Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Glory to Glory - Part One: Life is a Spiral Staircase

Sometimes I feel like my life is just going in circles, which is understandable. Life is all about cycles and seasons. For me, the changing seasons are accentuated by my travel and my studies. Winter and summer find me in the Valley; fall and spring find me in Abilene. Semesters and finals come a go like clockwork. It's different for everyone, but we all have those times of revisiting that leave us feeling like we're going in circles getting nowhere fast. Whether it's coming home, running into someone from the past, or just facing the same kind of situation yet again. For some of us, just looking in the mirror and dealing with the inevitable self-talk can bring that feeling of revisiting.

The truth is when we revisit certain places (be they physical, emotional, or spiritual) and we find ourselves fighting the same old fight and battling the same old lies, it can be discouraging. The enemy knows that too, and he will jump on it. I'm so there right now. Life is a spiral, and I'm so sick of going in circles and getting nowhere. But what if I really am getting somewhere? What if life isn't just a spiral? What if it's a spiral staircase?

I feel like I'm getting nowhere because there is no forward motion, but what if forward motion isn't the goal? What if it's all an upward climb? That would certainly explain how challenging it is. Here's my theory in two parts: 1) Life is a spiral staircase. 2) The battle is the victory.

First things first. Take a look at II Corinthians 3:18:

"And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Now, in the NKJV, the phrase "ever-increasing glory" is translated "from glory to glory." Does that sound like circles or what?! Here's what I gather from this passage. When Jesus died on the cross, He covered us with His blood in order to cleanse us so that we might finally be able to reflect God's glory. When Paul uses the phrase "unveiled faces" here, he is referring to the time Moses met God on the mountain and was so radiant with God's glory when he returned that he had to wear a veil. Jesus death and resurrection made a way for us to live in the very presence of God and removed the veil, making our very lives all about reflecting the glory of God. And as we reflect that glory, we are simultaneously being transformed into the same image that we reflect. It is a deepening. Catch this. The process of transformation (aka: sanctification) begins from a place of glory. We start the process covered in the blood of Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit. We are safe, Secure, and endowed by our Creator with our identity. Therefore, there is no more need for forward motion. By the grace of God, we are already there! The rest of this journey is upward. It is deepening. It is the glory of God soaking us to the core so that we no longer just reflect His glory... we are His glory! Through Christ's sacrifice we return to our original and intended state as God's image-bearers. In every sense, this journey is about becoming who we already are in God's eyes. Glory!

Exciting, isn't it? I think that's enough for now, in a day or so I'll post my thoughts on the second part of my theory: The battle is the victory. Be blessed, beloved, as you continue your journey on this spiral staircase!


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