THE FACE OF LOVE
WHO IS IN THE MIRROR?
The face of God is a mirror. God tells us to seek His face, but, why? Keep in mind that this mirror is the image of God. God is the Word who was there in the Beginning. If we choose only to embrace part of the Word, then we must shatter the mirror, the image of God, which reflects the Character of God. What we then see is a distorted image of God. The Truth as we see and interpret it is distorted. We have created a false and alternate reality in which we have painted an illusion of life, a world we can live in, and a god we can tolerate.
If we have no desire to embrace God's Truth in its entirety, we can have no real understanding of God's unconditional (Agape) love. Hence, we cannot see the face of love. This is the dilemma Jesus's Disciple Phillip faced when He asked Jesus to see God the Heavenly Father. Phillip was not ready to accept God's Truth in its entirety, therefore, he could not see Jesus and God as One. Jesus's response to Phillip's request was...
John 14:9 King James Version
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
My Brothers and Sisters, now that you have read my stories, perhaps, you can answer this question. Have you seen the face of love? Have you been with Jesus long enough to know The Truth, The Way, and The Life? Have you accepted ALL of Jesus, The Word of God, receiving God's Holy Spirit, The Comforter and teacher of God's Holy Word? Are you guided by God's unconditional love so that you love as Jesus loves us? When you look into a mirror do you see Jesus looking back at you or is there a broken, fragmented, distorted image, reflecting an alternative reality and the person you think you are or want to be? If you can see Jesus, then you have seen the Heavenly Father. How can you see someone who has no earthly form? How can you see someone whom you have never physically met?
When you have been BORN AGAIN to walk by Faith, living in the SPIRIT, you see with new eyes that which is unseen by the world. You hear with new ears that which the world cannot hear. You feel with a new heart that which the world cannot feel. You touch with new hands that which the world cannot understand and He whom the world didn't and cannot know. God's omnipresence surrounds us and is able to permeate our soul to dwell within us. Jesus is telling us not to be obsessed with the physical images our physical eyes can see. It is God's manifested SPIRITUAL IMAGERY which guides us and creates in us a clean heart and a steadfast, immovable spirit which reflects God's Character, The Face of Love. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are embedded within us to comfort, guide, and teach us His unconditional love. What a blessing!
If you say you believe in God, it is not my place to question your beliefs. You must examine yourself. Is your image whole or distorted and fragmented? How you see yourself depends upon your portion of faith and trust in God. Those who lose faith and trust in God or have none will soon lose faith in life and living. Their life becomes one of grasping onto anything they can hold onto to try and make their life relevant and significant. There is no need to question your belief as your faith and trust in God will prove if you know and accept God as Truth. By only embracing part of His Truth, you shatter not only His image, but, your own image, also. How is your Spiritual Image reflected back to you when you look into the mirror? Are you whole? Can you see God's Face of Love? If you cannot see the Face of Love, then, ask yourself, "Who and what am I really living for?" Those in despair who cannot find an answer to this question often find that their lives are lived in vain or feel they have no reason to live.
We can sing about peace and talk about peace. We can say that we've got Jesus and He is our Peace. However, each time we keep things from God, each time we fail to surrender our will and trust and obey God, we are rejecting the blessing of Christ's Peace. We are choosing to go it alone and suffer in our struggles, creating an illusion of who we really are. The pride within us, the pride we've held onto that is attached to our flesh, creates an illusion of who we think we are, who we want to be, and what we believe we can do without God.
So, yes, we have shattered the image of God, because, we have refused to accept all of Him. We have rejected that part of Him that loves us unconditionally. We have rejected that part of Him that is Almighty and able to perform miracles and do the impossible. We reject His Holiness and Righteousness and we reject His Son, who is our Peace.
-But, how can this be, you might say, when I have professed Christ and accepted Him into my life? I am filled with God's Holy Spirit. There are times when we grieve God and His Holy Spirit. When we do not accept God's will for us because our pride pulls us back into the world. Yes, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We may be faced with a dilemma in our life and instead of thinking first on Heavenly things and looking to Jesus, we change faces and shatter the image of God. We lose His Character and make decisions based upon our own understanding or desires and feelings, because of fear of consequences, wanting immediate gratification and reward, or, relief from pressure and stress within the world.
Everyday, we need to look into the mirror and do a reality check. Who are we really seeing in the mirror? Have we really SURRENDERED ALL TO GOD? We might find the illusion we've created slowly fading away to reveal our true image. Yet, be not dismayed. God will take care of you. He promised never to leave you alone. God wants us to see His unconditional love. He sees you as you really are because He knows your heart. He has known who you are and who you could be all along and He didn't abandon you. He was just waiting for you to come to Him as a child, realizing that you need Him.
Some say that character is everything, but, it depends on whose character you are talking about. You may have character and some people may even in jest say that you are a character, but, without the Character of God, you are nothing but an illusion in the mirror--a character created out of your own imagination, and an image trapped in bondage.
My Brothers and Sisters, I invite you and welcome you to true freedom. Let go of your troubles, worries, concerns, problems, guilt, shame, fear, etc. by loving God. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Love Him so that you trust Him with your fragile heart. Love Him by humbling yourself. You cannot die to yourself daily, until you've learned to humble yourself, realizing that you are nothing and can do nothing without God. Love Him so that you want Him to be a part of every aspect of your life, even the parts you see as being ugly, flawed, imperfect, and even hopeless. We look to everyone and everything else to supply our needs, when it is God who knows what we need, as well as, when and how to apply and supply those needs.
Some may say that it takes courage to truly let go of things and trust God with everything, but, they are wrong. It takes your humbled heart knowing that you have no courage, no strength, no wisdom, not anything without God. Courage will not help you humble yourself. A love for God's Holiness and Righteousness, knowing that He is EVERYTHING to you, and knowing His AWESOME POWER AND LOVE will cleanse and humble your heart. Some people think that we must first be broken and shattered through pain and heartache to be humbled. Yet, I am humbled everyday, not only because of trials and tribulations and what God has done for me or brought me through, but, because of my knowledge of who God is and a love for His Holiness and Righteousness. Even a child can be humble in their love for others and their love for God and Christ Jesus.
I have met so many proud people in my life and I have been one of them. We glorify ourselves in our pride without realizing what we are doing. Pride paints a different picture of who we really are. Who is really in that mirror? Do you avoid looking in fear of seeing the truth, but, not The Truth who should be reflected back at you?
Humble yourself, my Brothers and Sisters. If you are dying to yourself daily and living in Christ, you are humbling yourself. If you are talking, walking, thinking, and living to please God, you are humbling yourself. If we confess our sins one to another, we are humbling ourselves. Yes, we must use wisdom and discernment when telling others about ourselves, but, God puts people in our lives to share our faults and victories with to encourage one another and help others overcome their weaknesses by trusting God.
How can you be a witness for God and an Ambassador for Christ, if you have no transparency? How can you bring in the lost, if the sheep cannot see or hear the character and voice of the Master within you?
During worship services, when we see empty pews, spaces, and positions within churches, temples, synagogues, etc., we can think of many reasons for the absence of people. Yet, our first reason and place to check should be a look into the mirror examining and asking ourselves, "Is it me? Am I someone's stumbling block? Am I reflecting the image of God? Am I lifting up the name of Christ in my thoughts, words, and deeds? What am I reflecting? Can others see the illusion I've created out of pride to protect myself? Trapped within an illusion one has opened themselves to adversity, then, enters anxiety, depression, irritation, frustration, dissatisfaction, deception, corruption, and criticism of others to make you feel better about yourself.
You may think your illusion is only harming yourself, but, it is harmful and even deadly to others. It can be passed down from generation to generation, whole families lost in their pride, refusing to surrender all to God. Refusing to surrender all to God, they suffer generational curses. Blinded to their pride and arrogance, they cannot understand why. Yet, someone is always watching you and modeling themselves after you, just as often we see people modeling themselves after celebrities, not realizing that they are only mimicking a façade and an illusion.
Loving God means loving His Character, which is who He is. This is how we should love. We should not love someone simply for how they look, what they do, what they have, or, what they can do for us. We cannot mean that we love God if we are constantly trying to be somebody and something else. We cannot mean that we love God if we are only looking for what He can do for us. We cannot mean that we love God if we want everyone to see more of us physically, mentally, or spiritually, and see less of God. There are too many Believers representing God so that everyone can see them. Instead of following Christ, the sheep are following them. Thus, they have stolen God's sheep.
We cannot mean that we love God if we must change who we are in front of friends, co-workers, and even family and loved ones. If you mistreat your family at home or your co-workers at work, how is that loving God? Believe the Word of God! We must Trust and Obey! There is NO OTHER WAY! To Trust and obey we must reflect the TRUE IMAGE OF GOD and not an illusion we have created, wanting others to believe we are godly.
Again, I have met many proud people and I have been one of them. Believe me when I tell you that you have no PEACE within or around you! You may think you have peace, but, you are creating chaos and wreaking havoc around you, within your household, at your job, and along your pathway in life, you are leaving casualties and victims of the illusion you have created of yourself, lacking the Character and Unconditional Love of God, you are blinded by your pride.
We give glory to God by glorifying His Son. We glorify Jesus in our becoming like Him. Not wanting to glorify myself any longer, I asked God to show me the prideful areas in my life. He continues to do so when necessary. Throughout the years, when I've looked into the mirror and seen my pride staring back at me, I've asked God to humble me and help me die to myself. His Holy Spirit began to teach me how to keep my mind upon Heavenly things and to glorify God in my thoughts and words. When, my pride rises up, the Holy Spirit quickens me and I am reminded to glorify God alone. Still, it remains up to me to surrender all to God so that my thoughts and words can be translated to empower and define what becomes my deeds, making me pleasing, fruitful, holy and righteous in God's eyes. God is looking at our thoughts, words, and deeds when determining our faith, holiness, and righteousness. What will God see when He looks at you? Failing to surrender all to God is a glorification of self. It can be hard to look at in the mirror if you have no intention of self-glorification. Yet, we must be cognitively aware of the image we portray when we fail to surrender everything to God.
Humbly ask God to show you the cracks in the mirror and the chards of glass scattered around you that must be put back together which only God can do. Humbly ask God to keep you humble each and everyday and help you to die to the flesh that keeps you bound and tethered to the world. Yes, God will pick up the pieces and make you a new vessel. You will begin to see the face of the old man fade away and the new man take his place.--the Rebirth through God's Holy Spirit, in His Time, and in His Way. Some people seem to think that since they've been part of a religious community for years, God has finished imprinting them with His Character, but, like Jesus's parable of the scattered seeds, it was snatched away or withered and died because there was no fertile ground for it to grow. It's okay! It's alright! It's nothing to be ashamed of because God is not counting years you are saved, He's looking for True Worshippers! As it is written, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. God has the last word.
LOVE HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND
As I examine areas of my life that need improvement, I must ask myself if I am loving God with all of my heart, soul, and mind. Seeing that I fall short, brings me great sadness, for I want to love God more. At that moment, I know that He sees me as a child, trying to please Him, but, sometimes not knowing how and sometimes not being strong enough. So, I come to Him as His Child, asking Him to show me the way and strengthen me, for I cannot make it by myself.
I cannot make the necessary changes in my life without His love and guidance. It is all too easy to continue doing things my own way, brushing things aside, or, pretending that they will somehow magically go away or disappear. -But, is this loving God, for it lacks obedience and it lacks trust, for if I truly believe that God can do all things, why do I try to hide things from Him and myself? If I truly believe that Jesus will fix it, why do I try to fix things myself?
What I am describing is nothing uncommon from what we all do on a daily basis when we fail to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. We want to blame ourselves and others for not living life abundantly, but, we must know how to live life abundantly.
Abundant life begins with loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind. We may believe in our minds that we love God, but, our heart has not completely been given to Him. We live a compromised life filled with rationalization, guilt, shame, fear, and in need of constant repair. Perhaps, the guilt and shame comes from how we treat others or how we manage our finances. Perhaps, we live in constant fear of losing something or losing someone. Perhaps, the fear comes from poor or failing health. Perhaps, we have given up on something, such as losing weight, or, finding a job. Perhaps, we have no control over our mouth and gossip or say hurtful things about others.
Whatever area of your life that needs improvement, needs to be connected to God. The devil keeps you defeated by keeping you disconnected from God. Our keeping things out of God's hands and harboring guilt, fear, and shame is equivalent to looking in the mirror and seeing a different face for each area in our life not connected to God. We are unable to see the character of God when we look into the mirror.
This is not to say that we cannot see an illusion staring back at us. We may create an illusion of who and what we want to be and look like when we are not being honest and seeking holiness and righteousness. It is only when you come to realize in your heart that you are not being honest with yourself or God that you can see your true identity. If you truly desire to love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, you will be honest with yourself and ask God to help you.
God is waiting for you to truly open your heart to Him and allow Him to mold and repair the broken pieces of your vessel to live abundantly. The first step is to truly examine your heart, for the mind follows the heart. If there is fear in your heart, your mind will devise ways of coping with or circumventing that fear that is not the Will of God. It is God's unconditional love that cast out fear. However, we usually don't think of that unconditional love coming from us and continue to hide and keep things from God.
We must acknowledge that God knows all about us. Keeping things from God means that you really don't understand who He is and how He loves you. As your Heavenly Father, He wants to be there to help you and guide you. Keeping things from God shows that you refuse to die to yourself and the carnal flesh. Keeping things from God shows that you still attach them and yourself to the world. So, you see, if you want to be free and free indeed...YOU MUST SURRENDER ALL.
We must surrender all to God to show that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Surrendering all shows that we trust Him and WANT TO OBEY HIM, even if at times it is difficult for us to do so. It is during those times that because we have surrendered all to Him, He knows that we need His help and will freely allow Him to intervene to guide us, strengthen us, while we lean and depend on Him.
If we want to make improvements in our life to live abundantly, we must have a firm foundation to build upon. You may think that firm foundation is having money, love from another person or marriage, a job or job security, a loan from a bank, admiration or fame, the ability to deceive or con others, etc. Yet, to get us out of the rut we are in and pick us up out of the miry clay, we need holiness and righteousness, if it is to result in abundant life.
Abundant life is not an accumulation of things. It is an accumulation of wisdom, being fruitful, being made perfect in Christ to walk by faith, and having died to oneself to walk in the Spirit being One with God. Yet, there is a key component that Abundant Life has that we deny ourselves of if we do not love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and that is PEACE. One cannot have TRUE PEACE without SURRENDERING ALL TO GOD.
your servant and soldier, united with the Body of Christ, through His Sacrifice
giving God all the power and the glory forever and ever, amen
Published by Michelle T. Kenner