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23 January, 2013

Transformed by Beholding

It is important to remember, God always wants us to join Him in what He is doing in our lives; since the beginning of time when He created Adam & Eve and throughout the whole Bible. While He taught me how important our participation is to Him, He did not tell me why. In my opinion, some of the reasons He wants our participation is so our free will is not violated. He wants our participation because it forces us to be more aware of Him. When we participate we can see His majestic power at work. We learn to appreciate Him, love Him and revere Him much more because of the magnitude of seeing His grace at work in our lives.  It is also a way to personally relate to us and He also finds pleasure in us when we voluntarily participate. An example of that would be Adam & Eve choosing not to listen to the serpent simply because God had already given His directives.

In the same way, God wants us to be transformed all the way, to the point where we behold Him. This beholding work really depends on us a lot. Let me explain. Try to picture the process of taking a picture. The process resembles to the lengthy work that used to happen in the old days with the old camera when we had to wait weeks to finally see the picture fully come to life. (Go to the internet and read about the lengthy process of the old days) Remember this is the same God who took the Israelites in the wilderness by the long road, instead of taking the path that would take them a few days.

Beholding Him is about becoming like Him. Like I kept saying in my book apprehended & Apprehending, the awareness of beholding Him makes you understand that His goal is for us to become “little Christ.” While the work will only be completed when we die, and it starts right when we have truly received Salvation in our heart through our first encounter with Him but, there is so much to do to in order to get us there.

At the end of the day, beholding Him is acquired through learning to sit and rest at His feet. When the Holy Spirit first taught me that, I did not understand, and I really thought I had to be literally at His feet all the time. So, to some extend I found it almost an impossible job for me to stop all movement, and learn to rest long enough at His feet so His face, His mannerism, His thought process, His  characters and so on could become mine. Strangely He did not correct my defective understanding. But, not only I tried to stay as close as possible to Him in prayers, Bible and meditation, I learned to be more aware of Him during the day.

A few months down the road, He did something wonderful for me. The Holy Spirit sort of took me backward step by step, to see how I have been sitting at His feet all day long. Through this encounter, I understood that sitting at His feet, did not mean literally my external body sitting. But, in Spirit I could see all the time I was living my busy and painful life down here, while I was going on about my business all day long in this realm, in Spirit, I was living quietly and restfully at His feet. Through the process, He showed me how much more I have grown. It is an amazing thing to see how much work God is doing in us in the background to prepare us for the life awaiting us in Heaven.

If you notice, Oswald mentioned things like
1) Unveiled openness before God
2) The Spirit fills us,
3) Beware
4) Concentrate (on keeping open lives)
5) Maintain the position
6) Keeping our live completely spiritual
7) Let others criticize
8) Abiding etc.

You can read it for yourself and find more. But, each one of these things he mentioned could be expand to become a blog post, some could be expand to become books. This is a life being spent in abiding in Him where you live inside of Him in complete rest and holiness. This is a life where you are living with a spiritually minded mind while you cultivate Christ’s mind. This is a life of complete surrender (not halfway or case by case) it is a life where other people cannot touch you with their criticism because you have learned to make it about Him and live with eternal values in sight. All those words above demand that we participate with full intend to reach the heart of the Father. They demand our full attention, and full commitment to Him. While all these things can be done through the abiding process, Oswald mentioned them for a reason, because each requires some sort of growth process in Him and some take years to acquire.

At the end of the day, a life of beholding Him can be acquired though good old “living a full surrendered life”. Our full surrender does not have to be perfect nor do we need a full understanding of what it is, but to some extend we need to know that we are surrendering to God’s way so, anything is possible. We need to know from the moment we surrender to Him, it is no longer about what we want. We can do it through a hearty and real commitment to Him. Then, as God takes us deeper into the surrendering process we realize the first surrender although it was deep to us, it resembled to Abraham when he left his country, left his comfort zone and all that he knew was left behind, to go to a place he had no idea of what to expect and what was going to happen to him. He went, just because God said so. But Abraham was nowhere near being the man he became later on in life.

Transformed By Insight

The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives. By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding we become mirrors. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord, you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord’s own character. Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you; it is nearly always a good thing, the good that is not the best.
The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everything else – work, clothes, food, everything on earth – go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through. Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. It is the one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to. The severest discipline of a Christian’s life is to learn how to keep "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord."

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