The Christian life can be pretty jarring….
...Sorry, that’s a bad joke about being like jars of clay – He’s the potter, we’re the clay, get it?
Jokes aside, anyone who has tried to walk with Christ long enough to ‘look inside’ – that is, inside ourselves, soon realizes that there’s not much natural raw material there for Him to work with. For the most part, we’re pretty barren.
We soon discover that Christian transformation doesn’t happen through improvements in our own behavior, or by acting in a way we think is more Christ-like. Instead, it can only result from God’s life operating and growing within us.
As incredible as it sounds, this transformation happens when we look at Christ. Second Corinthians 3:18 explains that we’re transformed as we behold and reflect the Lord like a mirror.
“But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18
There’s a lot to unpack in this amazing verse…
A mirror reflects what it sees. Naturally, if a mirror is aimed the wrong way, or covered or veiled, it can’t reflect the right image. It has to be unveiled and pointed in the right direction.
The extraordinary implication is that we can behold the Lord now ...today. We can gaze upon Him in His glory and experience the light of His literal presence. To do that, we must have an unveiled face.
Paul explained what he meant by a veil in verse 15: “Indeed unto this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.”
Paul’s beloved fellow Jews didn’t avoid or hide from Moses’ teaching; they revered it. They memorized it and studied it. They nailed it to their doorposts and wore symbols of it on their clothes. But it was what they thought they knew about Moses’ teaching that became a veil over their hearts. Because of that, they couldn’t see that Moses’ writings revealed Christ.
Even Jesus’ disciples couldn’t see it. In that beautiful account of Jesus on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, he opened the scriptures to them, “beginning from Moses and from all the prophets,” to show how the entire Old Testament was pointing to Him. These writings revealed not a religion for people to follow but a wonderful Person, Jesus Christ.
The heart is described in the Bible as the embodiment of our mind, emotion, will, and conscience. Our heart is the organ with which we love God, people, and things. Our heart is also the gateway of our being, determining whether we’re open or closed to something. Our heart is central to our relationship with God.
Veils hide us. The point of a veil is to hide things. When we allow a veil to cover our heart, it’s because we’re hiding. Adam and Eve hid in the Garden after they sinned because they were afraid and ashamed of what they’d done. Their hiding demonstrated the separation that existed between them and God. Veils can creep over our hearts anytime, with the same tragic result.
Paul explained that veils are removed when we choose to look upon the Lord. He gives the beautiful remedy in 2 Corinthians 3:16: “But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
What an awesome encouragement that is!
In the times when we feel like God is out of reach, and we can’t see Him or sense the light of His love, we only need to turn. Turning removes the veil. We just have to turn away from whatever is occupying our heart and return our gaze to Him.
He doesn’t require us to be perfect in order to turn. Perfecting us is His job...
...It happens when we reflect His image!