Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 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. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
In my household, I’m surrounded by two “Swifties.” For those not up-to-speed on their pop culture references, Swifties are devoted fans of the singer Taylor Swift (or affectionately known as Taytay). My girls adore everything about Taylor – her music, her style, and her personality. Within mere days of receiving her latest album as a present, they had every song memorized.
If I’m being honest, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve listened to Shake It Off, Bad Blood or Out of the Woods. A few months ago one of my girls was doing her math homework at the dining room table. Without even thinking, she began to hum the lyrics to Shake It Off. Pretty soon, she started tapping her pencil to the beat in her head. Eventually her body began to wiggle as she started to dance in her seat.
Then something weird happened. As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I began to sing along while making dinner and using my cooking utensils as drumsticks. But, that’s not where it stopped. My other daughter, along with my wife, came in and then it happened…. a spontaneous dance party broke out in the middle of our house. Joy erupted from the mundane. Each one of us was singing at the top of our lungs and dancing like crazy as our puzzled labradoodle looked on.
Now before you bash Taylor’s music or question my parenting (after all, the haters gonna hate, hate, hate), this story has a point. A few years back my girls had an encounter with You Belong to Me and their lives (and ours) have never been the same. From that moment, they engrossed themselves in her music, moves, style, and interests. They can dance and sing to Taylor’s music almost effortlessly. They, at times, can’t help but break out in song and express what has been formed on the inside.
When it comes to our walk with God, everything starts with an encounter. These collisions happen when our reality gets challenged. An encounter with Taylor Swift’s music might result in getting a tune stuck in our head, but a collision with Jesus changes everything about us. When we collide with the Truth, it changes us: how we see things, how we respond and how we live and love. We allow these experiences to sink deeper by positioning ourselves to focus and depend on God’s work in our hearts and lives. If we do so, God begins to shape and form us into an expression of His love.
What is formed on the inside gets expressed on the outside. When we genuinely align with God’s truth, believing it with our heart, soul, mind and strength, it becomes natural to display His character in our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. When God’s Truth is governing and influencing our lives, every facet of who we are becomes an expression.
To bring it back to the story, if we engage in the formation process, we can’t help but express ourselves by busting out a little karaoke. But, our lives serving as an expression of God’s love, has a greater purpose than just ourselves. We weren’t meant to listen to our song with headphones in insolation, lost in our own little world. Instead, we share our song with others and before we know it that catchy tune is stuck in someone else’s head. The song instantly becomes viral. All of a sudden, the dance floor is crowded with people losing themselves in the music.
God uses not only our words, but also the way we live our lives to speak His truth to others. The active sharing of our life, our faith and our mission is precisely how we gain a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
- How can the expression of your life serve as someone else’s encounter?
God, I desire for my life to serve as a reflection of Your love. May everything I say and do glorify You. Allow the work You are doing behind the scenes, on the inside, to bubble up and be seen on the outside. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.