THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE
“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.
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy,
we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves
to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
IICorinthians 3:18 – 4:2
Changed. Better yet, transformed is the actual Greek Word here. It is the same word used to describe the Lord’s transfiguration on the mount. The thing that sets apart the truth of the Christian Faith is not its teaching, not its appeal to rid a man of guilt or shame; it is the radical change that is seen in the lives of those who have touched Him. This is not to be a lone isolated event, but a life of change, a life of continual change; a Call to continually come up higher, to go deeper, to broaden the scope of our being in every direction in the “seeing” of HIM. Change is the evidence of a life that is seeing HIM. Where there is no actual change occurring it is because there is no actual “beholding” of HIM. The journey of transformation is not a conforming to things external rather it is a change within the center of a man’s being; a radical, consistent, and progressive walk of change being expressed in the growth of a man’s vision. It is the putting away of the self life, the power of the impulse of the Spirit of God within a man to express the life and the truth he has seen regardless of the consequences. The places of weakness and impotency are transformed into the strength and fruitfulness of the Risen Christ where the “worm” is transformed into a threshing instrument having sharp teeth (Isaiah 41:14-15). This is true Vision. This is a Vision that cannot be written on paper in some sort of methodology. This is a POWER; no, this is THE POWER. This is the secret of the strength working in people who “behold” Him. When men speak of vision it is usually described in terms of some future unfolding event or concept. There is some validity to these things, but without “seeing” HIM now and the change that is wrought everything else is merely an ideal with no relevance to the real expression of HIS LIFE in us.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry,
as we have received mercy, we faint not…”
II Corinthians 4:1
This is the very next verse that follows and there are no chapter divisions in the original. Paul states here emphatically that the “beholding of the Glory of the Lord” WAS his ministry! Why do we see so few real, powerful, and unique ministrations of life within the Body of Christ? It is indicative of the tremendous lack of “beholding” Him. We substitute teachings, the esteem of men and organizations, and religious activity for the simplicity and power of beholding Him. In the last few years I have been saddened by “fellowship” that is centered in the recognition of some teacher, prophet, or apostle or even some church or organization. This is not fellowship but a revelation of an absence of personal relationship to the head, even Christ Jesus our Lord. The flow of ministry from an individual is proportional to the seeing of Him. The only purpose of true ministry is to so minister the things of the living Christ to one another that we see the people of God come into their own faith and become a unique and powerful expression of HIM in this world.
“The glory of God is a living man;
and the life of man consists in beholding God”