Transformation; August 29, 2021

Luke 9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.

There are levels of prayer that we haven’t tasted. We might expect Jesus to be transformed like this, particularly in light of how He appeared to John on Patmos, (Revelation 1:12-16) but Moses too was transformed by intimate fellowship with God, so that his face shone. (Exodus 34:29-30) We’re not there yet! As C. S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, the call is always to go deeper and higher. As sweet as prayer can be for any believer, there’s always more. The thing is, we indeed need to be transformed to experience and appreciate it. Paul touched on that in writing to the Romans. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) I don’t think he was speaking of physical transformation there, but we are spiritual beings who possess bodies, so what’s going on inside affects what goes on outside. We do speak of people as “having a glow about them,” and that’s not achieved by external means, whatever makeup companies try to tell us. It is when we are changed inside, through prayer and the Word of God, that we start to reflect the glory of God, just as happened with Moses. Jesus just hid it most of the time! However, He doesn’t want us to hide it. He told us explicitly, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

I’ve never been accused of “shining like lightning!” I have had some moments of very deep fellowship, to the point that I would not have been surprised if my appearance had changed, but no one’s ever told me that had happened. I’m not to focus on external appearance, certainly, but rather open myself to the Lord’s transformative work within me. I am reminded, with somewhat depressing regularity, that I’m far from perfect, but I do have the assurance that “He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Father, thank You for how much You have already worked in me, and for the assurance that You’re not going to stop working. Help me cooperate fully with all that You are doing so that I will be an ever more useful tool in Your hands, accomplishing that for which You created me, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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