To See and Reflect
July 8, 2020
To See and Reflect
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Cor. 3:16-18
As followers of Jesus we are called to “See and Reflect”. Watch, learn, and implement what we’ve learned. Some of us do this very well, some of us need a reminder. We’ll be talking about that tonight.
The veil has been taken away! (Vs 16)
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
When I first truly came to Jesus on my own at age 20, I saw life through a brand new lense. I didn’t see myself in the same way I saw before, and most of all, I remember seeing people around me differently. I saw people through the eyes of Jesus for the first time. For the first time, I saw hurt and pain in people’s eyes that I had never seen before and I wanted them to have the freedom that I was experiencing. I had the heart of Jesus for the first time in my life. There was a compassion and a love that I had never accessed before that I never knew was there.
The Greek word veil in the word kalupto– which means to cover up or hide.
The life we live without God is a life of smoke and mirrors and it’s all a facade. That’s what the enemy wants you to see. This life is shrouded in darkness and only leads to misery and eventually death. But many are comfortable living in it because it’s the only life they’ve ever known. To some it’s the only home they’ve ever known.
In Acts 22 Paul talks about his past life before his conversion. His life before Christ was a life that was veiled by darkness. He was murdering Christains thinking he was doing the work of God. But later in vs. 6-15, Paul met Jesus for the first time, for who He truly was, on his way to Damascus, and was never the same again. Why? Because that veil had been pulled off of his eyes and he was seeing through the eyes of a brand new baby because he had been born of the spirit.
John 1:13 NLT “They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”
For the majority of my early life, the enemy had put a shroud of darkness over my head to where I couldn’t see life clearly. I was desperate for approval from the wrong people in my life. I had no respect for myself, I just wanted to fit in, be popular, and look good to those around me. I only cared about my image and how I appeared to people. When that shroud was taken off, I suddenly had respect for myself and I didn’t really care if I had the approval of the wrong friends that I had, I just wanted Jesus. Their opinion about me didn’t matter any more. All I wanted was for them to see life the way I saw it, through the eyes of Jesus. I wanted the veil taken off of their life, so that they could see life clearly.
In verse 16 it says that “everyone who has come to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” It doesn’t say “some”, it says “everyone”. If you’re listening to me and you haven’t had that dramatic veil uncovering moment in your life where everything in your life dramatically changes, you have to think, am I really following the man Jesus or am I just following the religion of Jesus? Because following Jesus “the man” has completely different results than settling for Jesus “the religion”. Results come from knowing Jesus personally and through true repentance.
Jesus is the lens by which we see God and see Him clearly. When we try to view God through another perspective, all we see is a lie.
John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
The only way that we are going to see change in our personal lives is through humbling ourselves to the authority and leading of Jesus Christ, praying, and repentance from our old life.
There is Freedom (vs 17)
17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Once the veil has been removed, there is an indescribable freedom that takes place in a person’s life. They are free from the lies and limitations that the enemy has placed on them over many years.
There is freedom, but not freedom to do anything you want, but a freedom to actually choose to obey God for the first time.
Beforehand, the only choices you could make were choices under the veil of confusion, darkness, and what only pleased your flesh and it was placed there by the curse of sin.
Now the veil has been taken away and there’s a freedom and liberation that has taken place in your spirit to actually choose what pleases God.
Vs 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].
John 8:36 “36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
Now you are free to live your life the way God meant you to live it!
See and Reflect (vs 18)
18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord….
Now that the veil has been removed, we move on to seeing and reflecting Jesus for who he truly is.
Some of us stop at the seeing part and think that’s all there is to being a follower of Jesus.
I remember the first day I went back to Wake Tech after I dedicated my life to Jesus. I was in front of the library and I will remember this until the day I die. I looked in the common area where all the college students gathered in between their classes and thought, how can I help all these broken people and let them know that there is hope in Jesus?
There was an overwhelming desire in me that I had to reflect what I had experienced.
I then started a weekly Bible study in the common area around a picnic table. I developed a friendship with a girl from my church that just happened to go to WT and she played the acoustic guitar and led worship for me before I would teach. The Bible study started growing fast. When fall and winter hit, we couldn’t have it outside due to it being so cold, so I talked to the Dean of the school to request a private room. The dean told me that the school didn’t allow religious groups to meet in private rooms normally, but our God is not normal! The Dean just happened to be a Christain and allowed us to meet in a designated room for the fall. There were so many people that gave their lives to Jesus during this ministry while I was at Wake Tech. This is where I cut my teeth, per say, in ministry.
I reflected where I was. I didn’t wait until I thought I was good enough to reflect or after I went to Bible college, I started as soon as I could.
How are you reflecting God in your workplace, home, circle of friends, or family?
Sometimes we don’t even know that we are reflecting Jesus to others because it’s the Spirit working in us. Moses didn’t know it:
Exodus 34:29-35 “Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two stone writings in his hand. He did not know that the skin of his face was shining because of his speaking with the Lord.”
Reflecting should be organic, not forced. What you show to the world should be a reflection of your time with Jesus, or the lack thereof.
Sometimes reflecting doesn’t look like preaching and teaching, it looks like serving and lowering yourself and your pride to others.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Reflecting sometimes looks like paying for someone’s meal unexpectedly. Reflecting looks like taking care of the elderly, the widows, the poor, talking nicely to someone that hates you, etc.
When we reflect, we start changing. Vs. 18
18“And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
The more we reflect Jesus to others, the more we become one with Him and he starts changing us into Himself.
If we examine our life and realize that we have not changed our ways after having the veil lifted, it’s probably because we aren’t reflecting what we’ve experienced.
Jesus starts to change us internally through that spiritual change. It starts seeping into every part of who we are as a person, if we allow him. Jesus will not trump our free will. In this, it changes the way we interact with others, the way we see ourselves, and how we influence others because it’s the “Spirit” who is working in us.
We don’t work on or change ourselves, He works in us just as much as we allow Him.
“There is no heaven that has a little corner of hell in it. God is determined to make you pure, holy, and right, and He will not allow you to escape from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit for even one moment.” Oswald Chambers
Phillipians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
“The moment you are willing for God to change your nature, His recreating forces will begin to work. And the moment you realize that God’s purpose is to get you into the right relationship with Himself and then with others, He will reach to the very limits of the universe to help you take the right road.” Oswald Chambers
Our part is to seek after Him and allow Him to work in us, which can be so uncomfortable at times. It also means that you give up control.
How many of you have ever had surgery? To have a surgery, you have to give up control and yield your life into the hands of a surgeon. There is a bit of nervousness and discomfort before and after the surgery, but ultimately, for most people it is for the better of the person.
The same goes with trusting Jesus to perform spiritual surgery on us. There’s an element of control we have to give up. He will at times lead us through uncomfortable and hard situations to rid our lives of sinful habits and ways of thinking.
“If you do not believe that God is in control and has formed you for a purpose, then you will flounder on the high seas of purposelessness, drowning in the currents and drifting further into nothingness.”
― Ravi Zacharias, There Is a Plan
There’s some uncomfortable conversations we may need to have, maybe our pride may need to be laid down, which is hard, for the betterment of our soul. The same trust we have in a surgeon, we should have even more in Christ.
Open yourself up and say “work on me Jesus”. Take out everything that’s not you.
Being one with Christ
The way we treat others has a lot to do with how we see ourselves. Hurt people, hurt people. If we start to see ourselves in the right way, we’ll inevitably start treating others in the right way.
Seeing ourselves as one with Jesus and identifying with Him is key to dramatically changing the way we treat others and ourselves.
Ask yourself these questions: Do I constantly see myself making unwise decisions? Do I find myself in bad or abusive relationships? Do I lose my temper with others often? Do I stay in a state of depression? If you answered yes to many of these questions, it may be because you are seeing yourself in the wrong light.
Many people think that when they meet that person they’ve been looking for, they will feel complete. Maybe If I can just take that hit, I’ll feel complete. If I can just get that job or get that salary I’ve always wanted, I’ll feel complete. If I can just get revenge and even with that person and tell them off like I’ve done a thousand times in my head, I’ll finally feel complete. If I can just have a good day without falling into depression, I’ll feel complete.
Nothing will ever complete you like Jesus will!
Col. 2:9-10 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
I Cor. 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”
You are an intricate part of the body of Christ, meaning that you are one with Him.
I am a better person now than when Jesus found me at the age of 20. My thoughts are better. I handle my life better. I make better decisions. I think differently about myself and others. I don’t seek revenge. I’ve found my purpose in life. Over the years, I’m becoming more and more like Him. I know now that nothing completes me more than my ongoing intimate relationship with Jesus.
I want to encourage you to see and reflect Jesus in your daily life. Only then will you live the life you were meant to live, which is in Him.
- If we have never had the veil taken off of our lives, meaning a dramatic change in the way you see your life, ask for that veil to be taken off and give yourself fully to Jesus. Only then will you truly see life through the lenses of Jesus.
- Start looking for opportunities to see Jesus in our daily lives, through personal prayer and alone time with Him.
- Start serving and reflecting what you’ve learned from your personal time with Jesus to the people in your sphere of influence.