Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end . . . But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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 3:12–13, 16–18, esv).
The Christian life is both a crisis and a process. It begins in a crisis called conversion, and continues through a process called sanctification.
Sanctification is the progression by which God takes one of His forgiven children and daily transforms him or her into the image of Christ. Second Corinthians 3:18 describes it: “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.”
Throughout this transformation there is a continual cycle of crisis and process. Our sinful hearts wander lazily from God, and He graciously uses the crisis of some painful circumstance to bring us back. At other times, we stubbornly refuse to be changed in a particular area and God’s abundant goodness brings us to our knees. As Romans 2:4 depicts: “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
Each of these crisis points could easily be described as a time when God shakes complacency and compromise from our souls. Like hymn writer Robert Robinson penned in 1757, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it / Prone to leave the God I love.” How immensely grateful we should be that God continuously reaches out and takes hold of us again, and again, and again.
Do you long to remain within the joyful confines of a vibrant relationship with Christ? If your answer, like mine, is a resounding “yes,” let these questions probe your mind, heart and will:
As a follower of Jesus Christ, don’t lay your head on your pillow tonight without getting these matters right with God. Say, “Anything You want to teach me, Lord, I am willing to learn. Anything You want to change in me, I am available to receive.”
Christians are God’s people ‘in process’. Salvation rightly dispels our fear of hell, but may we also be shaken from complacency, walking in holy fear and bold freedom with the living God.
Thank You, Father, that You are passionate about my transformation. Please forgive me for resenting and resisting Your attempts to change me. I choose now to cooperate fully with your desire to transform me. Thank You for loving me enough to make me like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.