Deflecting or Reflecting

Do not allow this world's system of manipulation through fear squeeze you into its mold of thinking;
rather be transfigured through the renovation of your mind by the Spirit transforming the way you think at your very core, so that you may discern what is truly good, pleasing and mature from God's perspective and what actually is His desire. (Romans 12:2 Paraphrase from Greek)

Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

Human beings by design are reflectors of God's glory. Yet sin – lies about God – have so distorted, warped and obscured the truth about God's glory that our reflection has often become ugly, abusive and involves fear. Our condition of selfishness leads many to believe God is more like the devil than like Jesus. As a result we have lost sight of true glory but instead imagine glory along the lines of pride, power and artificial earthly measurements of value or worth.

How are we to be restored to become reflectors of the true kind of glory that defines God?

One way is to intentionally enter into judgment with God, for true biblical judgment is not about feeling condemned but is simply allowing light and truth into anywhere there is darkness and lies. By choosing to come to the light brought to this world by Jesus instead of choosing to hide in darkness and fear, the lies of Satan that have hijacked our reflection of God become exposed and we then have opportunity to expel them in exchange for the true glory of heaven.

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19-21)

As we are increasingly set free of the lies that have kept us afraid of God, freed from the tyrannical prince of this world, the image of God begins to reemerge in our lives and can be witnessed by others. We also begin experience the many benefits of living in harmony with our creation design, benefits like peace in all circumstances, love without reservation and deep joy that makes no sense to the world.

The critical question is this: How do we get there from here? What practical choices can we make that will begin to move us closer to the light where our hearts can be softened and transfigured to increasingly glow with the glory that Jesus reflected?

Paul tells us that the way to escape the veil of darkness blocking us from seeing the true glory of God is to fix our attention on the revelation of true glory as seen only in Jesus. Because Jesus became a human like us, that means He became a mirror just like us. More importantly, because Jesus is the only human who accurately reflected the real truth about God and nothing else, He is the only reliable mirror in which we may discover the true glory of the character of God found nowhere else.

When people attempt to define God by relying heavily on Old Testament Scripture or on tradition or philosophy or any means other than embracing the testimony of Jesus, they find themselves under a heavy veil darkening their perceptions about God. It is really a supernatural spell from God's enemy and its power comes from the lies about God continually circulated designed to cause our reflections to be as ugly as the sinister lies we retain about God. Our only hope is in turning our attention to God's only Son (that means Jesus is the only reliable witness as to what God is really like and how He feels about us). This is how we may escape the dark veil of lies preventing us from reflecting God like Jesus did. This was the point Paul made to the Corinthians in this passage.

For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn't look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away. But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:11-18)

By focusing our attention regularly and increasingly on the truth about God as revealed through Jesus and renouncing all other versions and opinions about God, we are brought into the light of the real glory of God. That glory inherently has power to transform/transfigure us, completely rewiring our thinking and will empower us to live boldly as noble sons and daughters of the King of the universe.

God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Sadly, those who refuse to allow the real light of God's glory as seen most clearly in the non-violent, forgiving character of His Son at the cross, experience what Scripture calls hardening of the heart. This is an extremely dangerous condition and will prove fatal if not remedied. Yet it is so subtle that most people have little idea they have this terminal condition. As hardening of the arteries can go unnoticed until a person suffers a heart attack, so too can a diet of junk beliefs about God – widely accepted and taught by religion, work to harden the heart while masking our extreme danger.

Paul points out that the glory in the form of religion in the Old Testament was vastly inferior to the far surpassing glory of the real truth about God found only in Jesus Christ. However, Jesus did not come to do away with the underlying principles of Old Testament religion; yet at the same time the glory revealed by Christ so far surpasses and eclipses those faint glimpses of truth that trying to know God from that direction is like trying to use a candle to light a path while walking under a blazing noonday sun. This is why it is so hazardous to limit one's attention to dim views of God from ancient times instead of living in the glorious light of agape love found clearly only in Jesus Christ.

Jesus promised that after He left this world He would send His Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. That means that we had not yet received all the truth when He left and that we need even more truth before He returns. This is why it is so vital that we saturate our minds with the truth as it is in Jesus while opening our hearts to the only Source of truth about God in the true revelation of His glory in Christ.

We do this by allowing the Spirit of truth to bring Jesus into us and applying all that Jesus reveals about God into our experience so that our mirror may be fully transformed to reflect the true glory of God. It is the revelation of the real truth about God as exposed by Christ and applied to our heart and mind that removes the obscuring veil that has hidden from us His true glory.

Just as Jesus when transfigured emanated a glory so intense His disciples became frightened of Him on a mountain once, so too can our lives be transfigured by His same glory as we allow the true nature of God's love to radically challenge and transfigure everything we think and feel about God. Then we also may emanate the same glory as Jesus and the dark veil is removed. This is how we are empowered to reveal light to the world and are transformed from the inside out by a fresh awareness of glory that increases corresponding to our growing appreciation for the true goodness of God.

But what happens if we resist embracing the true glory of God as seen in Jesus? What condition will overtake us if we neglect to appreciate the real truth about God exposed by the Light of the world?

The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light." (John 12:34-36)

If we resist becoming reflectors of God's true glory as Jesus was, we become deflectors increasingly resistant to the light of God's agape love. When we cling to lies about God, insisting He is a mixture of light and darkness, good and evil, reward and punishment like Satan purports, our heart becomes increasingly hardened and resistant to love and our capability to receive or give true love is increasingly destroyed. Selfishness deepens like cancer and lies of Satan start to seem so valid that we can come to fight against anyone who reflects the true glory of God. We find God's kind of glory obnoxious to our way of thinking and feel compelled to coerce them to conform to our views. In clinging to dark views of God we extinguish the true light of God's glory of love in our heart.

For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Choosing darkness in place of the light of truth about God as revealed in Jesus means that a person progressively destroys their own capacity to receive vital healing remedy. When a person has tasted the glory of the truth that God is not violent, revengeful or holds onto offenses, but then rejects that glory, returning to embrace old lies purporting that God must resort to violence to overcome evil, the only option left with them is to believe in a God who enforces His laws relying on fear and threats of 'fierceness of fire.' By clinging to the lie that sin cannot be eliminated without utilizing at least some of the techniques of the kingdom of darkness, our own lives will increasingly reflect Satan's attitudes as we imagine God as having. In turn our relationships with others will reflect what we insist is God's attitude towards us. We will become more harsh, more selfish, more legalistic, more determined to coerce others to agree with our opinions about God and we will become more and more intolerant.

Our reflection of the God we imagine Him to be will either increasingly distort the truth as it is in Jesus or will transfigure us into the very likeness of Jesus. Either way we become more certain that our version of God is the only right one and this will be reenforced by supernatural intervention. Our expressions of what we think God is like will be enforced supernaturally by whichever side we embrace, either Jesus or popular religion. Our confession either invites the presence of holy angels and the Spirit of truth sent to transform us into the likeness of the loving, humble Jesus, or we will experience the enforcement of more sinister dark forces even though cloaked in pretensions of piety.

The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NRSV)

If we choose to deflect and resist the true glory of God's character as most fully revealed in the life and death of Jesus, we will eventually destroy completely our own capacity to reflect God's true glory and will be swallowed up in gross darkness where it becomes impossible to even enjoy the kind of love that defines the very atmosphere of heaven.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

In these days approaching the end of earth's history as we know it, a message is to resound clear and distinct, a message of warning and appeal to turn from lies to the truth, from darkness to light. It is a polarizing message calling everyone to choose which version of God they will embrace, for what we believe about how God relates to and feels about us will determine our eternal destiny.

I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!" (Revelation 14:6-7)

God has promised from ancient times that in our day a rain of His Spirit will come to empower His true reflective children to share boldly the real truth about Him that will finish His work on earth. It is a call to choose whose version of God will be allowed to shape the character of our lives.

Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in Yahweh, your God; for he gives you the former rain in just measure, and he causes the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
You will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Yahweh, your God, and there is no one else; and my people will never again be disappointed. It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit. (Joel 2:23, 27-29)

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:5-6)

Elijah came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you waver between the two sides? If Yahweh is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." (1 Kings 18:21)

...he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!" (Revelation 14:6-7)


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