“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
One of the greatest graces one can receive on this side of heaven is to understand that when our eyes are off Jesus and on man, including ourselves, everything is veiled and we are subject to deception.
It is in the light of God’s glory that we are able to see our true condition and the way things really are. In order to be clothed with glory the Church must know Jesus as the judge. At the judgment seat of Christ “we will be revealed as we are” (2 Cor. 5:10 – Amp.), and “each one’s work will become clear” (1 Cor. 3:13). As we walk with this knowledge down here on the earth we are in fact beholding Jesus with an unveiled face.
The Church must understand that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne. Until we see that, we cannot walk in true authority and the liberty of the Spirit. It is in “beholding the goodness and severity of the Lord” (Rom. 11:22) that we are kept free from the veils of deception.
It is in God’s light we see light (Ps. 36:9). It is in turning to the Lord that veils are removed from our eyes. The progression of our walk with God should be that we are continually receiving increased light. But until we walk in the light we receive no more light will be given.
We must see Jesus as the two disciples did on the road to Emmaus when they broke bread together (Lk. 24:30-31). In that intimate place with Jesus their eyes were opened. The veil was removed and they were transformed. Even the weariness from the day and the long walk from Jerusalem was gone as they ran back to tell the others the good news. New hope, new life, and new joy came into them.
When we turn to the Lord the veil is removed (2 Cor. 3:16).
The light that Paul received in his life and ministry resulted in him thinking more and more of the Lord and less and less of himself. He embraced his weaknesses because it caused him to continually turn to the Lord. This became his wisdom and strength.
But what often happens in times of prosperity, success, and victory is that Christians stop turning to the Lord and seeking Him. Adversity can really be our friend if it causes us to seek the Lord. When we do, light and revelation will spring forth. It is in this way that the fellowship of His sufferings is a great blessing, because Jesus is manifested as a friend who is closer than a brother.
Paul went from feeling that he was not inferior to even the most imminent apostles (2 Cor. 11:5), to finally realizing he was the least of the apostles, less than the least of all saints, and finally the chief of sinners.
“For I am the least of the apostles…” (1 Cor. 15:9).
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints” (Eph. 3:8).
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).
What happened to Paul must happen to us. Paul’s revelations caused him to eventually walk in less and less self-centeredness and more Christ centeredness.
What happened to Adam must not happen to us.
Adam hid. In hiding, the veils hid God from him.
Transparency is the essence of true fellowship and freedom in the Lord. It is only in allowing your own heart to be exposed that you can walk in the light as Jesus is in the light. True fellowship with the Lord requires complete transparency. The same principle is true in our fellowship with others.
The greatest priority in my life is to be right with God – to be holy, sincere, and without guile; to stay off the road of lust, jealousy, selfish ambition, and pride – to live in the purest truth and purest love possible on this side of heaven – to never deviate from Jesus, my first love, and the glory and strength of all my days.
A number of years ago a large veil was removed from my eyes when the Lord told me that I would’ve ceased to be a man after His own heart if He had opened the doors of influence I desired Him to open at that time. It was during that encounter that I began to more fully realize that no man who understands the true nature of authority will ever seek it because of the stumbling blocks. You would be shocked to know that so many in heaven who filled high positions of authority and influence here on the earth are now in the lowest ranks of heaven, where we no longer see through a glass darkly but know even as we are known.
How can someone who accomplished great things on the earth be in the lowest ranks of heaven? It is because what they did they did for themselves and for their own name and glory. There was a level of deception that worked in them because they took their eyes off Jesus. Their earthly success caused pride and self-confidence, thus corrupting their hearts.
Beloved, seek only the Lord and His yoke. Remain small in your eyes. Be content to labor in obscurity and in doing the most humble tasks. Many who made it to heaven would live their lives totally different if they could return to the earth again.
Behold the glory of the Lord with an unveiled face and you will stay on the path of life.