Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Living from Glory to Glory

“But we all, with open face beholding  as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Cor 3:18
Do you find yourself quoting this verse when you are facing a difficult challenge?  Well, I do.  I’m always thinking that this mess will soon be over and then it’s glory to glory!  Always stating one of my favorite quotes “The Best is Yet to Come!” Praise Jesus!  What does it mean to go from glory to glory? It doesn’t say we are going from mess to glory, but we are going from glory to glory – in other words, from a current glorious place to another higher glorious place. I know, you’re asking what does that exactly mean.  It means that you and I won’t be promised to the next realm of glory until the realm where we presently live is glorious.  If we want to go upward into a greater glory, we have to first make glorious the place where we are living and functioning right now.  This makes me want to take a good, hard look at my life and ministry. Am I living in a glorious stage, or am I stuck in an ugly, messy stage of my life? 
In the first part of the scripture, it talks about us having “open faces”. The word ‘open’ is the Greek word anakalupto, which means ‘to unveil, to uncover, or to disclose. However, the Greek tense doesn’t refer to a one-time unveiling, but to a veil that, once lifted, remains lifted forever. The vital truth to this is that we must be willing to permanently remove the veil from our eyes and to take an honest look in the mirror in order to truthfully acknowledge the condition of our present stage.  Once we do this, it allows God to change us, correct us, transform us, and prepare us to move upward into the next glorious phase of our lives.
YES! God wants to take you from glory to glory. However, He isn’t bothered if He has to wait until you correctly finish your current task.  God has lots of time. But when you get serious about doing what is necessary to make your present situation glorious, you signal to the Holy Spirit that it’s time to open the way to the next glorious phase God has planned for your life!  (Excerpts taken from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems from the Greek.)
I want to share with you a messy stage that I was in not long ago, 2 ½ yrs to be exact. We were in the waiting stage of where the Lord was taking us on the next step in our journey.  Was it going to be 45 minutes from where we currently lived in TX or was it going to be CO or FL, 2 places that I was very unfamiliar with?  I had many talks with the Lord where I pleaded to let us stay in TX.  After all, my dear friends lived there and I was happy there, so why in the world would I want to move.  This stage in my life became very messy and cloudy to the point that I knew that I would not be happy if we lived anywhere else but TX.  I started to ask the Lord to show me signs, any sign with Frisco TX on it, to confirm that that’s where we were moving. Funny how the Lord grabs our attention.  Sometimes it’s a still small voice and other times it’s overwhelming.  You see, it wasn’t a ‘sign’ at all that He used to speak to me.  A couple of weeks before we found out that Brady was one of the top 2 candidates for the Senior Pastor’s position at New Life Church, I was walking through the kitchen wondering if I should start packing boxes.  I’m not usually a procrastinator when it comes to moving, but this time I waited as long as I could. You see I was stuck in my mess of stubbornness that the Lord couldn’t show me the glory he had waiting for me. When I looked in the mirror and saw who I was becoming, a stubborn little girl who wasn’t stepping one foot out of TX, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to become that person and I was reminded that wherever God moves me, I will be happy because I am in His will. As clear as a bell, I heard the Lord say, “Start packing for Colorado.”  Tears welled up in my eyes, as I apologized to the Lord for being so stubborn for the past 5 months.  You see once I stopped and look in the mirror at the condition of my heart, it allowed the Lord to come in and correct me, transform me, and prepare me to move upward to the next glorious phase of my life.  
I can honestly say that I am glad the Lord called us to Colorado to pastor a wonderful group of people…a loving family who have been so kind and who have welcomed us with open arms from the beginning.  This is the next glorious phase that He had waiting for me.  I’m looking forward to what He has in store for my ‘next glorious phase’, but right now, I’m just enjoying living in this one.

Here’s a prayer that you can pray today:
Lord, I want to take the veil off my eyes and get honest about my situation. I can see that much of my present life is not glorious. I have wanted You to promote me from my mess to a new level of glory, but I see now that Your promotions always move from one level of glory to a higher level of glory. Show me every area in my life that needs to be changed, and help me give You complete liberty to transform those parts of my life. I want to go to a higher level of glory, Lord, so I am asking You to help me first make my present situation a glorious testimony of Your grace! In Jesus name I pray.