The images that we carry in our heart of hearts deeply impact our lives. If we see our true self as Christ-like, we will be able to discern that anything that doesn't look like Him in us, isn't coming from our true self. However, if we carry a distorted image of the Father, we will be unable to see what God is showing us and unwilling to take responsibility for our sin, therefore running away from God in shame just as Adam did. |
This article focuses on all the important things that image-bearing holds for us. Keep in mind that there are two steps out of a stronghold. The first step is recognition of error and the second step is a willingness to take full responsibility for the recognized error. These steps are directly influenced by the images that we carry in our heart of hearts.
Why Beholding Is So Powerful
Our hearts have eyes and as such, we need to learn how to keep an inward focus on the Lord. We are warned to be careful about what we behold as it's what we inevitably become.
Consider the change that takes place on women's countenance when they see a baby or on children's faces when they watch a fireworks display. Now, recall how most folks look like when worried about a problem. See the difference? What gets our attention 'gets us' and transforms us, that's the power of beholding.
For this reason, God forbade the Israelites from creating images that portrayed Him. Since no image can truly represent Him, God didn't want His children beholding and becoming like any false image of Him. That's why the second commandment warns against worshiping and serving false images.
What We Behold, We Serve
Service and worship are intimately connected. We serve what our hearts are focused on the whole day. We bear what we behold and give birth to its image through our thoughts, words, and deeds. We become what we worship and focus on. Eventually, we are made over to the image we behold in our hearts of hearts, both images of God and of man.
Therefore, a distortion of either image will hinder our walk and deny us joy because emotions tend to match what we focus on. Fortunately, by refocusing on the Lord, our emotions get released. When we genuinely refocus on Jesus by beholding Him with faith, He powerfully transforms us.
BONUS: Go now to receive a totally free download, "The Missing Peace"---our eBook on gaining inner peace and freedom at our website for emotional, spiritual and physical healing: healingstreamsusa.org.
Beholding Is Key to Our Transformation
Our Father is using the awesome power of 'beholding' to save and transform the world. We are only changed by God's grace, not by our work or righteousness. Grace helps us look to Jesus and get answers for everything that is dark in us.
The following are four revelations designed to completely transform you. Let these truths push you into a lifetime adventure of 'getting the look that causes the shift'.
1. Beholding Initiates True Spiritual Life
When we were fallen, we lacked the ability to behold God, we were spiritually blind. The revelation of Jesus Christ brought us into the Christian life. Salvation allows us to behold Jesus with eyes of faith as He is revealed to us (Matthew 16:15-17).
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-5
2. Beholding Saves and Sustains
The revelation of Jesus Christ saves and sustains us. Our strength cannot sustain our Christian life.
We can't look into ourselves for wisdom, righteousness, or the saving power that we need. God trains us to behold Jesus by faith through calling upon Him in prayer. We should rely on Jesus every step of the way by looking to Him for all of our needs.
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder, and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
3. Beholding Transforms and Sanctifies
We are transformed by the revelation of Jesus Christ in our Life. We become more like Jesus and bear His image when we behold Him even by little faith. The new nature of Christ in us comes alive when we look to Jesus and surrender everything to Him. This has to happen for our trust and obedience to flow freely again. Otherwise, we will be stuck living our lives our way.
"Let go" and let God have His way and watch new life begin to flow. When this happens we become transformed. The Holy Spirit lifts us and carries us. We stop 'hanging in there' and trying to live on our own strength.
Jesus's life comes into us and flows through us when we are born again and when we surrender everything to Him. Our old nature is then laid to rest and a new, better version of us comes to life.
This is the graceful transformation of our lives inside out, which no work of the flesh, religious practices or moral striving can accomplish.
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
4. Beholding Glorifies and Perfects
In heaven, the revelation of Jesus will have completed our transformation. Sight will replace faith as the veil of time and space is lifted forever. We will behold Jesus and become like Him. We will see Jesus in his glory and He will bring the new life in us into being.
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
Let's praise God for the power of beholding Jesus!
Handle These with Care
Prayer, Bible study, worship, fellowship, and service are the five disciplines needed for growth. Be careful, however, that the enemy does not use these disciplines to draw you from a life of surrender through pride, complacency, and self-righteousness. It is not the disciplines themselves which change us, but the way that they can shift our focus back to the Lord.
Repent and renounce any self-righteousness that might emanate from these five disciplines. Instead, use each one of them to ensure your inner focus is upon the Lord in such a way that your surrender to Him brings you into His peace.
The Way of Restoration
To be restored to the life that God intends for us to live we need to be able to recognize when our focus has shifted away from beholding Him by faith. It's that simple (and that tricky!).
Father, I renounce trying to change myself by my own efforts. Only by beholding Jesus am I actually transformed. Make me aware of those times when my heart turns away from beholding Him. Help me cast down all false images of myself, of others and of You. By Your grace make me willing to surrender everything to You.
KEEP GROWING: See other liberating and healing articles in our 24-part, absolutely free eCourse for Healing at healingstreamsusa.org.Steve Evans helps people discover how to live in the Spirit. Want to learn more about healing your emotions? The main teachings from his popular course, Matters of the Heart, are free online. Get started now and receive your gift copy of his offbeat ebook, An Illustrated Guide to the Spiritual Life
Related Articles -
beholding, Image of God, Jesus, Christianity, Our Identity,