Beth Moore - Competent
Tonight, as we open up our Bibles, I want you to approach it like it is nothing else on this earth. You will never hold anything in your hands, nothing that you can hold in your physical grasp that is like the Word of God, nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing. The only thing that would be more sacred to us would be to hang on to Christ himself in a real life tangible form, to grab on to him with everything we got, and that day is coming. Until then, what you hold in your hands is unlike anything else. I promise you this, he wants you to love his Son with everything you've got more than anything you could see, touch, or somehow encounter in a physical, tangible way on this earth, and he wants you to love his Word. So, I ask you tonight, are you praying for that which you feel like you so lack in the spirit?
You think, "I just don't have that kind of"... Start praying for it, and I mean every day of your life until you begin to get it. And then when you get it, you pray to keep it and you ask God to increase it. You ask him to thrill you with the study of his Word, and you watch and you see what will happen. This happens in bits and pieces where all of a sudden you start sitting up and looking at it and thinking, what does that mean? And then you look at this verse over here in the Old Testament, it goes with this verse over here in the New Testament.
You go, "Okay, now wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. That is brilliant". And it starts coming to life. It's not anything that natural human flesh and blood can do. The exhilaration of studying his Word, as a person that is flooded, infused with the Spirit, is something only God can do. Ask him for it. Do not sit back and just think that that's always for somebody else. That is yours. It is your birthright in Christ to enjoy Jesus and to enjoy his Word.
With that in mind, would you turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 3:1 through 6? "Are we beginning to commend ourselves again"? The Apostle Paul asks. "Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are Christ's letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God... not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life".
Now, as we open up into the third chapter of 2 Corinthians, we're coming into the middle of a context that needs a little bit of explanation because he is really having to express, through this letter, his own legitimacy as an apostle because they have gotten a little irritated with him about some things. And so, he's having to remind them, as they are having some false teachers move into their midst bringing a kind of a gospel that is not the true gospel, and they're getting infiltrated by all sorts of trouble, and cardinality, and just new, just new in the faith and it's always messy. He's coming in to remind them, "Listen, my legitimacy comes from God himself. It does not come from anything in me".
And I gotta tell you something. This is true. What he is dealing with then is just as true in many of our Christian environments today in that there is this attitude, very often that we have to be very careful of as a flock of believers, as a congregation. But I'm gonna tell you one of the things that happens very often to leaders. I'm thinking, pastors, ministers, I'm thinking people that head up all manner of ministry that serves a group of people. Very often, it goes like this, "If you don't do what we want you to do, then you must not be who we thought you to be". There's this kind of pressure that, "well, then you must not be who we thought you were because we thought you understood that you do what we say".
Am I ringing anybody's bell here? This carnal spirit of manipulation is just as alive and well in the church today, and it was part of what was going on when he was writing this letter, this kind of, "You can either do what pleases me, or I will stain your credibility". And listen, that's a serious game, a serious game. And they were playing it, and they were playing it with everything they had. Now, it begins, this third chapter, remember with me or maybe this is new to you. I always love to have somebody brand new in the Scriptures that does not know this kind of thing. When you see a chapter break, those were not inspired originally in the text. Those were added for order.
So, we see a third chapter so I can say to you turn to 2 Corinthians and the 3rd chapter, and I'm gonna begin reading at verse 1. "Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you"? Now, this is familiar to us because what was very common in the ancient Roman world is really essentially the same thing that we understand it to be now, which is that if we were looking for a job, we would hope to have letters of recommendation. Perhaps the potential employer would say, "I'm going to need recommendation, job recommendations for you. I'm gonna need some letters where you're concerned". College entrance papers often ask for different kinds of recommendations. He's asking them that very thing.
And so, what he's saying to them is, "Are you kidding me? You are my letter of recommendation. That you exist", was what he was telling them, "is proof that God has worked miraculously in this congregation". He said, "God's done", I'm putting it in my own words, "a miracle among us, and that is the letter of recommendation. You yourself are proof. You are the proof of the transforming work of the Spirit". Now, I'm gonna tell you something, and we're gonna see this throughout our texts, but I want to go ahead and give you the idea now so that it just continues to marinate throughout our time together because we're going to see, hit hard in this chapter of Scripture, that there is one primary way that the Holy Spirit reveals himself, one primary way overwhelmingly, that the Holy Spirit reveals himself individually, and also corporately, and it will not change.
And the beauty of it is, the irony of it is, it is change. That transformation is the number-one way that the Holy Spirit surfaces, transformation, that he changes us. He changes us. That when he's at work in a congregation, he is changing people in that congregation. When he's at work, when he's truly such a part of a gathering in a class of believers, how he surfaces most powerfully is through changed lives. It is a changed life that is the best letter of recommendation that will ever be read in the church. That's what people are looking for. When there's no other excuse, except that God must be God because people in your workplace knew you to be like this and you are now like this. Anybody know what I'm talking about? It's transformation.
Now, I want to say something to you because I'm not sure that ministers or pastors always even know when there has been a dramatic change in their congregation because so much of what our pastors or our leadership ever get by way of email, happy people rarely write. It's the truth. It's a sad thing, isn't it? But it's the truth. It's always they literally hit Monday morning with their inbox. I mean, they're just ready. They're ready 'cause they didn't like something on Sunday, Monday morning, boom, boom. I mean, they have worked themselves to death on Sunday, and then here's what they get on Monday morning. But here's what I want to say to you, and this is what ever environment you might be in. If you know in that environment...
I'm gonna tell you something. My life has been changed here. The Holy Spirit has so... I'm telling you, I am not who I was. I have been marked in this congregation, in this small group, in this particular sphere of influence. I've been changed here. Let someone know because sometimes the leadership is going, "I wonder if anybody's changing". Because we know that there's no way to fake the real work of the Spirit, that it's not numbers, it's transformation. It will still be that way as long as this world endures, that there's still people that the Holy Spirit is after, still people that are the priority of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not platforms. It is not projects. The point of all ministry is people. I want to say that again, the point of all ministry is people. And so, he is most seen when we are most changed.
I want you to look at verses 4 and 6 again, I want to read them a second time. "Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". One of our deepest core fears is that of incompetency.
I read an article a couple of days ago about honeymoons that have been absolutely ruined because one or the other of them, I hate to say that in this case, it was the wife both times, but she was just absolutely bent on finding a way to have the perfect post of her honeymoon. Now, something, at some point we go, okay, we have gotten really, really bizarre. Don't you think? That at some point we go, hmm? Who saw a day coming when our favorite pictures were of us? Who saw that coming? Who saw that coming? Who ever saw? Do you know it was just a few years ago that you couldn't get a camera to turn back around to you? I mean you, honestly, you'd have to turn the lens like it was just like there's no way to do this.
This has been a very recent development that we are this into ourselves, but do we feel any more adequate with all our posting? Absolutely not. Or, but okay, maybe our children's accomplishments because indirectly that really reflects on us. We're hoping people know. I mean, I hope they think I'm humble doing it, but I also hope they go, "Man, those are good genes right there, good genetics right there". Overachievement, we'll use that and maybe that will earn me a place at the table.
And I've gotta tell you something, no amount of our overachieving will cure our natural bent toward feelings of inadequacy. The natural heart on its own is very, very destructive to the person. When it's just left to its own, it will just, it will just rag on you, and rag on you, and lie to you, and lie to you. It's just the nature of the natural man. The Spirit of God at work in us and transforming the heart, it becomes a whole different story. But in our natural heart, it will turn on us over and over and over again. And so, it never works. No amount of overachieving ever fixes it because it's not about activity. So, we could live on the defensive. That's what a lot of times we do because we get mad at the people around us because we know they know we dropped the ball. And so, we're mad at them because we need to make it their fault we dropped the ball.
So, if I am incompetent in this area and you're close by, I mean, I can either blame me or I can blame you. And depending upon my mood, I mean, I'd rather it be you. Anybody, anybody? It just depends. So, we can live on the defensive. We can give up, we can just give up. We can just give up. Like, "I tell you, I'm so incompetent, I'm not doing anything. I literally am not going to do anything. I'm done with all of it". Or we could just use it as an excuse for minimalism. In other words, "I'm pathetic at it anyway. I'm just gonna do the bare minimum. Why even try"? Does any of this sound familiar? Anybody left out so far? There's a reason why I recognize these things. Or shall we pursue life in the Spirit by whom we are made competent?
Hold that thought. Let that just blink for a little while in the heart. Because here, here when we get to point number two, here we're gonna recognize one diamond in the rough in our feelings of inadequacy because it brings us to the place of realizing, "I was made by God for things I am incapable of doing". Oh, I'm going to say that again until somebody gets it. You were created, the reason why you have this thing in you that just goes, why can't I quite find it? Because you were born for something you are incapable of doing without the Holy Spirit. He alone can do it through you. So, you were like, you came in to being in him with this thing in you, this calling in you, that you can't even do.
So, if you don't, and if I don't, find a way to understand how this all connects with the Holy Spirit doing this through us, then we just go on and on with this whole sense of, "I never have ever found anything I really felt alive doing". Well, it's your calling. It's your calling. And one thing that's beautiful about having to face up with our inadequacy is just going like, "I am inadequate, hallelujah". There's something that just to go, really, I actually am. For the thing I was born to do, I actually am not adequate to do it. That's the miracle of it. So, it's kind of saying back to the enemy, "I agree with you, I am inadequate". And then all of a sudden, it turns back around, but my God is completely adequate and he has made me competent in him.
Point number two, the most important works we will ever do in and of ourselves we are inadequate to do. The temptation of our age to default to technique and technology, to create an atmosphere that can mimic the Holy Spirit, rather than to actually welcome and risk the Holy Spirit himself is enormous. In other words, we could just create an environment that looks a lot like him. We might even buy it. I'm not even saying that this would necessarily be conscious. I'm saying, wouldn't it be a scary thought that in a lot of our surroundings, and in a lot of our churches, and a lot of our congregations across the planet, that the Holy Spirit could have moved out months ago, and no one has noticed it yet? Because we thought it was all about the lights and the volume and a certain way of doing things.
And so, because that looked so much like him, it must be him until it comes to the bottom line of, are people being transformed? Now, we've got a whole different ballgame. And I gotta tell you, please don't misunderstand what I mean. This is really important. Nothing is wrong with using lighting, and sound, and setting up good facilities. I'm talking about fitting facilities where people can be comfortable, can take notes, can do whatever they need to do to posture people for the best focus in worship. There's nothing wrong with that. Remember, if you know anything about the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, God himself set it up where it was beautiful.
Have you ever been where like you're in a room that's got really deep, gorgeous colors, really beautiful textures that are like heavy curtains and that kind of thing that are to a candle light, a lamp light? It would have been beautiful. It would have had the scents of incense. And so, don't get the idea that all of that cancels out the Spirit. God himself, when he prescribed what those environments would look like for worship, he was prescribing something that would be a surrounding that would help focus it and bring out that kind of worship. But when the accessories become the actual agents, in other words, that's what's working.
I love it when lights go down and the volume goes up. That's all it takes. Like when there's... the Holy Spirit could be missing entirely, and we wouldn't know the difference, that, that is when we have woefully defaulted into the flesh. And I want to say something, it's not just the church's fault, or the gathering's fault, or the leadership's fault when that happens. What's happened, we've got such consumerism mentality that it spreads into our church life. And so, we end up choosing a church according to what goods and services it provides. So, it's really almost like we go and look for a car. We need like it fits everything. Like I want to make sure this is the color I like. And I want to make sure that it has certain devices with it, electronics. I want to know what the guarantees are. I want to get the best possible deal. I want to be low money, high satisfaction.
Say very little about the offering but say a lot about what you can do. Anybody getting this with me? And so then we've replaced the Holy Spirit. I want to say to you, the most important thing that you could hear this evening is this, and it's as true corporately as it is individually, as true individually as it is corporately. What the church has going for us is the Holy Spirit of Christ. That's what we've got. He's the one animating the Word. He's the one bringing the transformation. The bride of Christ, without the Spirit, is a corpse, a gray, dull-skinned corpse. For the church to thrive, it must have the Holy Spirit. It's what makes it work.
I say this to you as a person because it's also where your fulfillment and your satisfaction comes in. And what is true for the body of believers is also true for you individually. Lord, I want to know what it's like to be filled with your Spirit, to be infused with you, to be able to walk away from a conversation with somebody that I truly have resented and despised, and for some miraculous reason, I love them today. There's nothing like that. That's where the satisfaction comes in. It's what Jesus was talking about in John 4 with the woman at the well. Oh, I have this living water. I have this living water. It never get stale.
Our fear is, what the doesn't come through? And what if I haven't spent enough time with God to even know what he wants me to say, what he wants us to do, how he wants us to move, where he's directing us? Our adequacy is from God. Our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent to be ministers, and it's not talking about the office in this particular context. Paul is talking about the actual action of it. It's the ministering of it, the serving of it. He has made us servants, if that feels better, if it's harder to say, "I'm a minister of the Spirit".
Well, servant, servant, that we serve the Spirit. Then try that on. It's coming from God. "He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". You know, you've heard this over and over, perhaps, but I'm not sure it ever gets old because it could not be truer, the old saying that Christ didn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. He did not call the qualified. Like he goes like, "He called me because I was good". That's not his way. That's not his way.
In fact, early on, let me tell you a little clue to really getting into your calling when you begin to get some real traction in your calling. One of the first things that will happen is that he will insist on humility, I mean insist on it. And it will be all of a sudden like, okay, you're the one, you're the one, you're the one, you're the one. I'm inadequate in myself to do what you call me to do, but I am most competent in you. We have been made. He has made us competent. Anybody just need to know that? That in him, oh, yes, ma'am, you are most certainly competent.
Now, I want to pick up in the text in verse 7, 2 Corinthians 3, verse 7. "Now if the ministry that brought death, chiseled in letters on stones", so you know now he's talking about the tablets of stone, the Ten Commandments, "came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to gaze steadily at Moses's face because of its glory, which was set aside, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry that brought condemnation had glory, the ministry that brings righteousness overflows with even more glory. In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was set aside was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious".
So, I want to hold there just a second and see if I can try to translate this a little bit because that's a lot of glories going there. What, what he's saying is what happened with Moses and what he happened with them. He's not downplaying how profound it was. The place of the law, the covenant, the Mosaic, the covenant of Moses, he's not downplaying it in any way. But he's saying, "What I'm saying to you is this, that if that was glorious, the law brought us an awareness of what we are incapable of keeping on our own. So, if that which ultimately would have just like brought us death, if now we have been given that which brings us life and frees us from that condemnation", he said, "If that was glorious, how much more glorious is this? This is an all-surpassing glory".
He said, in fact, there'd be no glory there at all in comparison to this. He's not saying that it wasn't glorious. It was, he's just making it where we can understand as widely as we can think. Listen, if that was glorious, if you think it was cool what happened to Moses, he's saying, "Don't you realize what you've got? Don't you realize"?
Don't I realize what I've got? Verse 12 through 18, "Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness. We're not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from gazing steadily until the end of the glory of what was being set aside, but their minds were hardened. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. Yet still today, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit".
I want you to go with me, if you would please, all the way to Exodus chapter 34, and I want you to see what he's talking about. We're gonna start at verse 29 of 34. You're going to see if you have captions in your Bible that it's going to say something to the effect of Moses's radiant face, something on his face shone. Something of that nature is probably over this section because that is exactly where we're going, and that's exactly what Paul is referring to. Now, where we're catching up with Moses is the second time he's going up Mount Sinai because the first set of tablets he came down with, when he heard all the revelry, I mean, they got pitched to the ground and broken to pieces.
So, he had to go all the way back up, receiving the stones, tablets, and then coming back down. So, I want you to see with me, it says in 29 through 35, Exodus 34. "As Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain, he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord". It's so, so fabulous because if we were looking at a very literal rendering of the Hebrew in this passage, one commentator says that it would, it would be literally this, and I'm quoting, "The skin of his face sent forth beams".
So crazy, so crazy. Verse 30, "When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone! They were afraid to come near him. But Moses called out to them, so Aaron and all the leaders of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he commanded them to do everything the Lord had told him on Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever Moses went before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil until he came out. After he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, and the Israelites would see that Moses's face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil over his face until he went to speak with the Lord again".
Okay, I want to tell y'all a story. Our family took in the child of Keith's first cousin on his dad's side for seven years from the time he was four until he was 11. We thought he would be with us forever. That was not the way that it lived out, and it's a very, very complex, extremely complicated story. And I just will not get into the details of it. But when he first came to live with us, some of my friends gave us a little party and one of them gave him this little Mickey Mouse shirt. I've kept it all these years. It's one of the only things I have from is really, really early clothes, and it swallowed him at the time. He was four, but he was about the size of a two-and-a-half year old. And so this little shirt, he just absolutely loved it because it glowed in the dark. And so, we could go in the closet, and it would just like shine.
And he absolutely, it was his favorite thing he got from this party, talked about it constantly. And I mean, one day he just was beside himself. I mean, besides himself. Several days after they'd given us this party, and I said, what in the world? And he said, "My shirt won't shine. My shirt won't shine. It won't shine". He says, "It's broke. It's broke. It's broke". I said, "Oh, no, no, no, no, it's not broke. I think what you have to do, I said it has to be, we have to go over, we have to hold it up to the light because", I said, "it's got it's got to, you know, it's got to soak in, it's got to absorb the light. And then when we go in the closet and we turn out the light, then it's gonna show up".
But the way that it gets light, 'cause I said, "You know, there's no light, we turn on this little no switch here. It's that it's made of glow-in-the-dark material and so it asked to have another source of light, and then it will shine". And in so many ways, that's what we see in play right here, this radiance because it would fade, it would fade because he'd have to go back up and he'd have to be with them again because there was no source of light in him, apart from that which was shining on his own face. And so, he was like this glow in the dark. This gorgeous thing in the New Covenant is that for every single one of us, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us and Jesus has called us the light of the world, the light of the world. But it is still true, even though that light burns within us, that for it to really radiate on our faces... I'm not talking about beams, but I am gonna tell you something, people know, people know.
We had a woman come back a second time. We open the doors at Living Proof Ministries from 12 to 1 every Tuesday for any woman or girl to come that just needs prayer. I mean, anything, anything. She's starting a new job, starting a new ministry, she's writing something, whatever it may be. She's going through a devastating loss. It varies constantly. But a woman came back a month later, a young woman with a four-year-old had come a month ago, and she came back today and she was a different person. I mean, a different person.
I said, "The joy on your face is absolutely breathtaking". And she said, "I'm gonna tell you what that meant to me a month ago". She said, "I have been with Jesus every day since". She said, "Every day since, I have done something". She said, "I've had some kind of prayer time, and I've read some Scriptures every single day". And I was like, "Girl, it shows all over you". People know, people know. I want you to look back at the text because this is what he's comparing. He said, "Do you realize if you think that was cool, do you realize that you have".
Because an impartation of the spirit in our day, that all of us, all of us... in those days in the Old Testament under the old covenant, only probably a maximum, from beginning to end of the Old Testament, under 100 people are ever described as having the Holy Spirit in them or upon them. But it is what marks us as saved. The Scripture says in Romans chapter 8 if Christ's Spirit is not in you, you are not his. In other words, the moment that you're in him, his Holy Spirit takes up residency in you.
And I mean, you are sealed. It's like a lid went on that jar, and it was sealed tight and there's nothing that can get him out and there's nothing that can let another spirit in. It's a beautiful thing. That's what we have, a surpassing glory. It's filling of the Spirit inside of us. "The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". I want you to repeat after me, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". There is no exception to that. He is saying, I mean, this is an is, it is a promise to you.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Where the Spirit reigns, freedom rings. Where the Spirit reigns, freedom rings. Holy Spirit, fill me up. Come on. Come on, do the thing. I mean, anoint me. I mean, this morning in my house I was going, "Anoint me, anoint me". But and I am anointed, you are anointed, but listen, if he's into giving more, I'm into having it. Anybody know what I'm saying? I want whatever he's giving. I mean tonight, back there, the team prayed, and we were all praying together for all of you and then, pray for Ms. Beth.
And so, I mean, I could not, they were praying over me and they were all praying at once. I was holding my fingers out as wide as I could because I was like, I want every bit of it. I mean, like, whatever, you know what I'm saying? Like, whatever you're praying, I want it. I want it. I want what the Spirit is doing. And then when he fills us up, and he's the one empowering us. I don't want to feel drained. And he's not going anywhere, it's just so we, with our carnality, it quenches him and, but he reigns over us when he's in charge. And it changes what I want. I don't know about you, but my desires were messed up. I had a messed-up want-to. Anybody else? I wanted what would hurt me so badly. This is what God did to completely change my want-to is that the Spirit began to overtake my heart and overtake my desires.
Now, I gotta tell you, one of the things that drives me crazy about commentaries, commentaries, Bible commentaries are my love language. I love them, I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea how many sets I have, no idea, no idea. And I use most of them. And so, any text, I mean like for today, I have no idea how many commentaries I looked at for you today, at least six or seven. And if it's a bigger event than that, it's gonna be more than that. But there are certain things that I have come to expect and one of them is that one will go, "The text clearly means this". And then the other commentary will go, "Contrast so and so", and they'll mention that other commentator, "The text clearly means this". Another one of them will go...
Cody, you're so gonna understand this because I laugh about it every time. "This verse is very problematic". I mean, it's like so what he's saying is we have no idea what it means. So, there's either it means this, it means this, or we have no idea what it means. But there are several things because the question that we want to end with, what is it that there's freedom from? So, there are some that say, and all of these are true. Some say, "Well, its freedom from the letter of the law", and to what degree that means any other means of salvation, except Jesus Christ.
Well, that is absolutely true, positively true, that certainly if that is what's going on there, that could not be truer. There is only salvation in Christ, and it has nothing to do with our works. We cannot be competent enough to earn our salvation, it is by grace alone. There are others that say, "No, it means freedom from bondage to sin". Well, that is certainly true because when it says where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
We think no, I'm free, I'm free, and Galatians is all about freedom. It's one of my favorite books in the entire New Testament, definitely my favorite book written by the Apostle Paul. But it doesn't mean, freedom of the Spirit doesn't mean I'm free to sin and it doesn't make any difference. It means I'm free from bondage to it. That's what it means, that changes everything, and it means that our obedience is generated by faith instead of condemnation. Condemnation does not work. It just makes you miserable. It gets us in a cycle because it says, "I'm such a failure. I'm such a failure".
So, what do we do? We fail again, and again, and again, and again because what we're reaffirming over and over again is, "I am such a failure. I'll blow this every single time". But what if you did not think there was anything you could do to blow the love of God for you? What if you thought, "There really isn't anything you can do to make me love you more, or to make me love you less? I love you completely". What if you knew that? What if perfect love really did cast out all fear, then and you were free to, not condemned, to change, free to, you were free to. You'd have to be scared to death of the process like the very first time you stumble, "It's all over. It's all over, failure".
This is what will get us, will buy us a life in the pit over and over and over again. It's transformation of the heart, that shows up in transformation of a life, not just trying to do the right thing. It won't work. It won't work. It works temporarily, it does not work in the long haul. You will never live in victory simply being motivated by what you need to do. "I really need to read my Bible. I need to read my Bible. I really need to pray". And we do, we do. That helps for a little while, that helps for this long, by all means do it. But that is not what will help you in the long haul. What does it in the long haul is you're gonna do what you want to do. We are still driven by desire.
What happens when he becomes your desire? That's what I'm asking you tonight. What happens when you have no greater desire on the planet than to know Jesus Christ? What happens then? Then everything changes, everything changes. And suddenly, what you need most in the world is what you want most in the world. Will you fill in the last one? I don't know if anybody else is getting the Word, but the hair on my arms is standing straight up... I'm gonna tell you something, the Word still gets to me. The Word still gets to me.
I want you to write down the last one, and I want to end with our thoughts here. The last one, "We are called to be people of unveiled faces under constant metamorphosis from glory to glory". The reason why I wanted to bring out the word "metamorphosis" is because when it says being transformed, we, in verse 18, all, does it say all or not? Most of us, or does it say all? "We all, we all with unveiled faces are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. This is from the Lord who is the Spirit, from glory to glory". It says in the ESV, "From one degree of glory to another". In the NIV, "With ever-increasing glory".
In other words, there's this first sight of him, and it's not with our physical eyes, but with our spiritual eyes when we realize, "That is the Savior of the world, and I want to receive him as my personal Savior". That veil is taken away, and we know he is the one, first glimpse of glory. The last glimpse of glory will be when we see his face and then it is everlasting glory. And so from this point till that point, we are just walking this way, walking this way, walking this way, walking this way from one degree of glory to the next. That's how it was meant to be, unless we're just gonna live with picking that veil back up and putting it right back on our faces because it came off the moment that you received Christ.
But here's what we do, we just pick it back up and put it back on over and over again, over and over again. We will never ever radiate the beauty of the glory of God as long as we wear a cover over who we truly are. I'm gonna ask you a question, is your face unveiled before God? Because not only do we veil it before one another in the very body of Christ where we know good and well none of us have it together, and still we keep putting on this act. Still we keep doing this with one another. But what's worse yet is we take it into our prayer time, and we think we're gonna bull God. And he's going like, "Here you are wearing a veil in here, interesting. I'm looking straight through it. I got me some X-ray vision".
And there we are, there we are constantly covering, constantly covering, constantly covering, constantly covering. If you do not hear another thing as we close this lesson, I want you to hear this, is anybody listening to me? There is absolutely no cover you could come up with. I don't care how competent she looks, there is no cover you will ever come up with, no veil you will ever put over your face that is as beautiful, as stunning, and as spectacular as the genuine you in Christ.
What if you could be real? Who will begin, who will begin? Because we are just like we have this thing, and it's worse and worse because of the social media age we live in. What would happen if we quit faking it? What would happen if it would be okay if we could come unveiled? My friend Ann was asking me about something that she feels like God has given her, has given her a mandate to do. And she said, "But I'm afraid, I'm afraid". She said, "What would you tell me to do"?
And I said, "You know, I'm just gonna tell you what many, many people have heard Joyce Meyer say a million times, Do it afraid. I mean, try to move past your fear. If you can't move past it, for crying out loud, do it afraid". That is what I've been doing for 40 years. I've never gotten where I wasn't afraid, and you just get out there and do it because, so what if you mess up? Does anybody hear what I'm talking about? Your face is not gonna radiate the presence of God as long as you are faking who you are. Who are you under that veil? Let the girl out. Let that girl out. Let that girl out.