You know what it’s like to look into the mirror and see something you didn’t see before, don’t you? Usually it’s a blemish, or a wrinkle, or perhaps one of those ghastly hairs that seem to propel themselves out of our noses overnight, shocking us into panic mode as we run for the tweezers!
But what is it like when you see something inside your eyes, something that you suddenly realise has been there all along, but you’ve not been quite so conscious of it…an issue of the heart perhaps?
There have been times where I have faced this unknown territory and walked away, choosing instead to consider that perhaps what I saw was a fallacy and nothing to concern myself with.
But then there have been times when I have stood my ground and continued to push upon that reflection, forcing my way through the looking-glass and into that realm of that which I had hoped was not there.
So what happens, when we choose to stand firm and face that which provokes the soul to display the antonym of our spirit, of our oneness with Christ?
My theory so far, is that the immediate experience is an encounter that can cause the emotions to feel like they are ripping you apart from the inside out, an exposure that can leave you feeling bereft of any kind of sanity. So many times I have faced this disparity to how I desire to be, and I have turned away from the mirror and chosen not to deal with what I have seen.
The paradox is that God does not judge me for my choice. I judge me however, and have often spent more time than I am sure is healthy castigating myself for my lack of courage to face what I know needs to be faced. However, in those moments when I do face that initial phase of breath-taking reality, I find myself choosing to take a deeper look, and in choosing to embrace that which I have feared, I embrace it, which somehow decompresses the perceived power that I thought it had over me, and I watch it fade away becoming just a memory.
The glorious and possibly never to be fully understood truth of the matter, is that all of what I see has already been forgiven and transformed. What Jesus did on the Cross was not merely symbolic and just a portion of my sin removed. It was all. Totally and completely forgiven, washed clean and transformed into the new me (John 15:3). New, meaning ‘that which has never been seen before’ new (2 Cor 5:17).
The more I ponder these discrepancies: the truth of who I am and the reality of what I see before me – the more I am astounded at the complexities of our God and his Nature. For He has chosen, before he even created one of us, to forgive and forget and not only that, but to transform from glory to glory, his beloved Creation into a Bride who knows her name, who understands her identity and who walks in the authority that she’s been given (John 14:12).
She knows her past. She understands the Atonement. She walks in victory, knowing the fulness, the depth, the breadth, the height of such Love (John 15:16).
So how does any of this revelation come about? Consider Romans 12:2:
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Our mandate is to allow God to transform us and we play a large part in the success of this transformation. This is not to suggest that we are still in sin or that we are not whole, as previously mentioned, in John 15:3 ‘You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. (NLT)’.
We are already new, already whole and clean.
What we are not, is awake to all that we are. Our minds must be renewed and we are in control of this renewal. I mentioned earlier the awkward moment when we see something in ourselves that we did not see before. In that moment of heightened clarity, we have a choice: to confront and transform or to deny and ignore, and not transform. It’s quite simple really. Not easy, granted. But simple nonetheless.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says this:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Barnes has a clear reflection on this verse and contents that as we reflect upon the Glory of God ‘we become changed into the likeness of the same glory, and conformed to that which shines there with so much splendor’. He goes on to encourage us that ‘by contemplating the resplendent face of the blessed Redeemer, we are changed into something of the same image’.
As we look upon the face of our Redeemer. As we gaze upon the glory of our Maker. We become transformed…
This is the key!
This is what we do in that moment of disturbing clarity, when we wake up to something not so lovely in our makeup: we turn our gaze upon the One who knows all, who has redeemed all, and who is Love! I firmly believe that when we do this, we see the truth of who we really are, not the debauched version of ourselves that is sometimes more real that we care to admit and we are given a choice to claim that truth over our current reality.
Everything we do, everything we say, gives us the opportunity to walk in the light of that Truth that surrounds us continually. Everyday we have the right to walk as Sons of the Most High God, not as lowly worms of no repute. Everyday we have the opportunity to take the territory that is already ours, to walk in our office, whatever that may be, and to live as the royal Heirs to the Throne that we are.
So what are you looking at today? What challenges in your character are you facing? What is Holy Spirit encouraging you to face in this season?
I implore you, stand firm and squarely look that thing in the eye. It’s holding you back. It’s stunting your growth.
Trust Holy Spirit. It might hurt like ripping off a bandaid, but the freedom that comes from facing that which we cannot see is worth the effort. Be transformed so that you may be one who walks in the fulness of the glory of God, shining his light into all the world, casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead and setting the captives free!