The book of Acts 7:54-55 read, “Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven…”
We ought to be full of the Holy Spirit at all times. The Holy Spirit will fill us more and more during times of challenges. As our strength, so shall our days be. (Ref. Deuteronomy 33:25)
I believe that Stephen often gazed into heaven in his daily life. Of course, he was not simply lifting up his eyes, but he was using his spiritual eyes. We look up to the sky not because we hope to get something from the sky. Rather, it’s normal that our body gesture shows what we are looking at. Stephen often saw the Lord at the right hand of God in glory. It’s very precious that he was full of the Holy Spirit during times of need. The Holy Spirit wants us to see the Father and the Lord. He wants us to gaze into heaven. Our spiritual eyes should see the Lord throughout the day.
On the night before His crucifixion the Lord said, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.” (John 14:19) This refers to the time when the disciples saw the Lord after His resurrection. But these words also explain how we see Him now. I see the Lord many times throughout the day. I also see Abba. In Song of Solomon, when the believer gazes on the Lord with faith, His heart is captivated and overwhelmed.
Acts 7:55 reads “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Before this, Stephen saw the Lord with his spiritual eyes. But this time, it’s so precious that God let him see the Lord very clearly.
Acts 7:56 reads “And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”
Stephen gazed into heaven in his normal days. But when he was in great need, God let him see the heavens opened. “Jesus standing at the right hand of God”: I can’t describe how precious this is. It is very glorious!
The Lord ascended to heaven in victory. It’s impossible to imagine how wonderful the welcome from the angels must have been. It’s precious that the Lord is God and Man at the same time. No man is as glorious as the Lord, who ascended to heaven in victory! He is our representative, our priest and our pioneer. We will also follow Him to heaven one day, and Abba will lead many sons to glory!
I shared in the past about beholding the Lord. I think you can try to behold in a more concrete way. When you behold, you don’t have to imagine the Lord’s physical appearance. There is no such description in the Bible. The Lord’s glory is far beyond words. When the Lord appeared to Paul, He was brighter than the sun! In New Jerusalem, the Lamb is the light shining through the city! When you behold the Lord, you don’t have to meditate on each attribute of the Lord. Instead, simply face the Lord Himself. He is at the right hand of God. At the same time, you realize that His light shines through New Jerusalem. Therefore, teachings about “praying toward your heart” are wrong! Stephen gazed into heaven. The Lord taught us to pray to our Father in heaven; He has brought us to the Father in heaven. Hebrews also makes it clear that we have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. When we pray, we have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. Our spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Lord in New Jerusalem. How could New Jerusalem possibly be in our hearts? The Book of Hebrews says it very clearly that we have come to New Jerusalem, where innumerable angels and the spirits of the righteous gather. New Jerusalem is there! And God’s throne is there! It’s very definitive and clear, it’s not vague at all. These are all according to the Bible.
This is how I see the Lord, with some variation at times. The most precious is to see the Lord at the right hand of the Father. You don’t have to think too hard about what it means by Him being at the right hand of the Father. We also shouldn’t try to imagine His physical appearance. Just know that He is there. For example, let’s say your father is abroad, you have never met him in person , and you don’t have any pictures of him . But you have his phone number and you can call him anytime. You don’t have to even imagine what he looks like; you just know that he is there. Likewise, the Lord is at the right hand of the Father. He is light. According to the Bible, the Lamb is the light of the city. Paul also said that He is brighter than the sun. Of course, the Lord is also everywhere, and He is in your heart. He is not far from us. On the contrary, He is so close to us, even closer than Him being with the disciples when He was on earth. The Lord said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Indeed He has come into our hearts! Our heart is His paradise, and the place of His love desire.
Revelation chapter 4 tells us about the Father: “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian,” (Revelation 4:3) Again, we don’t need to imagine what the Father looks like. Jasper and carnelian are very glorious and beautiful. Know that He sits on the throne.
The Lord has specifically brought us to the Father in heaven. The Lord taught us to pray to “Our Father in heaven.” Therefore, all of us have the same focus, Yet, but at the same time, we also enjoy His personal love towards each one of us. He is bound to us personally, heart to heart, and deeply united. Our hearts are also connected through Him, and we share the same center, which is Abba and the Lord.