Though the task ahead was one that would bring indescribable pain to our Lord, and we can't even fathom what it would have been like for the sinless Creator to have to carry our sin and to be mocked by His very own Creation, Luke 9:51-53 tells us that: When the days drew near for him [Jesus] to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
I am struck by the repetition of the expression that His face was set to go to, or toward, Jerusalem. There is something so concrete and steadfast in that expression, ". . . He set His face to go to Jerusalem." Wow! It challenges me to ask myself, "What have I set my face towards?"
In Daniel 1:8 in the New King James translation it says, "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." He purposed in his heart. The English Standard Version says he "resolved."
I know that I won't know the extent of God's plans for me all right now, nor even what my life will look like in months, let alone years, but I must ask myself, "Have I set my face, have I purposed in my heart, that the Lord's work and will is going to be done through me—that I will present myself before my King as a yielded vessel that He might find pliable and surrendered to His heart and work?"
I get the sense that for Jesus, and Daniel, there was resolve to let nothing distract them from the course. We read this theme of not getting entangled with sin or the cares of the world throughout the Bible. We see it in Abraham's steadfast march with his son Isaac toward the mountain of sacrifice. I wonder what my true determinations are . . . not what I "say" they are, but what my life and my priorities and the use of my time "reveal" they are.
Have I set my face? Have I purposed my heart? Is my King's (and Father's) will the determination of my mind, and the goal of my life? May He find me ready, willing, dependent, poured out, led by His Spirit, and joyous in the days ahead—may I set my face to that goal, and always remember the new mercies every morning He offers when I stumble and fall.
As recorded in Numbers 6:24-26, may, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
God bless you all. Thanks for reading.