One Degree of Glory to Another

One thing I am convinced of is that the process of transformation with Christ means getting back to the basics of humanity. The first description that is applied to humanity is that we are the “image bearers” of God (Genesis 1:26). We were created for union, knowing fully and being known fully. Everything was perfect until sin and shame entered the picture. Humanity was living in its fullest capacity. Since then, human beings have added these qualifications about what being “good enough” means, but God did not place those standards on us. We have missed what it means to look like Christ. Christ simplified this when He said “I have only done what I have seen my Father doing (John 5:19-20).” Transformation with God starts there, in the place of relationship with the Father.

If that is the original state of humanity, our entire purpose is to get back to that simple state - knowing God fully and being fully known by God. The problem is nine times out of ten, we don’t know how to even begin the process. God meets us right where we are always, but the process of transformation comes out of that deep place of intimacy with the Father. We do not need to be changed to gain acceptance, but it is out of a place of acceptance that God transforms us into the likeness of Christ.

I love definitions, because it always helps me to have a groundwork of how to better understand a concept. Transformation - a thorough or dramatic change in form. Transformation is a slow and thoughtful process that God takes with us to become the truest version of ourselves. We are not trying to become the best or like the person next to us, we are inching our way toward the original intent God set out for us. He does not take us on this journey as a way to reject the parts of us that are unique but to emphasize the deep parts in us that he created to change the world. We are blessed by the presence of God and are to be a blessing to others  in return.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”- 2 Corinthians 3:18

The verse above is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I could emphasize a different part of the verse and write a book on how God’s grace initiates and sustains transformation. One clear message I see is that there is never a point where we have arrived when it comes to transformation, and that is not a death sentence. It is a beautiful promise that lifts restrictions off of us. There is no pressure to be perfect on this side of heaven, because we will never get there. We need only follow Jesus in apprenticeship, going from one degree of glory to another. One other detail that I would want to emphasize to you is that the transformation does not happen by our own achievement. This type of transformation only happens by the grace of God as the Spirit is alive and working in you. God is the only one that can take us from one degree of glory to another. All we need to do is surrender to His transformation, saying yes to His will. How do we surrender? We trust the One to whom we are saying yes. Surrender is only scary when we don’t know the hand that is holding ours. When we are absolutely convinced that the One who is calling to us is completely in love with us and wants the absolute best for us, we can let go of our need for control.

As we look at Christ and commune with Him, we cannot help but be changed. Think about when you first started being friends with one of your close friends. As you spent more time with them, doing things both of you enjoyed, you gradually became more like each other. It is sweet to think about the mannerisms and preferences that you each adopt that were once unique to each of you now become a marker of both of you. The same thing happens with Christ, except it is better. We become like our Father, bringing the reality of Heaven to Earth. We become like the Father when we “ only do as we have seen our Father in Heaven doing.” This type of transformation can only be born out of intimacy with God. We cannot and should not do it by ourselves, it is not sustainable. God can sustain what He begins in us. Let God sustain the transformation as you continually bow down and surrender yourself over to Him.

Author | Cristina Rosiles

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