II CORINTHIANS 3:16-18: “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 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.”
OBSERVATION: Why can’t they see? Why don’t they understand? These questions come to mind when ever I read the Scriptures and think of those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. To me it seems so clear. To them it seems unimportant or merely a man made myth. I forget that I too did not see, I too did not understand – until I turned to the Lord.
I grew up in a Christian home and attended church regularly with my parents. I even went to a parochial school which included lessons in the Bible and Chapel every Wednesday. I knew the order of service by memory. I was a good and moral kid from the outside, but inside I was filled with stirrings and questions that I could not answer. When I was 13 I went through confirmation classes. On my Confirmation Sunday my father gave me a Bible with my name engraved on the cover. I would keep that Bible on my dresser. At times I would pick it up and try to read it, but it made no sense at all. I had a veil over my eyes. I could not see. I could not understand.
After High School I went through times of inner turmoil that began an emotional downward spiral. Everything on the outside of my life looked great. However, in my heart and mind I was a wreck. At times I wondered if I even wanted to live. In desperation, one night in my apartment, I got down on my knees and for the first time – I turned to Jesus. I cried out, “Lord, if you are real save me. If you don’t change my life I don’t know what will happen.” From that moment on something did happen. I did not really understand it at the time – but the veil was taken away!
After that desperate and sincere prayer – something was different. There was a stirring in my heart to pick up the Bible that my Dad had given me. When I opened it up and began to read it – I understood it. In fact – it came alive to me. I could not put it down. I would spend hours reading it, underlining passages, and meditating upon what it said. I began to once again go to church and I found that I enjoyed it. I understood what I was doing. I felt the real presence of the living God when I lifted up my voice in worship or prayer. And an overwhelming sense of peace and love began to replace the emptiness and turmoil that I had been struggling with. I was far from perfect, but I was definitely changing.
I often forget this fact when I see others who do not see, who do not understand. Nothing I can do can convince them or change their mind. However, when one turns to the Lord (this is what repentance is) – the veil is taken away. When one places their faith in Jesus Christ the Spirit of the Living God comes to dwell within them and begins a transformational work that lasts a lifetime. This transformation work is the recreating of our minds and hearts into the original intent of God’s creative purpose in us. We are step by step, degree by degree, being transformed into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, as we are transformed, we are experiencing ever increasing degrees of freedom in our lives.
Lord, move in the hearts and minds of those who at this moment do not see and do not understand. Holy Spirit, draw them to a place where they will “turn to the Lord” – and remove the veil that is over their eyes. Let them enter into this glorious freedom of grace. Let them enter into saving faith in Jesus Christ! In Jesus Name!