2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Being a dad for the first time, I am adjusting to waking up in the middle of the night to give my son a bottle, change his diapers, and try to coax him back to sleep. When I get up with him, I take him into the spare bedroom that has all the essentials, like bottle supplies, a changing pad, and an old wooden rocking chair that I was rocked to sleep in when I was his age. When I take him in there, I need some form of light so that I can see what I am doing. If I turn the overhead light for the room on, my son will squint or completely close his eyes because the light is so bright. Keep in mind that I am taking him from a room that has almost no light and is almost completely dark. To adjust to this problem, we have a lamp set up by the changing station that gives off a lot less light, but still allows me to see what I am doing. This keeps us from having to turn on the main light altogether and saves my son’s eyes in the process.
What a picture of our own lives! When we live in the darkness of sin and then encounter the glory of God, it’s like stepping into a room filled with great light; too much light for us to even see well. God’s brilliance can seem like too much for us to behold. We have trouble adjusting to His brilliant holiness. But we must adjust, because a key to transforming into the image of Christ is to behold Him longer. He is worthy of more than a casual glance every now and then. We should, as His children, diligently fix our gaze upon Him.
Matt Papa, who is a contemporary Christian Music singer, said, “Our most natural, authentic Christlikeness will come not from our trying harder, but from our staring longer.” I think we can all work on spending more time staring longer at our Creator.
When you take only a quick glance at yourself in the mirror in the morning, you might risk going to work with something between your teeth, a spot where the razor missed or hair sticking out-of-place.
The apostle Paul said we must “behold” Jesus as we would ourselves in the mirror, deeply contemplating Him, considering His worth and characteristics. In doing this we’re seeking to be transformed into His image.
When we sin, we’re not focusing on God. We are lurking in the darkness and focusing on the ways of our world. True repentance involves turning away from our sin and the darkness and turning towards the light and the One who can lead us to victory.
I have two questions that I would like us to think about:
- What are some things in your life that divert your attention away from God?
- What could you do in order to focus more on Him?
If we answer these two questions honestly, and then make changes in our lives that would cause us to focus more on God, we will find that over time, we could be transformed into being a person that we can’t even presently imagine. I think that would be well worth concentrating our time and efforts on. What do you think?