Monday, August 25, 2008

With one look...

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:1-3

The power to transform our lives comes not from doing, but from seeing. Another simple thought. But commonly overlooked. How many times have I read these words before? How many times have I not understood. As the love of the Father heart of God has transformed my heart this summer, I have found myself returning to the word with a renewed excitement and vigor. So many days I wake to find simple yet profound truths jumping off the page to melt into my heart. I doubt I can portray the depth that these words have penetrated into my soul, but I can't help trying nonetheless.

When we see Christ we will be like Him. How many years do we spend striving to change the way that we are by our own efforts, when the answer lies in a simple shift of vision? When we see Christ coming back in all of His glory we will be fully like Him. The day of our perfection will come. But even now, the extent that we become like Him in the midst of the daily grind of life is directly proportionate to the extent that we see His true heart.
God is wholly unlike man. When we say He is good, our finite minds perceive the best goodness this world has to offer as a taste of God. But the truth is that God is everything good that is missing from this world. We cannot imagine His goodness. He is fully everything this world is not. Yet our hearts are capable of seeing this in a distant glimpse. And when we do, we are forever changed. I have been. This summer I saw his love unfold to me like never before. I thought I knew what the love of God was like. I didn’t. I still don’t I am sure. But I know slightly better. Not in my head, but in my heart. I will never be the same. He peeled so many misconceptions about Him away from my eyes these past months. It has changed the way I live, the way I think, the way I feel, the way I study, the way I play, the way I see others. I did nothing to coerce my behavior to change. My actions have not been a fulfilled Biblical responsibility; they have been a heartfelt response. I am becoming more like Him, because I am responding more fully to a truer picture of His being. I love the last line of those verses as well: “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” My hope is that I will see Him and be like Him. As I wait, I have, not the duty, but the privilege of purifying myself. My sanctification is already assured in Christ, but my heart is so eager to be with Him and become like Him, that I rush to become so even now. Rules, expectations and obligations fade away in a sweeping rush of desire to be with a God who is so beyond what my heart can conceive. One taste of His true nature and the heart is left with no excuse, no desire to refuse. We see Him and our hearts are so captured by His being that we want nothing else. The rest of life’s details tend to take care of themselves.

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