The Scriptures tell us that the Word of God is a mirror to us. In fact, the apostle Paul, in writing to the believers in Corinth said,
“For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known”
–1 Corinthians 13:12
Although we look into the Word of God – a mirror as Paul calls it, we don’t see all spiritual matters; our life, heaven and other matters of the spirit all that clear, but as we’re transformed and in that last day we will know all.
The concept of looking into a mirror, which reflects back to us the heart of God as he speaks to us of His Godly attributes and our lives held in contrast to His Holiness.
This Word of God should, when approached with an open and soft heart, show us the beauty of the Lord and what he has wrought in our lives. But also, if approached correctly, show us those things which need modified and corrected as we are transformed into the image of Christ – reflecting His glory in us.
The apostle James writes,
That we are to receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
How many of us would go to our bathroom mirror in the morning, getting ready to go out into public and when noticing our hair is a mess choose not to comb it? No way! Most of us would immediately, before ever leaving the mirror, would have the gel out, the curling or straight iron and would go to work to put our hair in place.
In the same way, it is even more important that we give our spiritual life a greater priority than our physical appearance, because our spirit is eternal and our bodies are temporal. Even more importantly, there is a work God has begun in each of us, but if we choose to not deal with those things he shows us through the mirror of His Word, we will remain in an arrested state of development.
The apostle John in chapter 6 of his gospel tells us, Jesus said to His disciples, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” and many of his disciples found this truth to be particularly hard to understand and accept, and Jesus condemned the disciples, for he said that they didn’t get it because of their unbelief (John 6:64). John then tells us, “As a result of this many of his disciples were going away to the things they left behind, and were no longer walking with him”
This of course, is a sad commentary. It also says, that “Jesus knew who they were who would not believe and who would betray him.”
These disciples apparently were following Jesus because he was an exciting new miracle-worker and teacher and Jesus recognized the deficiency of their belief. According to Green, McKnight and Marshall,
They had made some kind of a belief or commitment to Jesus, but when his teaching did not conform to their expectations, they left him.1
This is of personal interest to me and should be to you too – For this is where we should take personal inventory of our own hearts. What are we looking for? Why do we seek Jesus or follow Him?
It also strikes me as interesting that we can do the same thing as the “festival crowd” who were looking for something from him. Just like them, if we don’t like what the speaker of Pastor is saying, we choose not to listen and at times, not to return to the church. Now, it may be that that speaker is wrong or Biblically incorrect, but if that’s not the case, we’re acting just like the festival followers and we do ourselves harm by not dealing with that conviction correctly.
Sometimes it’s a hard truth to hear – sometimes we don’t like being confronted with what we see in the mirror, yet we do ourselves harm when we reject the Word of God and don’t come to the mirror ready to receive – ready to comb our hair.
If we leave and excuse ourselves from the Bible Study or Fellowship, we only prolong the amount of time it will take for God to speak this same truth into our life and we’re only allowing ourselves to stay stuck in the same arrested state of development instead of moving forward into the blessings the Lord has for us.
We must come to the Word of God with resolve, and more intensity than we do our hair or our physical appearance if we are to be spiritually healthy and pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Like Jacob, we must wrestle with the Lord all night, get into His Word and don’t leave until we receive something of Him, whether is be of conviction or comfort, we must seek Him with our whole heart for who He is and the work He has begun in our life.
- Green, J. B., McKnight, S., & Marshall, I. H. (1992). Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.