Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bedtime Story

If we were to have a sleepover, this is what we would ramble about...

"What it means is that no one can grasp the gospel unless the Lord enlightens their heart. You might be able to cognitively grasp it, and it do nothing to your heart. It’s when the veil has been lifted. When we’re no longer veiled, and we can see God, that’s when transformation really begins to occur. And so that’s what this verse is all about. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

So here’s what he’s saying. Once we’ve been unveiled, we see the Lord, and we begin to be transformed. It’s slow. For some people it’s fast, but for most people it’s not. It’s a progression. It’s slow. It’s much more painful than anybody told us about, but we become more and more like Him. Which is why if you read the rest of the New Testament outside of the gospels, you’re going to find Paul over and over saying things like this, “You were once blasphemers, promiscuous, drunkards, violent...”

He’s got these lists. He’s like, “You were these things, but you’re not anymore.” And that’s that kind of transforming power of the gospel. And so our lives bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ by being transformed from what we were to what we are now. It bears witness. This is why I have spent very little time here at the Village in my five years preaching on right and wrong. Now, where the Scriptures say it’s wrong, I want to say it’s wrong, but what I think the question is, is not “Is it right, or is it wrong?” but, “What stirs your affections for Jesus Christ and what robs you of those affections?”

I think if you can tap into those two things, then transformation will begin to occur at a quicker pace than maybe you’ve historically known. Because if this verse is true, by beholding Him and seeing Him and being near Him, we are transformed. So when you say, “This is right, and this is wrong; and I’m going to do what’s right. I’m going to avoid what’s wrong,” then you’re almost living by the law versus “I want to press into the Lord, and I want to press into Jesus; and I want to know Him fully.” So if you will figure out what stirs up your affections for Jesus—because it’s going to be different for all of us. There’s going to be some traits that are the same for all of us, like the Bible’s going to be in there and prayer’s going to be in there for all of us. What stirs your affections for Jesus Christ?

What robs you of those affections? And the reason why I think that one’s so important is there are morally neutral things that are devastating to me spiritually. There are things that are not necessarily wrong that, when I’m around them and in them, they really rob me of a joy in and a desire to know God deeply. So what I need to do in my life is, as much as I can, fill my life with things that stir my affections for Jesus Christ, and I need to avoid those things that would rob me. I think that’s got to be the thing that’s constantly on your mind, constantly on your heart. Because it’ll change. What stirs your affections? What robs your affections? If you tap into that, I think transformation begins to happen at a faster rate than if you’re just going, “I don’t want to do wrong anymore.” Because if you go right/wrong, what you end up doing is spending all your vitality on not doing wrong, isn’t that right? So all your energy’s like, “Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.”

And you’re trying to control morality versus being transformed. And I think that’s another big problem that happens so often with people who have grown up in church. They’ve been conformed to a pattern of behavior, but they haven’t been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. And those two things are very different."

Matt Chandler

Goodnight KK, even though it's almost morning for you. Rest well. You are loved. We are so proud of you. We are honored to call you friend and sister. We definitely miss being on the same continent as you but we know that the Lord is unveiling our faces and transforming us from degree of glory to another. Headed to bed here with a full heart--hope and a merciful Savior to rest in. Goodnight.

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