Changed By The Presence Of Jesus

Gazing upon the face of Jesus is not only beautiful, but it has the power to change who we are! Songwriters throughout the ages have had the church singing this truth but we need to be reminded still…

“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.”

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” was written by Helen Lemmel in 1922 and it remains a staple of church hymnals. The things of earth have power to attract, but they lose their magnetic pull in the face of Jesus- the beauty of holiness is truly more attractive than the lure of sin.

Sometimes we simply lose the glow of heaven as we walk through this world, we can become dry or cold or indifferent to spiritual things. What a difference it makes to be in the presence of Jesus!

One night we had gathered together to worship and study the bible. I didn’t feel particularly “spiritual”. In fact, during that season of my life I was feeling kind of on the dry side of things. We had a small group of young people who would step over into a side room to lead worship. Rachel would often be on the piano and her playing always seemed to be anointed. She had a gift, not just a musical skill, but the anointing of God when she played. Well, on this night, for me anyway, it was as if heaven opened up and poured water on this dry soul. Not just a drop or two, but a heavenly downpour! I left that night very much changed. I had been in the presence of Jesus, and that changes everything. The next morning I literally woke up with a new song in my heart! And not just one song, but like the downpour I felt the night before, the songs just came pouring out of me. I wrote many new songs in the weeks and months following that night because I was literally changed from the inside out. “Beautiful… Jesus You Are!” is one of the songs that came out of being in His presence.


From one degree of glory to another

The point of my song is a very simple one, yet it is one of the most powerful truths of the Christian life- being in the presence of Jesus changes us.

Now, I can say that I’ve experienced this to be true many times over the years since becoming a Christian. Being in His presence changes me more than all my efforts at reform, more than all my bible studying and “trying harder”. Just simply being in His presence and having a revelation of Him, THAT has power to transform. Jesus can do more in an instant than you can do in a lifetime! Having a revelation of Him, an experience of Him, is the most wonderfully transformative thing in the universe!

My song says…

“As I gaze at your face I’m changed, I am suddenly rearranged- I could never remain the same, after seeing your glory, the love you have for me!”

Exactly! Yes, that is it!

Now read how the Word of God puts it:

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

You see, changed! Transformed! By beholding Him.

The Christian life is not about a bunch of truths, however valuable these truths may be. The Christian life is about KNOWING JESUS. He is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) It’s possible to fill our heads with truths and never experience Him! But oh, once you’ve experienced Him, how that changes everything! Once these truths become embodied in the person of Jesus and you actually meet the Son of God you will never be the same again!