16-18Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 2 Corinthians 3 The Message
The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives. By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding we become mirrors. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord; you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord’s own character. Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you…The golden rule for your life and mind is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God…The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through. Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him.
~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Transformed by Insight)
I’d say that maybe within the past few years, that’s when I’ve let my eyes look long. Growing up, I was surrounded by the message of “not enough” or “too much”, and looking was just too painful and self-degrating. Beginning in the faith, I was hit hard by my unlovely self – a person so in need of grace I didn’t think I could get up off the bedroom floor, much less look! So, yes, probably just in the past few years have I stopped glancing and forgetting, and now I’m willing to look long and hard.
Mirrors. Here on earth, and in the world’s standards, they can be tricky. Put them under dimmed lights – ideas of relative truth that seem similar to the Word i.e. watered down Truth – and the image before you doesn’t look so bad; put them beneath fluorescents – legalism – and you find yourself deciding not to buy those jeans after all and opting for a salad instead! Put them in a carnival – like e-harmony for religions -, and well, you take your pick for $1 and ticket…you can be thicker, thinner, taller, shorter, or funnier. I have lived life jaded because of these looking glasses. But…
Eternal mirrors, now those give quite a different view. In fact, the most wonderful thing I have found out about them, is that they require you to have”eye surgery” before you are allowed a peek. Through these new “grace shades” I have come to see who I am in God’s eyes, and let me tell you the image staring back at me is shocking, overwhelming, humbling. As I stand up on wobbly legs and release those tightly shut eye lids, I gaze intriguingly into that glass, and I see SomeOne staring back that I never thought I would – Christ Himself. The sacrifice He offered, the blood that He spilled and that has covered me, it has created something new. I no longer stand with a grimace over the extra of this or less of that; in fact, I don’t stand looking over myself at all. Now I realize that the “mirror” before me is a veil-less way into the presence of God Almighty! Looking into the glass isn’t at all about me; it’s all about Him! Moses didn’t climb up that mountain to catch a better picture of himself or a greater understanding of his spirit and being; He went with great anticipation of meeting his Maker! And meet with Him he did – no one could deny!
And the wonder of it all…He is still ready to meet with us today and everyday! (No mountain climbing required!) Nathan read aloud in a Psalm or a Proverb recently that those who praise Him will shine! Oh, to shine like Moses! I guess the most disheartening thing is, I have the opportunity to shine from meeting Him face to face daily, and I haven’t! I have let the mirror get sullied and I have allowed things to obscure my life with God – and I didn’t have to! God stands ready in the morning to meet me face to face, and there have been times that I have walked right by Him, turned my back, and…not…bothered. I have chosen to not bother with my Creator and Savior and Father! And what has He done; well, He is faithful. His love endures forever. His mercies are new every morning and GREAT is His FAITHFULNESS! His compassions they fail not! He is patient, not wanting any to perish! He stands watching for me to turn around and head back to His arms, and He stands not with scorn and disappointment on His face but with royal clothes and a feast preparing!
The words of 2 Corinthians make my heart leap and my mind reel! A life lived in His presence is the gift of eternal life that Christ died for! As I live in His presence – meeting with Him daily – I become more and more like Him! I become like the One Who was about His Father’s business. The One Who had compassion on the physically, emotionally, and spiritually hurt. The One Who was transfigured and the One Who bent low to wash dirty toes. The One Who loved His betrayer. The One Who walked all His days closer to a cross that would bring salvation to the world. The One Who now sits at the right hand of God! Are you beaming yet? Are your cheeks hurting from smiling? When you turn around and walk away from this screen will you be shining?
1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60 NIV