But when one turns to the Lord,
Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
And we all, with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same
image from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (ESV)
I have spent hour upon hour contemplating the glory of the Lord. Mostly, my reason for this was because it was something I simply didn't understand,........but I wanted to. Glory seemed to me to be a mystery.
Recently, I was reading an entry from Oswald Chambers 'My Utmost For His Highest'. (the entry was January 23rd, if you're interested) The devotional itself was very impacting, but I'm a bit of a rebel and cannot simply leave my study at only a snippet of Scripture which appears to be plopped down out of context. 'What Else Does It Say!!??' screams my inquisitive mind.
So I spent a bit of time in 2 Corinthians 3 to learn what was the context. In the end, I had to agree that Mr. Chamber's people had well chosen the passage that was being illuminated. Here it is again,
And we all, with unveiled face,beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
What grabbed me was the idea that beholding His glory brings about transformation. Because my concept of glory was fixed on the idea of grandeur and majesty, I have often felt at a loss as to how exactly to be transformed by that glory. I pondered over this a while longer and then did what I've been training myself to do, I asked Jesus. Here was my question.
"Jesus, I want to behold your glory, but I am not always sure how to accomplish this. How do you want to show me Your glory right now?"
I am lately in the habit of asking Jesus questions like this and then sitting quietly and listening in my heart for what He would say. On this occasion, he caught me by surprise. The first line from Chamber's devotional said "The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives."
As I considered that, I realized that being unveiled and frank implies being open as to what I really think about Him and then inviting Him to correct whatever needs correcting. In this instance, here is how Jesus corrected me.
Where I thought glory was meant to be bright and shiny, He reminded me that He'd been an ordinary carpenter and yet that He'd displayed God's glory every day of His life. Where I thought it involved angelic songs, He reminded me that it simply meant a quiet touch and a kind word to one who is hurting. Where I thought it required weird creatures circling above an impossibly large throne, Jesus reminded me that it was simply when His sheep hear His voice and come to Him.
And when it was time to be personal, He reminded me that His glory is displayed in ME every time a new and healthy response comes out of me that looks like Jesus' reflection. Throwing out my old ways of thinking, the ones that weighed me down is a reflection of Jesus' glory in me.
He reminded me that my definition of glory needed some refining too, right alongside of me. I wonder, what other definitions are in need of some tweaking? Today, I invite you to ask Jesus the question I asked. If He shows you something you hadn't seen before, I do hope you'll share it with me.