II CORINTHIANS 3:16-18: “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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.” NLT
OBSERVATION: I love to watch the TV show “AGT” (America’s Got Talent). It is one of the rare variety shows on TV today. Various acts compete for the grand prize of one million dollars and a headline act in Las Vegas. This show features everything from singers to dangerous acts. It is the dangerous act I think of when I read these verses.
Traditionally, when someone performs a dangerous act, they lead up to the suspenseful moment when they do their trick blindfolded. The audience gasps as they go through their dangerous routine without any visibility. The blindfold adds danger and excitement to a new level. However, our lives are no act. To live blindfolded in life is to position oneself for a life filled with brokenness and disappointment!
Unlike the performers on AGT, we all enter life blindfolded. Our sins separate us from God and impair our vision. We are dead to the spiritual realities of life and wander around trying to find something that will fill our empty lives. When we hear someone share God’s Word it falls on dull and dead ears. The Bible seems like just another book of fiction in an endless library of works. We are walking on the tightrope of life without a balancing pole – completely blindfolded!
One misstep and…
As a teenager, this is how I lived my life. I grew up in church. I went to Sunday School and received a parochial education. A Bible with my name engraved upon it rested (and collected dust) on my dresser. At certain times of crisis, I would reach for the Bible and try to read something. It was as if I was trying to read a foreign language that I did not know. I was completely blindfolded and walking in the darkness.
- “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
I will never forget the day I turned my life over to Jesus. I had reached the end of myself and simply cried out to the Lord to help me. In my heart, I believed but I had never surrendered to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When I did, the first thing I wanted to do was read that old dusty Bible. As I began to open the pages of this neglected book I realized something had changed.
It was not the Bible that had changed – IT WAS ME!
The veil of unbelief and sin had been taken away. I was not perfect but I was forgiven and I had received the gift of the Holy Spirit living within me. It is the Spirit who brings the life and light of Jesus Christ into our life. He opens our eyes and gives us the ability to see and understand the reality of life, the spiritual reality!
- “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
As I began this new walk of faith and relationship with Jesus Christ my life began to radically change. Jesus said – “If you are my disciples, you will abide in my word, and the truth will set you free!” (John 8:31-32). This is exactly what the Holy Spirit began to do in my life. Layer by layer, He began to set me free. Again, I was not perfect then and I am not perfect now. However, I am being changed by the Spirit and the Word every day!
- “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.”
As I walk through life without the blindfold of sin and unbelief I find my life constantly changing. As I gaze into His Word, as I yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in my life, I see the life and love of Jesus transforming me to become more and more like Him. This is the Holy Spirit’s goal – to make us more like Jesus.
As I look over my life I realize how far I have come. Yet, as I look to Jesus I realize how far I still need to go. I am not what I used to be and I am not what I am called to be. I am in a continual state of healing and freedom. I think Paul’s perspective on this process sums it up.
- “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
Lord, thank You for taking away the blindfold from my life. Thank You for revealing to me Your light and life. Grant me the grace to respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. May I forget what lies behind and press on to receive the heavenly prize through Jesus Christ my Lord!
In Jesus Name!