Psalms 123 through 126 are Psalms of ascent. They are songs that the pilgrims sang as they made their way “UP” to Jerusalem to worship God. The opening verse of Psalm 123 captures the correct posture whenever we approach God. It says, “I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.” Whenever we attempt to enter into the presence of God we must ascend, or go up! He’s the omnipotent God enthroned in heaven far above us. It’s all about the proper perspective of myself in God’s great world. In Brazil, South America, there stands a famous statue of Christ, the face of which is so turned that the only way to look into His eyes is to get down on your knees and look up.

It’s all about the use of the eyes. A bishop of the early church, who was a remarkable example of the virtue of contentment, was asked his secret. The venerable old man replied: “It consists in nothing more than making a right use of my eyes. In whatever state I am, I first of all look up to heaven and remember that my principal business here is to get there. Then I look down upon the earth, and call to mind how small a place I shall occupy in it when I die and am buried. I then look around in the world, and observe what multitudes there are who are in many respects more unhappy than myself. Thus I learn where true happiness is placed, where all our cares must end, and what little reason I have to complain.”

The appropriate use of the eyes also helps us with obedience to God. A dog trainer puts a piece of meat on the floor near the dog and says, “No!” and the dog knew he must not touch it. But he never looked at the meat. He seemed to feel that if he did so, the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he looked steadily at the trainer’s face. There is a lesson for us all. Always look up to the Master’s face.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)