I find it amazing that God chooses to transform our lives instead of rejecting us because of our sin, rebellion, weaknesses, and flaws. He looks at our imperfections as areas in which He can infuse His presence and create perfection. God never tires of doing this. In His mercy, He regularly shows areas where we can have greater freedom in our lives. We are told in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “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.” These encounters with glory can seem much less illustrious when they happen in our lives. They look like revelations of sin privately during prayer and study, but also publicly. They come as our weaknesses become blatantly displayed in front of our eyes. Through correction, failures, confrontation, and times of discomfort we come in contact with transforming glory.
I rarely embrace these instances as “beholding the glory of the Lord,” but encountering truth and grace in the midst of lies and brokenness, is just that. Love risks offense for the sake of redemption. Christ displayed this many times throughout His ministry and His dealings with people. Matthew 23 displays a few examples of this. This chapter reveals Christ calling out the scribes and Pharisees as “blind guides” and “hypocrites”. His language is incredibly direct, bringing their sin clearly into the light. The uncovering of sin, while crucial, was not the end goal. It isn’t the pinnacle of our glory encounters either. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” John 3:17 states.
It is in the exposure of sin we can observe God’s goodness and the miracle of grace. In those times we have the opportunity to experience the rescuing power if God. He offers His hand and asks us to trust Him to lead us away from the things that would cause use harm. We must then decide if our sin is to be indulged or discarded. We choose if God’s hand will be firmly grasped or pushed away. It’s our choice. Walking with God requires intentionality. It requires effort, though it is never an unbearable weight when done God’s way. On the other hand, staying requires only accepting our current state, whether passively or in deliberate rebellion. Though the latter seems to be the option that will result in the least amount of resistance, it will drain our faith and strength.
I must confess that in my weakness I often test how much I can surrender to God while still maintaining control of all the things going on in my life. Once revealed the sin adhered to makes it increasingly difficult to cultivate and maintain an intimate relationship with God. It doesn’t change God or affect His view of me, but chasing emptiness, while knowing better, strains my heart. 2 Corinthians asks, “For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” In my heart, the two can’t maintain equal footing. One will have predominance, and to think otherwise is to allow myself to be deceived.
Mercy and compassion reveal this truth. It is not an indictment. Exodus 15:13 says of God, “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.” As we face the unfavorable aspects of our own nature, we can train ourselves to see the encounter with God. In the light of His glory, brokenness can be restored, fear can be drowned out, and we can be transformed.