."

We are tipped off in verse one that the people offering help were enemies of God's people.  But suppose we didn't have that foreknowledge?   

Building the temple of God must have seemed like an incredible task for Israel upon returning to the promised land.  And then, just as they are overwhelmed with the momentous task ahead of them, here comes a group of people who have been living in the area.  They offer their help to build God's temple.  They tell of how they are dedicated worshipers of God and even that they have kept up the sacrifices to God while Israel was in exile.   Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. 

But listen to Zerubbabel's and the people's answer.

Ezra 4:3 AMP
But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel said to them, "You have nothing to do with us..."

The leaders of Israel saw through the sweet words and offers for help to the truth.  Zerubbabel was able to look at them and identify that, though they were saying all the right words, they were in fact enemies of Israel and ultimately of God.

How wonderful would that be to be able to identify the tricks of the devil with the same clarity and accuracy? 

Have you ever played the childhood game of "What doesn't belong?"  As a little girl, I remember loving the pages in coloring books where you had to identify the objects that were out of place.  Though the name of the game points to what doesn't belong, that is not in fact how you play.  First, you have to identify what is the SAME before you can clearly point out what does not belong. 

Imagine a page with all different sized circles and one square.  How do you know the square doesn't belong?  Because the rest of the shapes on the page are circles.  You identify what DOES belong before you can point out what DOESN'T.

When I come into the presence of God, I experience who He is.  I learn His characteristics.  How He sees things.  In His Word, I read about His ways.  I see His will.  Then, as I allow myself to be changed by His presence, I come to realize who I am.  I become like Him.  I learn that if God is love, than I am love.  If God is holy, than I am holy.  If He is a circle, than as His child, I am a circle.

So what happens when I have fear or worry come up to me?  They offer to help me, telling me it is responsible to be concerned and worked up about a certain situation.  If I know Who God is, and therefore know who I am, than I can look at Satan's cleverly offered help to ensnare me and say, "You have nothing to do with us!  I have been in the presence of God and there is no fear there.  God has not given me a spirit of fear.  You are a square and do not belong.  That is not how my Father does things and so I don't do things that way either.  You do not belong!"

The only thing that makes the game hard is if it is not clear what DOES belong.  Developing a habit of continually waiting in God's presence is how we find out what DOES belong.  The clearer that becomes to us, the more readily we are able to point out the sugar coated attacks of the enemy and say, "You have nothing to do with me!"

In Conclusion

There have been many distractions that have come and tried to snare my attention away from His eyes.  Some of them have been successful.  But I am learning to stay focused, enraptured, by Him and who He is.  It is the only way I can truthfully know myself.  And by knowing Him and who He says I am, I am able to more clearly identify the works of Satan against me.

May we be captivated by His eyes and changed!

Amanda J. Wunderlich