CHANGED INTO HIS IMAGE
The New Testament Scriptures tell us in many places that God desires to change or transform us into the image of Christ. It is clear, however, that we cannot change ourselves. Only God can change us! But . . . is there something we can do to cooperate with Him? The preachers tell us that we need to pray, study the bible, go to church, witness, tithe, and praise God. If we do these things, then we will be changed and grow up into Him. The counselors tell us that we need to improve our self image and work on our patterns of behaviour. The problem is that the scriptures themselves never actually say that any of these things will ever change us!
Most religions of the world expect their followers to change in order to meet some set of behavioral standards. This code of behaviour is attained through much discipline, obedience, and will power. In fact, Jesus Himself (in the sermon on the mount) laid down many behavioral expectations He had for His followers. The question is: How do we change? This is going to shock you but here goes anyway; Most Christians have never heard of this way of being changed, and yet it is the ONLY way! Here it is:
"But we all- with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord - are changed into the same image from glory to glory." II Cor. 3:18
We are changed by beholding Him!
You see prayer, bible study, witnessing, tithing, going to church, etc. are all important but they are the result . . . NOT the cause! They are the fruit ... NOT the tree! We must begin somewhere else! Brothers and sisters, this is the key to your Christian life! In eternity past, the Son was in constant fellowship with the Father through the Holy Spirit. The Father is always beholding the Son. The Son is always beholding the Father. (This beholding is an intense gazing with the eyes of the spirit to take in or absorb the beauty of another).
Jesus continued the beholding of His Father while He was here on earth. He then asked the Father that we would learn to behold His glory.
"Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." John 17:24
Obviously, this was important to our Lord!
The Cart Before the Horse
Praying is important, but the Christian life does not start there. Bible study is important, but the Christian life does not start there. These things are carts, NOT horses! The Christian life begins with His Life! His life is in your spirit. Dear believer, do you know how to go there, into your spirit, in order to draw from His Life? Do you know how to have a constant, deep, abiding fellowship with Him Who lives in your spirit? Do you know how to behold His glory that you might be changed? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, we have missed the point of the whole Christian walk? Just think of it; our Lord is so glorious, and so awesome, and so beautiful, that just by beholding Him . . . WE CAN BE CHANGED! Moses found out. Don't you think it's time that we did?
May we eat of the tree of life
May we feast on You
May our spirits, in You delight
Jesus, the vine that is true