In HOPE 9.23

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, turn my eyes toward You today. Tune my ear to the sound of Your voice rather than my own. Adjust my heart that I might be aligned with You. I'm sorry for being a source of heartache, conflict, and discord. Refine within me today a more pure heart, that I may know You and be in harmony with Your plan and purposes. Amen.

Hope Happenings

The Board of Hope International University meets tomorrow (Friday, October 16) for its major annual meeting. Please mention them in prayer right now, as they will be making strategic decisions for the future direction of the University.

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Our Gaze

A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God, p.90) wrote:


“One hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other…. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.”


The key to harmony and unity lies not in our efforts to “get along” but in our alignment with Christ. When we look upon our circumstances or ourselves rather than Him, we inevitably devolve into division, battling over opinions and preferences, feeling hurt and hard-done-by.


Conflict and dissension have marred the church since its beginning. The church in ancient Corinth experienced prejudice, pride, and false-piety that threatened to tear it apart. And churches today -- large and small -- struggle with the same sins.


Many of us feel deeply disillusioned by the “politics” of the local congregation and suspect that the solution to our pain is to align ourselves with new or smaller gatherings, where we might avoid the dynamics of “the institution.” We naively believe that smaller, less-structured, more relational groups can avoid the pitfalls of conflict that have wounded us in the past. Yet, we overlook that even marriage itself (the smallest and most intimate of communities) is not immune to conflict.


Tozer defined faith as “the gaze of the soul upon the saving God.” And he rightly reminds us that until we are all tuned to the same fork, we cannot be anything but discordant. One hundred pianos will sound fine alone but cacophonous together, unless tuned to the same fork.


Purity of heart, honored by Jesus in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:8) is perhaps best understood in these terms -- not as moral purity but as a correct gaze; “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2).


To the extent that we look around more than within, we’ll breed an environment for disruption. If we focus more on others than on the Savior, we’ll experience discouragement. Our hope for the unity of the church -- and the unity of our families and marriages -- lies not in articulate visions but in believers who devote themselves to set “the gaze of the soul upon the saving God.”


Perhaps it’s time for a spiritual tune-up and eye-exam. No appointment necessary.






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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.