“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5, NIV).
I was spending the pre-dawn hour in devotion on our covered back porch when the raucous activity of squirrels in the backyard trees startled me. Not wanting to ignore the disturbance, I got up from my comfortable spot to confirm that the source of clamor was indeed squirrels. It was an obvious set-up because as soon as I stepped down from the porch, the vision of the low and full moon captured my gaze and took my breath away. In that instant, the Holy Spirit spoke: “You have no light of your own, but you reflect my glory.”
There was no denying the sheer brilliance of light the moon reflected in that moment, nor was there any lack of understanding. I am a jar of clay, but the all-surpassing power of the treasure of Jesus’ Spirit within me- that reflects the glorious nature of God to this world!
Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers about this very concept. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Paul was making a contrast to Moses’ face that shone with radiance, although fading, and our faces that are increasingly shining forth the true nature of God’s grace afforded us in Christ Jesus (See 2 Cor. 3:7-16).
Have you ever seen someone with the appearance of a glowing face? When I encounter it, I’m like a moth to a light fixture and attracted to the light emanating from within. We read of additional accounts of faces reflecting God’s glory in Matthew 17:1-3 and Acts 6:15. Jesus was transfigured and His face “shone like the sun,” and Stephen’s face had the appearance of an angel.
Back to the moon. According to Elizabeth Palmero of LiveScience.com, “the moon is at its brightest when it is 180 degrees away from the sun from our perspective (picture the sun, Earth and moon in a straight line).” Translate that to our human posture before God, and you discover that our best opportunity to reflect His glory is when we are face-to-face. Our worship of God, our adoration for who He is and what He does, places us in proper position to best shine forth His glory.
Some obstacles that eclipse the light of God reflected in our lives include shame and maligned positioning. Shame stems from a sense of unworthiness in spite of having believed upon the grace of Jesus Christ. In such a state the child of God questions the power of Jesus’ blood to make her holy. She chooses, instead, to fixate her thoughts on who she was prior to being forgiven and made new. But we know from Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let not the daughters of God who have repented of sin ignore the directive to “… be made new in the attitude of your minds,” and “….put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24).
Maligned positioning means the child of God has allowed something to interfere with the 180 degree / face-to-face posture she has with her King. There’s some measure of light reflecting on her face but the effect is dulled. More than likely, the glow coming from her phone or computer screen is that source of light. Much attention and focus is given to what others have and do as she scrolls through her social media feeds. The temptation to make comparisons leading to an envious heart is real, and, if the bait is taken, radiance dims while worship full of gratitude to God is replaced by a thought life filled with lack.
Your Worship Changes You
I once heard and now often repeat, “You become like that you worship.” Paul alludes to it: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” Your worship changes you. How can it not? The more you factor God into every circumstance of every day, the more you magnify Him. The more you magnify Him, the greater your vision of Him enlarges. The greater your vision of God the Father, the smaller your circumstances in the light of His glory, and your soul acquires the state of your inheritance in Christ Jesus- peace.
Your Worship Changes Others
I remember years ago during a worship service watching one of my friends surrender all in worship as the congregation entered into a time of corporate praise. Not that her posture was unusual- she had and still has a worshipful heart, but her dear friend had just passed away the night before. Her lavish worship struck me as odd in that moment. I had expected to see extreme grief; instead, my sister in Christ fixed her gaze to heaven and, with lifted hands, sang her adoration to God Almighty. My friend’s worship affected me. I internalized the realization that there’s something more she knows through her intimacy with the Lord, and I would be wise to discover the same. Obviously, during that praise and worship service, I proved myself to be a spectator. There will always be spectators among us when we come together for corporate worship, and that is just fine. Only, do not be a spectator. Be the worshiper who fixes her gaze on Jesus and Jesus alone, and exhaust yourself in an appropriate response to His immeasurable love for you.
Dear Sister, your purpose is to know God and make Him known. And the more you worship him in spirit and truth, the more you shine with the radiance of his glory. You increasingly are becoming a beacon that others may come and know the Lord God for themselves!
“You are the light of the world… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14,16).
Palmero, Elizabeth. “Why Does the Moon Shine?” Live Science, May 29, 2014. http://www.livescience.com. Accessed July 15, 2017.
Article Written By: Renee Beamer