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What Does It Mean To Look To God?

I noticed something interesting one day. Whether in church, Bible studies, blog posts, or youth group, “look to God” seems to be the answer for almost any difficult problem Christians face.  

How do I turn away from sin? What should I do when I just don’t have the strength to keep going? Where do I find joy? How do I find courage? What do I need to do to be saved? How do I learn to love others?

Look to God!

But how, exactly, do you look to God? 

That’s the question that rose in my head, begging to be answered. So I picked up my pack of colored pens and set off on a word study—or rather, a phrase study—to see what the Bible said about this mysterious saying.

I opened a notebook and copied a bunch of Bible verses with variations of the phrase “to look to God.” Using an excessive amount of colors, I underlined, circled, and highlighted bits of Scripture, and I noted what I found off to the side. 

Learning exactly what it meant to look to God was groundbreaking for me (and also super fun). Here are my five main takeaways.

#1: Know Who You’re Looking to.

Allow me to state the obvious: you can’t look to God without knowing to whom you’re looking. “Looking to God” implies devoted attention to Him, and Who He is. 

The verses I studied painted a beautiful picture of our Almighty God.

  • In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. – Isaiah 17:7 (ESV) 
  • But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7
  • looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2 

(Emphasis added.)

In addition, four of the verses (including their context) called Him Yahweh, translated as LORD in all-caps. Yahweh means “I Am.”

Looking to Christ means meditating on who “I Am” is. We find who He is all throughout Scripture. You just have to open up your Bible.

#2: Look to Him in Everything.

In many contexts, the phrase “to look to God” is synonymous with praying. But what do we pray to Him for? 

We can look to the Lord for anything, but here are just a few examples:

  • We look to Him so we can turn away from sin. Isaiah 17:7-8 talks about looking to Him rather than idols, and the context of Micah 7:7 shows people sinning before Micah says, “but as for me.”
  • We look to Him so we can be radiant and never ashamed. When sharing the gospel, for example. See Psalm 34:5.
  • We look to Him for endurance to run the race. See Hebrews 12:1.
  • We look to Him to provide for us. See Psalm 104:27 and 145:15.
  • We look to Him for our salvation! See Micah 7:7.

Can you think of any other things we look to God for?

#3: Trust.

My favorite verse I studied was Micah 7:7, if you didn’t guess when I referenced it multiple times. I even memorized it. 

One thing I loved about this verse is the confidence it displays, especially in the last part. Here it is again:

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

When we look to the Lord, we need to trust Him. Not only believe in Him, but have confidence in Him. 

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6

Don’t be driven and tossed by the wind. Trust—like Micah.

#4: Have Patience.

I made an interesting observation while I was studying two verses in Psalms, and also that same Micah verse.

These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. – Psalm 104:27

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. – Psalm 145:15

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

(Emphasis added.)

There’s an obvious connection between looking to the Lord and having patience. Yes, we should trust God, but He’ll give us what we need in His timing. We need to learn to wait.

#5: Be Intentional, But Don’t Get Overwhelmed.

Learning to look to God in everything—to know Him, to trust Him, and to wait for Him—is a life-long process.

Yes, be intentional, and seek to grow, but don’t be discouraged or overwhelmed. 

I’m just a teenager with a Bible, a brain, a pen, and a paper. I have miles to go myself, and I know how hard it can be to see how much I have yet to learn.

Looking to God is a habit we fix in ourselves. We have to take it one step at a time and keep going. I’d recommend that you start with one or two points I mentioned and work on those rather than trying to do everything at once.

March on, beloved Rose. 

Open your Bible and seek God. Look to Him in prayer. And when you don’t know what to say, let the Holy Spirit intercede for you. 

Seek, and you will find.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

Eliana Duran

Eliana Duran is a homeschooled high schooler with a love for Jesus and words, in that order. Besides writing, you can often catch her doodling or reading. She is also the proud big sister of ten (and counting!). You can keep up with her at Eliana the Writer or by joining her semi-weekly newsletter.

6 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Look To God?”

  1. Eliana, we enjoyed reading this and seeing what God is teaching you as you read and study the Bible! Thanks for sharing your insights about what it means “look to God!”

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