Reading Through The New Testament In 2016. Day 151. 2 Corinthians 3
(ok, guys. Justin Here. I’ll be your tour guide through the next 5 chapters in 2 Corinthians. Grab your Bible, try your best to ignore the “baby otters hold hands” video that is directly below this post, and take a moment to breath with me and reflect on the scriptures before your day begins.)
Camp, Conferences and Retreats.
I love them all.
I love how they can energize, recenter, and inspire. There’s only one thing that gets me and others in trouble with these things is that you can’t stay there. You eventually have to take the trek down the mountain into the valley’s of everyday life.
As grateful as I am for the mountain tops of faith, they remind me that I “still haven’t found what I’m looking for” because within a few days the glow leaves, and we messed up again, and we’re just as tired as we were before. I want something with more teeth, something that can last.
In this chapter Paul speaks of something that doesn’t fade: The Spirit.
One thing Paul does in this scripture is reinterpret Moses in Exodus. Moses used to go up on the mountain and meet with God. When he would come down his face was radiant (Exodus 34). It started to intimidate people, so he started to wear a veil around his face.
I always picture a miniature shower curtain around his head, but that’s just me.
Paul says that he wore the veil not because it was too much for people, but because Moses was hiding that the glow was fading.
(let that sink in for a moment)
I don’t know about you, but I’ve worn that veil. I don’t want anyone to know I’m struggling, so I wear the veil. I don’t want anyone to know that I haven’t felt the presence of God for a long time so I wear the veil, I don’t want anyone to know that I’ve tried to overcome my sin and failed again so I wear the veil. I don't want people to see that the Glory of God is fading in my life... so, the veil.
Is there a way to live in the power of God that doesn’t fade?
Yes, it comes from the spirit, Paul says, and it does not fade. It sustains through the mountain tops and the valleys. It’s there in hard times and in good times.
And where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
I’ve tasted this. Actually, I’m tasting it right now. It’s in the middle of the nights when my patience is gone and I want to retreat and hide from my life. But, I can feel the Spirit of God there with me, and I pray “Teach me how to love right now and how to keep going”. I feel the spirit within me giving me the faith to continue.
It’s when I wish that I was further in life and I’m getting discouraged and I can feel my self-pity coming back… The spirit of God speaks and says “You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Look for me in what you already have” and the spirit enables me to keep going.
It’s the spirit that wakes me up in the morning and gives me the power to live the life God is calling me to.
It’s this spirit that Paul says is “[transforming us] into his image with ever increasing glory.”
So, let us with un-veiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory. This spirit of God which raised Christ from the dead is closer to you right now as your phone screen is right now from your face. Try relying on this spirit today, pray for Him to help you and be with you. Pray for Him to make you more into the image of Christ.