The name of this blog is Running the Race. As I've written before, I love the analogy of our faith journey with Christ being like running a race. When one runs a race they train hard, they run to win and they run toward a finish line with their eyes on the prize.
Paul doesn't use the analogy of running a race in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, but he does hit on the idea of making progress in your life with Christ.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18
I love this verse because it talks about us making progress in our race toward Christlikeness. I often say that I want to be at least a step further in my race today than I was yesterday and at least a step further tomorrow than I am today. This verse reiterates that idea. We are being transformed with ever-increasing glory.
This truth is comforting and challenging.
It is comforting because, as a Christian, I don't have to be perfect today. My life doesn't need to be nor will it be as gloriously Christlike as I want it to be. There is no need to beat myself up over the lack of life change in me. See, we are being changed with ever-increasing glory. It is a process... a life-long process I might add. We all transform at different paces. When I die I will be transformed "in the twinkling of an eye" but for now I'm free to struggle and free to fail in my pursuit of radical life transformation.
It is challenging because as a Christian I'm not designed to be stagnate. I should strive to be "transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory." As a Christian I need to run the race; I should not be on the sidelines watching.
So, how do we transform with ever-increasing glory?
I believe the best and most obvious way to become more glorious like Christ is seen in the text of this verse. We have unveiled faces and reflect the Lord's glory. We reflect the glory of the Lord. How can we reflect the glory of something we avoid? "ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." To transform we have to get the glory from the Lord. We don't become more glorious by our own effort, but we tap into the glory of God. This requires discipline but not self-righteousness. We come to the Lord seeking to be filled, not seeking to give. Christians can offer God nothing, but rather we offer the greatest glory to God by receiving His glory. As John Piper often says, "Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
Also, look at the tense of the verbs used in this verse. "... are being transformed..." See, we are being transformed. The Lord is the one doing the transforming. We are being acted upon. Also are being implies a process. So, hold on for the ride. Endure what may come in the transformation process as Christ works this miracle in your life.
Run your race today. Spend time at the feet of Jesus. Sun tan in the glory of the Savior. Be at least one step closer to the finish line of your race toward Christlikeness, but remember that to win you must rely on Him. Be transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory today.