We Become What We Behold

Growing up, I had my problems with the church. I had an encounter with the Lord as a little boy, but as time went on, I became complacent. I had my own beliefs, but they were often at odds with those who preached the Word to me. The hypocrisy of those telling me one thing, but not following what they preached, had a negative effect on me. My lack of establishing a relationship with God was one of the reasons I became complacent and drifted away. It wasn’t until after a couple of experiences with God, when my heart literally stopped, did I get to see Him. He then showed me what I was to see. And that image, along with supernatural encounters, radically changed my life. I saw Him and I will not allow any person or doctrine to take that from me.

Certain verses are permanently inked into my heart. Chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians is filled with life for me. I do not need to be commended by Christian leaders heard daily espousing a doctrine that is at odds with what I read in the gospels and epistles. My sufficiency is from God, even though I have to remind myself of that.  I do not need to please another ministry or attempt to be more spiritual to please God. I cannot allow anger or hate to enter into my consciousness and still remain right before Him. Yet it has become acceptable for Christian leaders to rail about their own personal agenda from whichever pulpit or social media platform many choose to use. Division and discord, as the end result, has become acceptable. Political affiliation leads the way, no matter how spiritually off it may be. And character, decency, integrity and truthfulness doesn’t matter if you get what you want from the one you choose to follow. When did that become a portrait of Jesus? What image do you see? Read on.

As I mentioned, Chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians is filled with life for me. Specifically, Verse 18 says “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.” We are being transfigured into His very image. The veil is taken away and we become mirrors that reflect His glory. How could anyone in Christ go from this glory that is etched permanently in us and take on an image of that which is the complete opposite?  Just as we can be transformed by His glory, we can also walk in the opposite direction. You see, we become what we behold.” And the faces and voices of so many I see and hear today reflect an image quite unlike the Savior that I do my best to behold. You have a choice to do your utmost to reflect Him or be satisfied with a poor facsimile ~ a poor facsimile which may suffice or even be accepted by some ~ but in the end, you will find this choice under the definitions of spiritual death.

Right from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, mankind was given a relationship with God and an image of glory. But the voice of another ~ a blustering cacophonous sound so unlike His voice ~ drew them near. Just like some voices today that should be rejected, but somehow have become acceptable. We all need to check ourselves and see that we are right with God. What are you hearing and seeing? Does the sound of hateful words, boastful sounds, anger and vengeance repel you or draw you near? The Lord showed me what was coming a week before the 2016 election, but I am still amazed and am having trouble being reconciled to our current state of affairs. I’m also surprised by those who have embraced that which He warned me of. Again, we can be changed into His image or embrace the antithesis of His glory. The more we behold Him, the more we become like Him. The more He is seen in us. The more He is heard in us. The more we walk contrary to that basic premise of beholding Him, the more we become what we now behold ~ that which is not of Him. That should make us take a look at our own reflection. Listen to what you say. Do not be led by those who spout venomous words of division and hate because you are afraid to take a stand for righteousness or are unsure of who you are in Him. He gave His son that you would have abundant life, yet the thief is sidling up to you and whispering lies to you. The thief looks nothing like you if you are in Him, so why hear what he has to say? Stand. The Lord will strengthen you. He is faithful. With open face and heart, you will become what He sets before you. Behold that. Become that. Right now, I am writing to you at the top of my lungs!! We need to look fully into the face of God!   We cannot be like the Israelites who, when seeing he reflection of God’s glory on Moses’ face, asked Him to put on a veil because they could not bear to see His true reflection. Be like those two witnesses, Joshua and Caleb, who set His face before them when they faced the land of giants. No visage, no matter how frightening, could deter them. Yet today, so many have forgotten what they look upon and embrace, and, in essence, wear their own veil so as not to have the Lord cloud their vision.

Be like David as he shared his heart in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” Do not allow that which has become acceptable to have any part in you. As it says in Colossians 3, “We are hid with Christ in God.” We have a new nature. That which does not mirror Him cannot remain. Do not accept a substitute gospel. Behold Him.  Blessings.

Don’t Drink the Water

We used to always hear when you were traveling to another country, “Don’t drink the water.” That’s just as applicable here as anywhere today. Ask people in Flint, Michigan ~ or in so many other cities.  Or just look at our streams, rivers, and oceans. If we started working now, we could make great strides in cleaning up our water, which is our most valuable commodity. But I’m talking about what we purposely put in our water spiritually, not environmentally. And no matter how toxic, we still choose to drink this water that is composed of hatred and division and all that is contrary to the words Christ gave us to live by. It’s polluted ideologies that we have come to accept because they are necessary to erect and maintain a platform built from our most vile beliefs. You’re drinking poison, and it will eventually affect all you think and do. You can no longer nourish others with decency and empathy. Now you are hell bent on seeing a doctrine manifest that only will birth death.

In 2 Kings 23, King Josiah is tearing down all idols and abominations built and worshiped by those that were walking contrary to God. They were ground down, burned, and pulverized into dust and thrown into the Brook Kidron. This was also done by King Asa in 1 Kings 15. The Brook Kidron was a common receptacle for impurities of destroyed idol worship. This brook ran north of Jerusalem and swept past the Temple Mount to areas that would later be named Calvary and Gethsemane. The name “Kidron” means turbid, dusky or gloomy. Appropriate name for a receptacle for impurities. We see many that are influenced by drinking from those waters. You are what you eat. You are what you drink. The effects of drinking from what is today’s equivalent of the Brook Kidron can only bring anger, hate, division, and a gospel based on your own theology, not that given to us by Christ. In 1 & 2 Kings, so many followed those who led them down a dark path.  Away from God to their own destruction. Light came to lead us then and today, but men loved darkness rather than light.

There are different streams that lead to the ocean, just as there are different ideas and ideologies that can quench a thirst. But so many are poison filled. They cause a disease of the spirit. Those who drink from these waters that are filled with the dust of man’s idols find themselves forgetting that which is true and right. John 7:38 says, “He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Those searching for those living waters will find them curiously absent in the teachings of too many speaking and prophesying from today’s pulpits. TV and social media are inundated with the overflow of the visceral bile of those spewing hate filled diatribes and who are swimming in polluted waters. And it’s infectious. It adversely affects your ability to discern good from evil.” The more you drink, the more your throat gets dry. And you wonder why.” (Lyrics by PFR) At this point, you can be led astray by those promising something they can’t deliver or will just cause you to become further separated from the truth. Jesus said in John 4 that you would never thirst again if you drink of the waters He gives you. So why would you befoul yourself with lies and deceit or contention and strife? If you follow after that which is right and pure, help the needy, actually read and try to follow what Christ taught, then you’ll become like that watered garden, and like that spring of water with waters that do not fail, spoken of in Isaiah 58.

Or you can keep drinking from that Brook Kidron after the impurities of evil were thrown into it and follow those who display the effects of drinking that water. Dave Matthews said it perfectly:

“And I’ll live with my justice, and I’ll live with my greedy need.
Or I live with no mercy and I live with my frenzied feeding.
I live with my hatred and I live with the notion,
That I don’t need anyone but me.
Don’t drink the water.” (lyrics by Dave Matthews Band)

I pray you do not follow that which leads to constant turmoil everywhere. Drink the pure water He offers and it will become evident in how you feel and act. It will bring abundant life to all. Be planted by the rivers of water that brings forth true fruit. Do not be deceived. Blessings.