The Lord has me reading and meditating on this 31 day devotional book by Andrew Murray called "The Believer's Secret of Living Like Christ". It's a book that I've used for years to learn and grow from and to see Jesus from different aspects of His life and habits. Though I haven't spent time in the book in quite a while, it has been refreshing and enriching to once again read these pages and let the Holy Spirit bring new truths to life again in my spirit. Reading and meditating on the words in this chapter "In Beholding Him" set me up for the morning service yesterday as I was caught up in the wind of His Spirit that blew through the house and was taken up into His glory. Oh it was glorious! Thank You, Lord, for that glorious experience! It was so rich. More Lord, more!
"In Beholding Him"
"But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory
of the Lord are changed into the same image, from glory to glory
even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
2 Cor 3:18
Moses had been forty days on the mount in communion with God. When he came down, his face shone with divine glory. He did not know it himself, but Aaron and the people saw it (Ex 34:30). It was so evidently God's glory that Aaron and the people feared to approach him.
In this we have an image of what takes place in the New Testament. The privilege that Moses alone enjoyed is now the portion of every believer. When we behold the glory of God in Christ, in the glass of the Holy Scriptures, His glory shines upon us and into us and fills us until it shines out from us. By gazing on His glory, the believer is changed through the Spirit into the same image. Beholding Jesus makes us like Him.
It is a law of nature that the eye excercises a profound influence on mind and character. The education of a child is carried on greatly through the eye; he is molded very much by the manners and habits of those he sees. To form and mold our character the heavenly Father shows us His divine glory in the face of Jesus. He does it in the expectation that it will give us great joy to gaze upon it, and because He knows that, gazing on it we shall be conformed to the image. Let everyone who desires to be like Jesus note how he can attain it.
Look continually to the divine glory as seen in Christ. What is the special characteristic of the glory? It is the manifestation of divine perfection in human form. The chief marks of the image of the divine glory in Christ are these two: His humilitation and His love.
There is the glory of His humiliation. When you see how the eternal Son emptied himself and became man, and how as man He humbled himself as a servant and was obedient even unto the death of the cross, you have seen the highest glory of God. The glory of God's omnipotence as Creator and the glory of grace which humbled itself as a servant to serve God and man. We must learn to look upon this humiliation as real glory. To be humbled like Christ must be to us the only thing worthy of the name of glory on earth. It must become in our eyes the most beautiful, the most wonderful, the most desirable thing that can be imagined--a very joy to look upon or think of. The effect of gazing upon it and admiring it will be that you will not be able to conceive of any glory greater than to be and act like Jesus, and will long to humble yourself even as He did. Gazing on Jesus, admiring and adoring Him, will work in us the same mind that there was in Him, and so we shall be changed into Him image.
Inseparable from this is the glory of His love. The humiliation leads you back to the love as its origin and power. It is from love that the humiliation has its beauty. Love is the highest glory of God. But this love was a hidden mystery until it was manifest in Christ Jesus. It is only in His humanity, in His gentle, compassionate, and loving relationships with foolish, sinful, hostile men that the glory of divine love was fully seen. The soul that gets a glimpse of this glory, that understands that to love like Christ is alone worthy of the name of glory, will long to become like Christ in this. Beholding this glory of the love of God in Christ, he is changed into the same image.
Would you be like Christ? Here is the path. Gaze on the glory of God in Him. In Him, that is to say; do not look only to the words and the thoughts and the graces in which His glory is seen, but look to Him, the living, loving Christ. Behold Him, look into His eyes, look into His face, as a loving friend, as the living God.
Look to Him in adoration. Bow before Hiim as God. His glory has an almighty living power to impart itself to us, to pass over into us and to fill us.
Look to Him in faith. Exercise the blessed trust that He is yours, that He has given Himself to you, and that you have a claim to all that is in Him. It is His purpose to work His image in you. Behold Him with the joyful and certain expectation; the glory that I behold in Him is destined for me. He will give it to me; as I gaze and trust, I become like Christ.
Look to Him with strong desire. Do not yield to the slothfulness of the flesh that is satisified without the full blessing of conformity to the Lord. Pray the Lord will free you from all carnal contentment with present attainments, and to fill you with the unquenchable longing for His glory. Pray most fervently the prayer of Moses, "Show me Your glory." Let nothing discourage you, not even the apparently slow progress you make, but press on with an ever-growing desire for the blessed prospect that God's Word holds out to you: "We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory."
And as you behold Him, above all, let the look of love not be lacking. Tell Him continually how He has won your heart, how you do love Him, how entirely you belong to Him. Tell Him that to please Him, the beloved One, is your highest, your only joy. Let the bond of love between you and him be drawn continually closer. Love unites.
Like Christ! We can be it, we shall be it, each in our measure. The Holy Spirit is the pledge that it shall be. God's Word has said, "We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." This is the Spirit that was in Jesus, and through whom the divine glory lived and shone. This Spirit is called "The Spirit of glory." This Spirit is in us as in the Lord Jesus, and it is His work to bring into us and work within us what we see in our Lord Jesus. Through this Spirit we have already Christ's life in us, with all the gifts of His grace. But that life must be stirred up and developed; it must grow, penetrate into our whole being, take possession of our entire personality. We can count on the Spirit to work this in us if we but yield ourselves to Him and obey Him. As we gaze on Jesus in the Word. He opens our eyes to see the glory of all that Jesus does and is. He makes us willing to be like Him. He strengthens our faith. He works in us unceasingly the life of abiding in Christ, a wholehearted union and communion with Him. He does according to the promise; "The Spirit shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine and shall show it unto you." We are changed into the image on which we gaze from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. Let us only understand that the fullness of the Spirit is freely given to us. He who surrenders himself to be filled with the Spirit will experience how gloriously He accomplishes His work of stamping on our souls and lives the image and likeness of Christ.
Beholding Jesus and His glory, you can confidently expect to become like Him: only trust yourself in quietness and rest of soul to the leading of the Spirit. "The Spirit of glory rests upon you." Gaze on and adore the glory of God in Christ; you will be changed with divine power from glory to glory; in the power of the Holy Spirit the mighty tranformation will be accomplished, and "like Christ" will be the God-given experience of your life.
My Lord, I do thank You for the glorious assurance that while I behold Your glory, the Holy Spirit is changing me into that image of Your glory.
Lord, grant me to truly behold Your glory. Moses had been forty days with You when Your glory shone upon him. I acknowledge that my communion with You has been too short and passing, that I have taken too little time to come under the full impression of what Your image is. Lord, teach me this. Draw me in my meditation to surrender myself to contemplate and adore until my soul at every line of that image may exclaim: This is glorious~ this is the glory of God! O my God, show me Your glory!
And strengthebn my faith, blessed Lord, that, even when I am not conscious of any special experience, the Holy Spirit will do His work. Moses knew not that his face shown. Lord, keep me from looking at self. May I be so taken up with You as to forget and lose myself in You. Lord, it is he who is dead to self who lives in You.
O my Lord, as often as I gaze upon Your image and your example, I would do it in the faith that the Holy Spirit will fill me, will take entire possession of me, and so work Your likeness in me that the world may see in me something of Your glory. In this faith I will venture to take Your precious word, "from glory to glory," as my watchword, to be to me the promise of a grace that grows richer every day. Your blessing is ever ready to surpass itself and to make what has been given only the pledge of the better that is to come. Precious Savior! gazing on you it shall indeed be so, "from glory to glory." Amen