Reflection-Do you remember Mulan? She struggled with her outward appearance because she felt it didn’t coincide with her inward being. How often do we grapple with our own reflection portraying the one who lives within?
Time and time again I have been frustrated with my sinful nature showing up externally when my innermost desire is a heart for God. Paul eloquently depicted this wrestling in Romans 7:14-25 when he explains how he seems to do what he doesn’t want to do. It has often been referred to as a boxing match between the mind and sinful nature. What I know to be true is the BRAWL is brutally real!
On this day during Holy Week, let us consider how our reflection influences our praise. When our lives manifest corruption, the immorality restrains our ability to give full honor and praise. Sin separates us from the Lord and becomes a crippling and paralyzing mechanism. Our reflection contradicts any likeness of admiration for the Lord. Why? Because guilt and shame restrict our full ability to display compassion for the Father. So, the fight pattern Paul describes raises its ugly head again.
As we desire to give God praise, we must take a good look at our reflection. Are we self-reflected or God-reflected? Are we willing to abstain from every source holding us back from radiating the Father? Whose strength are we relying upon to refine us in becoming more like the image of God?
Ray Vander Laan has a study called In the Dust of the Rabbi. In his study there is a session where he refers to us as living stones. Ray states we are a rock to be utilized in building the Lord’s temple but we must be chiseled and shaped by the Almighty Father. Our response to the process will determine our destiny. It is a lifetime process which I refer to as refining.
Let us embrace our journey and consent to God’s purifying and polishing so our reflection of Him enhances our praise. Be encouraged by Colossians 1:9a-14 as you allow the Holy Spirit to assist you in aligning your outward appearance with your inward love for God.
…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.