Last night’s Next Step Recovery Program Meeting #2 brought us to one of the most important concepts of Christianity: The Mirror. I chose a picture of a woman looking in the mirror who has begun to smile for this post . It’s not because she is vain, or thinks too highly of herself. She is smiling because she sees in the mirror the person she wanted to look like. She got up with “bed head” like all the rest of us. She got up with eyes mattered with oily residue from tears that lube our eyes all day and night. She got up a mess like all the rest of us. But in her heart, mind, and will she knew what she wanted to look like to express herself, and she got to work to get to the point she could see that image in the mirror. Us guys, well, we mostly don’t put that much into it I would say! We drag a comb or a brush through our hair, splash some water, drag a razor, and voila! We’re done. But year after year, a woman knows what she wants to look like and works to create that image. Even as she gets older and it’s much harder for her to create the same person she wants to see, she will continue to work diligently at it to accomplish the image she wants. This is the same concept God’s Word teaches about the recovery process: it is a lifetime’s daily journey to more and more reflect the Glory of God. But unlike you and I, who are loosing our looks year by year as we age, the spiritual man is become more and more conformed to the image of Jesus if we work at it daily! (2 Corinthians 4:16) Let’s look at some key concepts:
The Glory of God—what God had in His mind and on His heart for us to be, before He carried out His will by creating us. Our goal in Eternal Life is to be fully changed into that person He saw in His mind and heart. To fully have that happen, we must learn to submit our mind, will and heart—thinking, acting, and feeling—to Him for the process of change (transformation).
The Process of Change—Recognizing, Renouncing, and Removing Defects in Personality, Character, and Coping Skills followed by Recognizing, Requesting, and Renewing the Mind by Replacing these Defects with new Kingdom of Heaven thinking, acting, and feeling. Transformation!!!!
Before Salvation, true eternally meaningful and lasting change is impossible. We have to first recognize we can’t fulfill that glory on our own no matter what we do! To do that, we are confronted by “The Mirror”, the image of what God created us to be and in looking with eyes and ears to hear we see we can’t do it on our own, we need a power greater than ourselves and our abilities…Jesus Christ!!!
Isaiah 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.
So God formed us for His glory. But sadly, the image in the mirror is covered with all sorts of character flaws, strongholds, stinking thinking that obscures God’s Glory, especially before we become born again.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
As Paul explains in Romans above, we have to reach a point we realize we can never be holy enough or good enough to be the person God saw when He created us without the indwelling power of His Spirit. We recognize our need for a savior. But once we get saved, we now seek to reflect His glory more and more daily. To do this, we need to change our daily focus from selfishness to looking in God’s mirror instead. The bottom line is, we will be conformed or transformed into the image of whatever or whoever we focus on most in our day to day lives. We will glory in the Flesh or we will glory in the Spirit:
Galatians 5:15-17 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
James 1:21-25 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 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 by the Spirit of the Lord.
Wow!! What a concept! We are now reflecting more of God’s Glory than we did. We now can look in The Mirror and celebrate the things that now look like they should. But what’s exciting is that as we continue to look into the “Perfect Law of Liberty” we will see old thoughts/character flaws that need to be liberated. We can ask the Spirit to help us pull down those strongholds and replace them with thinking that glorifies God. We can look forward to going to the Next Step in our progressive holiness, looking more like Christ and reflecting more of His glory. So next year or next month when the next issue is overcome (or even partially overcome) we can say “Wow! I was reflecting a little of God’s Glory last year but praise God I’m more yielded and transformed this year…I’ve been changed from Glory to Glory!
Next, we will look at the role of the born again Spirit-Man and Spirit of the Lord in the process of using the Mirror.