I had three strange visions many years ago, after grumbling before the Lord over some personal issues. He showed me a highway, smooth and level. Then, a close-up of the same road, full of bumps and deep cracks. My eyes bulged. He took me to the Atlantic Ocean, show me a blue calm surface. Then a close-up: humps and folds of waves. My mouth dropped. Finally, He showed me a large mirror, very smooth. Then a close-up: coarse heavily grained sandpaper. I screamed. I heard a voice: nothing in life is smooth.
I jumped off the bed at midnight, gripped with fear. I sat quietly to reorient myself, but noticed that the sulky feeling was gone. I began to wonder.
Do we ever ask what God’s close-up of our hearts, thoughts, and faces would look like? Can any of us boldly plead with God: project on a screen a 200% close-up of my person? Do you trust that beautiful face on a mirror as a true reflection of yourself? Do you trust those cliches at Christian meetings: anointed man of God, Deborah of our time, God’s blessing to our generation… I did, until the Lord showed me a “mirror.”
My mind is my mirror, so are friends in the church. They tell me how good I am. They tell me how unpleasant others are. And I believe them. So? Has the Lord shown me my heart as He sees it? According to the law of light, relection is distorted image of the original; light rays are deflected by particles in the air. So the image is unreal. Life is as real as it is in God’s sight.
This is where our problem lies. Our image in the Body could be unreal unless the Lord says otherwise. Only the Lord can say, “Well done.” He is coming for “a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.” He will look at each person at close-up. He knows what He wants. 1 John 3: 2-3 says: …everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
It is my duty to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and purify myself; and ask for the grace to do what is needful. The willingness should come from me after accepting that there are gaps in my character. It is my duty to ask the Lord for periodic close-up shots to ensure I am still in the faith. 2 Cor 3:18 tells me: We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. We unveil our faces when we “Set our minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” (Col 3:2) Then we study and meditate on the Word with a view to erasing those spots and wrinkles, and blemishes.
God has predestined the believer “to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Rom 8:29) But we do just take this grace for granted. And to avoid this slip, we need a regular close-up short on our character.
(To be continued)
Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi