“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, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18
I was sitting in my parents bed room this morning just having a bit of “alone time” with God. Everything was quiet…when I noticed a mirror against the wall that we had taken off our living room wall last year when we painted. As I was somewhat absently staring at it, I remembered the verse we had stuck on it before taking it down. I couldn’t remember it all, but I knew what the reference was so I looked it up. As I read the verse, I was struck with how many of our problems would be solved if we stubborn people would simply get a grasp on this concept and live it out. Here’s some of the scribbles of my heart…I’ll try to get them to flow so you can understand what my heart is trying to convey.
This scripture is saying that looking at the Lord is like a mirror and that by looking at Him we will be changed. My first thought was that we will almost inevitably become like what we spend our time looking at. Who do we spend the majority of our time with? If you work with unbelievers, are you taking extra time in the word and prayer so that you can withstand the temptations? If you spend most of your leisure time hanging out with unsaved people, you are most likely to end up like them. We will become worn down and slowly our conscience will become hardened to the sin around us. As time goes on, we start to think it’s not so bad. Jane uses a few not so nice words here and there, but she’s such a sweet girl. It can’t be that bad. Do people really think that is swearing? I know first hand, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced it to some extent that when we hear or see things all the time. We might suddenly find ourselves using those “not so nice words” or letting our modesty slip “just a little.” In 2Cor. 5:33 Paul warns the Corinthian believers, “Be NOT deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” Not maybe—they do!
Another place girls can often get caught up beholding things they shouldn’t is on the internet. Spending a lot of time surfing the internet can often lead to seeing things you later regret. And it can start so gradually and before you know it you jump and say to yourself, “how did I end up looking at this?!” The internet can be very helpful in its place, but it can also be one of the greatest snares to Christians. It’s a good practice to have a purpose when you open up the browser rather than just randomly looking at different things. Have a reason for being on and when you’re done, close it and go on to other things. If you find yourself looking at all kinds of things that aren’t really benefiting you, check your heart and see why you’re looking at the stuff you are.
I think another one that affects a lot of girls is the books we read. When we fill our mind with all kinds of romance, thrilling adventure, mystery, etc. we become taken up in the world of fantasy. I know this gets talked about a lot, but it’s because it’s such and issue. So many girls are caught in the sticky web of reading romance. It will not lead you to think about Christ and what you can do to serve Him. It puts you in a state of mind where you are always thinking about romance and what will happen next in the book you’re reading. And you will find yourself fantasizing about young men in your church. Any time you meet a guy, you start thinking about how handsome he is etc.… When I was probably around 14, I remember an older friend warning me not to get into romance novels. She said, “It makes you look at guys as prospective boyfriends instead of brothers in Christ.” And that is dangerous! With that perspective, what kind of attitude will girls have toward the young men? I can assure you that it won’t be one of purity and chasteness. That will be damaging to the Kingdom of God!
When we are allowing our lives to be consumed with things other than Christ (looking in a different glass than Christ, beholding the wrong things) we will find our minds occupied with what we spend our time looking at. If you find yourself caught listening to wicked music, you will start singing those songs and they will run through your mind constantly. If you listen to people at work all the time using swear words and you don’t keep your heart pure and sensitive, you will find those words slipping out when you least expect it. The devil is so sly; he takes his time. He brings things in so slowly, that we don’t notice it. So often girls find themselves in places they would’ve never dreamt to be.
So, why do we girls so often find ourselves where we don’t want to be? What could’ve been done to stop that? Let’s go back to our key verse. “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, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” So far, we’ve just been looking at what happens when we don’t behold the face of Christ. Now, let’s take a look at what we should be doing.
The first thing we need to do be Christ presence. To behold, you must able to see, so you have to have your face unveiled, your heart open. The picture I get when I think of an open face is someone who is completely honest. There’s nothing hidden, not a single place in your heart that you wouldn’t want Jesus to see. The air needs to be clear and open. We have to be frank and honest with where we are at. Then, we behold the face of our Saviour. To become like Him, we must be with Him. One of the keys to a close relationship with Jesus is lots of quality time. Spending much time in prayer…just be in His presence. Girls, I can guarantee you that it’s not a waste of time to just spend an hour in quietness before in Jesus’ presence! Just be quiet and listen to Him. We often pray, we read, but do we take time to just listen? How do we expect to get answers if we don’t have time or patience to listen to Him? He may answer in other ways, but I don’t think we’ll ever know the depth of His heart and love if we don’t take time to simply sit in silence and listen to Him. There’s a beauty in being in tranquil peaceful silence before the Creator of the Universe!
It’s by beholding that we become changed. The more we are with Jesus, read His word, and study Him the more we will become like Him. You will find that the more time you spend seeking to deepen your relationship, the more you want to! If now you feel like prayer takes up time you could be using to get work done, just spend a week taking a half hour to pray and soon you’ll find you can’t go without it! The more you do it, the more you’ll enjoy it. You become dependent on Christ! And that is a good addiction!!!
Dear girls, I believe that if each one of us, myself included, will behold Jesus, we will find that many of our problems will fall by the wayside. They seize to be a problem because we are beholding Christ. The things of this world loose their appeal. And we find ourselves looking for ways to bless others because Jesus is just flowing out of our hearts. And it’s because that’s what’s coming in. Let’s let Christ pour through us to the world as we behold Him!
- Guest Post by Esther Enns