For those who have the stamina to stay with it –
For those who want to meditate and study –
I hope you find a blessing in the following more lengthy page post.
OUR TRANSITIONAL JOURNEY
II COR 3 -NIV –The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 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.
There was a quiz programme years ago that had the line: ‘life is the name of the game and I’d like to play the game with you…’
Bob Dylan sings the line ‘Once I was searchin’ for fortune and fame all that I needed to get a start in life’s game.’
So in the above two examples – Life likened to a game.
But life metaphorically and in reality – is even better described as a journey.
And so were we to teach along those lines – of the Christian life being a journey – the most obvious parallel we could draw from the Bible would of course be the children of Israel and their journey to the promised land.
For sure – we can say that life is TRANSITIONAL
Dictionary definition goes along these lines:
…movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; e.g. change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
So life by it’s very nature is TRANSITORY – i.e. as a result we are moving from one state of being to another. Even our physical age guarantees this.
I looked in the mirror the other day and thought who is that? Last time I looked he was about 30!?
But life is a journey FROM – TO.
Today I am here in my spiritual life and experience – tomorrow I should be somewhere else, my experiences on the journey have moved me on.
Ephesians 4 –
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.
Growth is transitional – the body – the church is TO GROW UP – (do we manifest grown up behaviour everyday?) – how do we handle our relationships? In a grown up manner?
Or do we spend our time SQUABBLING like kids?
Notice it says grow up – yes – but INTO HIM.
Spiritually growing up in all things cannot be done properly if it isn’t into Him.
Growth is transitioning into a greater reflection of the image of Christ
The Him referred to is of course THE LORD HIMSELF. And He is the head of the body (the church).
So immediately we are to realise the truth that growing up is growing up into the head – we could say this also involves growing INTO THE THOUGHTS OF JESUS. Letting His mind be in us through His word and revelation of/from the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Amplified bible –
All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you.
So growth is to see THE OTHERWISE we need to change from and into the mind of Christ.
Growing into greater maturity. The problem is, we can’t see it (the immaturity in our lives, I mean) – so God ‘allows’ our imperfections to manifest negatively – then He says repent – change your mind – take on my thinking in this.
The ‘otherwise’ areas of thinking that are contrary to the way The Lord Jesus thinks, are the immature areas we still allow to be our thinking.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image FROM glory TO glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. –
T R A NS I T I O N I N G.
There it is FROM – TO.
So this being true – it is true to say that the reason you come to ministry meetings in church – is that God might show you: – ‘well you are here’ – ‘but I want you to go there’.
As though He is saying: ’Here is some instruction from my word about how to get there’ .
Always by faith.
Sometimes we get bogged down in problems in by-path meadows, and lose our way.
We are no longer in transition – but we are STUCK. In the slough of despond – to quote Pilgrim’s Progress.
One time when my son and I were on one of our ‘exciting fishing expeditions,’ in the deep recesses of fishing country 😎- we decided to look for a hidden river. (It had the promise of bigger fish)
So we ventured off into the thick undergrowth battling our way through, to get to the river.
We eventually ended up back on the road we started from.
Sometimes the road is there all the time but we prefer to get bogged down unnecessarily (we didn’t find the river).
Bogged down mostly because we do not choose the right path – and stay on it.
‘SIGNPOST’ OF THE WORD
On the right road TRANSITIONING our way on our journey – we will come across sign posts – often we see the sign posts at Church gatherings – the ‘where to next Lord?’ signs, – we are informed of these through listening to the preaching of His word.
‘Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it.’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21).
This word in Isaiah is interesting, it’s a word that moves us further on – on our journey – i.e. ‘hear a word saying …walk, go forward, transition, this is the way.’
The children of Israel heard the word of God through His servant Moses – BUT a lot of the time – it didn’t move them on – (they were otherwise minded) they preferred to worship the golden calf for example.
They also – rather than journeying on – preferred to stand still and look back.
But Jesus said to him: ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’
So we become UNFIT – when we look back. To become spiritually fit we sometimes need to exercise our spiritual muscle. It’s called being fervent in spirit.
We are also exhorted to: ‘forget(ting) those things which are behind…’
Some are FRUSTRATED because they are always looking back and whether its last year or even yesterday – we are meant to be TRANSITIONING forward.
Let’s listen in, on an imaginary conversation:
“I’ll be on my way now”.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going TO GLORY”
“Where are you from?”
“I’m from GLORY.”
“I’m from Glory and Im going to Glory”
“So you are going back then?”
“NO no. – forward!”
There is always more to experience of God’s glorious presence in The Holy Spirit.
The Grace of God has provided everything we need for the journey.
But we need to AVAIL ourselves of His wonderful unmerited favour (Grace).
The grace of God is only of use to us – if we avail ourselves of it’s life giving – engine revving – ability to move us on.
Many are frustrated because they are frustrating the grace of God.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 2:21 (ESV)
21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
2 Peter 2:21-22 (NKJV)
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to his own vomit, and, a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.
It is common to us all – TO PREFER TO WALLOW in something – gaining spiritual backbone is to cut those times to zero – and move on.
Sin will alway present us with an unbelieving alternative – There is pleasure in sin.
Hebrews 11:24-26 v24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, (= maturity) refused (= a choice) to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
The reward of overcoming sin by faith – is not TRANSITORY it is permanent.
The pleasures of the sins of this life are passing – we can spend our transitory journey dabbling in sins passing pleasures instead of looking expectantly for the GREATER REWARD of more eternal glory, right now. From glory to more glory i.e. more of the revelation of The Holy Spirit.
Avail yourself of Amazing Grace and move on!
The children of Israel could not see that God was wanting to develop their faith to make it stronger.
All they saw was the wilderness – and instead of putting their heads down and getting on with the journey – they lifted their heads and murmured and complained.
We will go through times when we SENSE GOD’S PRESENCE more than others.
But during, – let’s call them the ‘lesser’ times, (though often they are not lesser at all but character forming) – WE ARE TO RESPOND BY USING OUR FAITH, not our feelings.
Regardless of what we feel like, we expect more Glory. More in other words of The Presence of The Holy Spirit in the inner man.
God wants to mature us in all things as we have seen.
Exodus 16:2-10 (NKJV)
2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
In this case I have highlighted in bold the words in these verses above, to draw our attention to the contradiction of their logic.
What kind of logic is this when they don’t desire death – cause in the wilderness – but they do desire death when it’s in Egypt?
Well it’s the LOGIC THAT COMES OUT OF THE FRUSTRATION OF HUMAN NEED – and that kind of logic – is MOST TIMES suspect to say the least.
That’s why we rely on the Word of God, because we can’t trust our own logic.
Pain may not immediately disappear – but IN the experience of the pain we have something to place our 100 per cent trust in – i.e. the Word of God.
So what was this PREFERENCE about – whereby they wanted to die in Egypt?
Answer – pots of meat. and lots of bread.
They failed to learn the lesson God was trying to teach them. (I’ve highlighted it in bold – below):
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Had they responded to what God said – they would have received the next word on which to TRANSITION or move forward on their spiritual journey to the promised land.
Exodus 16/4. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you…”
I like what that speaks of, i.e. the rain of God (the Holy Spirit) and the bread of God. (God’s Word)
…And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, “At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord;
(so if they could only see it and accept it – their journey was WITH THE GLORY TO THE GLORY.)
Moses says –
…for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?…
Who would be in leadership? People who are not willing to MOVE ON spiritually end up complaining against the very people who are trying to help them move on.
Because often in their selfish – self-absorbed state – they have only one option left – and that is to make their helpers the problem.
Although ultimately the complaining is against The Lord, provided the leadership has been faithful in passing on the Word of The Lord.
TO THE LORD
Unfortunately sometimes those trying to help are part of the problem.
There is such a thing as faulty leadership.
All leadership should direct you to The Lord –
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Leadership should always direct us to The Lord and not to themselves.
8 Also Moses said,
“This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses spoke to Aaron,
“Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your complaints.
Wow! God willing to listen to our complaints.
(Justified complaints or not He is listening, let’s tread carefully when being honest with the Lord, but be sure too, that He understands our struggling hearts).
10 Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness…
(Perhaps you are reading this and you are not a Christian because you have too many complaints against the God of the Bible? Well go and tell Him, His shoulders are broad enough to take your complaints).
Ever been in the wilderness? It can be a negative or positive place depending on our response – well, look what is happening here!!
…and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
Today God wants us to love others. And to help others, – you are a leader if you want to help others. Whether you want a job description or not.
An example of a Job description would be – ‘Pastor’.
I can’t see it as a TITLE.
Sin can only come out of the human heart, out of human nature – and when it is exposed by God as ‘otherwise thinking’ – we get uncomfortable until we repent – and move on in faith.
REPENTANCE AND THE MATURING PROCESS.
2 Corinthians 12:21 (KJ21)
21 and lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many who have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
2 Corinthians 12:21 (ASV)
21 lest again when I come my God should humble me before you, and I should mourn for many of them that have sinned heretofore, and repented not of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they committed.
2 Corinthians 12:21 (AMP)
21 [I am fearful] that when I come again, my God may humiliate and humble me in your regard, and that I may have to sorrow over many of those who sinned before and have not repented of the impurity, sexual vice, and sensuality which they formerly practiced.
2 Corinthians 12:21 (CEB)
21 I’m afraid that when I come again, my God may embarrass me in front of you. I might have to go into mourning over all the people who have sinned before and haven’t changed their hearts and lives from what they used to practice: moral corruption, sexual immorality, and doing whatever feels good.
The pleasure of sin (and it is pleasurable) is for a season (as alluded to earlier).
To be able to see as far ahead as eternity – that’s a tall order for us humans – but we better do it, and find Grace to walk in God’s ways.
We need the enablement of His Spirit in order to move forwards, and upwards and to grow in this Grace and knowledge of Him.
The first sermon that Peter preached?
“Repent, and be baptised.” “Repent you, and be converted.” (Acts 2:38; 3:19.)
What was the summary of doctrine which Paul gave to the Ephesian elders, when he parted from them? He told them that he had taught them publicly, and from house to house, “testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21.)
What was the description which Paul gave of his own ministry, when he made his defence before Festus and Agrippa? He told them that he had taught all people that they should “repent, and do works fit for repentance.” (Acts 26:20.)
What was the account given by the believers at Jerusalem of the conversion of the Gentiles? When they heard of it they said, “Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18.)
So the children of Israel in order that they move on and transition into a greater revelation of God and His presence, needed to repent from their unbelief.
JC RYLE says the following on the subject of Repentance:
(It) always has a companion a blessed companion. It is always accompanied by lively FAITH in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherever faith is, there is repentance; wherever repentance is, there is always faith. I do not decide which comes first – whether repentance comes before faith, or faith before repentance. But I am bold to say that the two graces are never found separate, one from the other. Just as you cannot have the sun without light, or ice without cold, or fire without heat, or water without moisture so long you will never find true faith without true repentance, and you will never find true repentance without lively faith. The two things will always go side by side.
The bible says ‘all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory’.
God is extremely gracious to us – and whereas the church should be moving on – non stop – from Glory to Glory.
Unfortunately we stand still and sink – WE FALL SHORT into the mire.
And many want to tell us THIS DOESN’T NEED ADDRESSED – because God loves us.
They preach a GRACE MESSAGE (and we should).
But the grace message if we understand and embrace it – WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER THE SELF LIFE.
But we must FORSAKE the self life (Repent) continuously if we are to grow and embrace the grace. It isn’t a case of either/or it’s a case of a constant turning to The Lord and moving away from the self-life.
By turning in faith to Christ for His continuous life-flow of Glory in our lives – we are automatically turning away (repenting) from the self life. Provided we are not cleaving to sin that we excuse or are deceived into thinking is acceptable with the lover of our souls.
Often we need our eyes opened to sins we are still walking in – that’s where consciousness of sin should motivate us to confession and repentance and a fresh pressing in to the experience of the Glory of God.
To move from intimacy in God’s presence to intimacy in God’s presence we need to repent and move forward in faith.
Moving forward continuously in spiritual exercise and we shall not need to repent, unless we become conscious of having violated God’s ways. (The violation of the conscience).
In which case we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
I John 2: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
But the areas of immaturity regarding spiritual growth still in our lives, calls for the workings of God within, to enable us to forsake our childish unbelieving ways and to transition from Glory to Glory.
The Christian life is a journey, kept by faith. May we avail ourselves of the help of the Gracious Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Grace and be found pleasing to The Lord. Press in and move forward. Help us Lord!
He is worthy!