INTO HIS IMAGE
BY: DANIEL YORDY
I SEE GOD: MY WHOLE BEING is FILLED with HIS LIGHT
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Our transformation begins with the renewing of our minds.
We are already born again. We are already made alive with a new heart that shares the characteristics of our made-alive spirits. On our hearts is already written the nature and life of Jesus Christ. Central to our salvation is this truth that Christ lives in our hearts. We have been conceived again and are now in this time of development inside the womb, this transformation, awaiting the coming forth in the full light of day in the resurrection of our bodies.
God always works from the inside out.
We are transformed in three ways. First is the renewing of our minds. Second is our relationship of love with one another. And third is the cleansing of the outer person, purification. The work of God MUST follow this pattern. We do not purify ourselves so that we can think God’s thoughts. The blood of Jesus, coming from our spirit out, does that particular cleansing work. We walk boldly into the throne room of God, into the Holy of Holies, because of the blood of Jesus.
Our purification is something different. Our purification is the natural outworking of Christ in us. It begins with the transformation of our minds.
So many of God’s people get this backwards, thinking they must clean up their outside before they can have a relationship with God. Our behavior cannot change until our thinking changes first. As we think as God thinks, our outer behavior WILL automatically change. God always works from the inside out.
Before we can be in a right relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we together can build up one another in love, before we can see the outer movements of our external person change, we must change the way we think.
We already have put on the new man that is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. Colossians 3:10
The new life that we have put on, that we are learning to live in, is renewed in knowledge. And it is the knowledge of the image of Jesus. We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 6
First, we know; second, we declare what we know. We become what we see, we become what we behold. As we behold the image of the Lord as in a mirror, we are transformed into that same image from glory to glory.
What we set our eyes upon is what we become.
Consider what we set our eyes on, both inwardly and outwardly. I can watch a good movie and my physical eyes are set upon the television screen, but it is well possible that in my spirit, my eyes are upon God and I am with Him, He is with me, we are enjoying the story together. God speaks to me through story.
On the other hand, I can watch the same movie; my eyes are set upon it separate from knowing the Spirit of Christ inside of me. I imagine I am watching it alone. Watching that movie increases my illusion of separation.
It is all in the seeing of the eye. Now, God speaks to me through many good movies and books. Personally, I love story. On the other hand, sometimes I start watching a movie or reading a book and see right off the bat that God, or truth, is being dishonored. I am not interested, so I stop. It’s as simple as that.
This illustrates the two ways in which we set our eyes. One is upon the natural things of this world separate from God, and the other is the eye of faith, seeing as God sees.
The acknowledgment of every good thing that is in you in Christ Jesus.
I am amazed at how little concern God’s people have for knowing the New Covenant. Of course, memorizing the words of the New Testament will not really do it. It is a knowing, an internal intimacy with the Spirit of God. It is walking together with God, that He would teach us of His ways. We could memorize every verse in the New Testament and believe none of them. We must believe.
From the time that I was nineteen, when my heart turned back to God, anytime I heard a word spoken concerning what the Bible taught, for some reason, hearing it did not satisfy me. I have a Bible, I must know what God actually says. I have spent multiplied hours over the years, writing out passages, verses, books of the New Testament, the Bible, all the way through, over and over. I hear somebody say, “The Bible says.” Well, I must always know for myself.
The New Covenant describes our relationship with God. It is our life as it is applied by the Holy Spirit. We are taught by God, as His Holy Spirit comes upon our hearts, so that we can believe, simply, what He says. It takes a mighty power of God upon us to believe what He says.
Jesus said, “He who believes on me, out of His belly will flow rivers of living water.” The natural man cannot believe or understand that word. He cannot do anything with it except say “Fiddle” and go on without a moment’s thought. Even we cannot believe it, unless the power of the Holy Spirit rests upon us. The believing of what God says is a miracle from God. It takes a simple heart to believe what God says.
We must know what He says.
I hear it all the time. “We all know that the Bible says . . .” Sometimes that is what it says, and sometimes it says nothing of the kind. I have been amazed many times, searching the New Testament that is NOT what God says. In fact, often He says the exact opposite. Then I wonder, where does this idea come from that fills Christian thinking, convincing so many dear believers down through the centuries that this is what God says when they didn’t read it in the New Covenant? Then, you trace it back and find that it comes either from the Old Testament wrongly applied, or it comes from paganism masquerading as Christianity, or it comes from the reasoning and traditions of men.
There is a belief that permeates all through Christian thought. “You can’t go to the Bible yourself. You can’t see what God is saying yourself, because you will get yourself deceived. You have to follow the ‘official, orthodox’ interpretation. You can’t search it out or go to God yourself.”
This is strong in Protestantism, in Catholicism, and even in evangelical Christianity. What does this verse mean? Do we get down on our knees beside our bed and cry, “God, you show me”? Or do we go to our pastor at church and say, “Pastor, you show me”?
There remains, of course, teaching in the church; we do teach God’s people the truth. But each of us, individually, must know what this New Covenant teaches, and we must know all of it. It is our life. It is our life.
I want to look at a passage Jesus spoke that is kind of strange.
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light, but when your eye is bad, your body also is full of dankness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” Luke 11:33-36
We understand Jesus in this way. With a natural body, light comes into our consciousness through our eyes. Close your eyes and there is no light. Open your eyes and the light flows in. As we translate that to the spiritual realms, not only what we “see,” but how we see is what fills us. Many Christians rely on the Old Covenant verse, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17) When they look at their hearts, they see selfishness and deceit. Then, what is it they are struggling with all the time? Selfishness and deceit.
But Paul said, “Christ lives in our hearts through faith.” He also said that we do not walk by sight, that is natural sight, but by faith. When I look at my heart, I see Christ with the eye of faith. He fills my thinking, my consciousness.
Here’s a time when the Bible says something quite different from what we have been told. We have been taught that our conscience tells us what is right and what is wrong. But that is not what the word ‘conscience’ in the New Testament means. The Greek word translated ‘conscience’ is better translated ‘consciousness.’ We do not have the option of choosing between good and evil. We are allowed only one or the other. If we see evil, we are evil. If we see good, we are good. We become what we see. Where our eyes are set determines the light that fills our body. If we set our eyes upon evil in our own selves, then the light that fills us is darkness. If we set our eyes upon Christ, acknowledging the good things of Christ inside of us, then His light fills every part of us.
The life of Jesus inside of us must fill our consciousness, our eyes, our sight, our faith. We become like Him as we see Him as He is. And He IS inside of us.
The strongest jeopardy passage in the New Covenant is Hebrews 3-4, which is based on a story in Numbers 13-14. The children of Israel are on the borders of the Promised Land. Twelve men go into the land to see what it is like. These men bring back the fruit of the land. All twelve spies see all the fruit of the land, and all twelve see the enemies and fortified cities and giants, both.
“Then they told them and said: ‘We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there (giants).’”
All twelve spies are speaking truth. This is critical truth. A lot of believers stop their ears, not wanting to hear that we live in a world of evil that we walk through land mines all around us. Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16) We do not hide from the reality of evil and the destruction that is coming upon this earth, but rather we rejoice in full confidence in the middle of it.
And so all twelve spies come back from a walk through the life to come, bringing back the full fruit of it, all twelve. It’s a wonderful place, a wonderful life. Then, all twelve explain the presence of enemies in the land.
In verse 30, Caleb quiets the people before Moses and says, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” That statement causes the twelve to split into a group of ten and a group of two.
Verse 31: “But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out , saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people who we saw in it are men of great stature . . . and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight – and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight – and so we were in their sight.’”
The people wept, all night long. They complained to Moses, “Oh, if only we had died in Egypt, or in the wilderness. If we were already dead, than it would be over with, instead of dying on swords, our women and children, all of us will die on swords.” They said, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
Verse 6: “But Joshua . . . and Caleb . . . said, ‘The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread, their protection is departed from them, for the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
“And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.”
Verse 11: “Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs I have performed among them?’”
Now, a neutral reporter might have thought the people of Israel were rejecting Moses, Caleb, and Joshua. But God said, “How long will they reject me? How long will they not believe Me?”
The writer of Hebrews based the jeopardy of the New Covenant solidly on this critical story from the Old Testament. We must give it heed.
All twelve men gave a true and accurate report. Milk and honey, giants and fortified cities, they gave the same report. But having seen and reported everything the other ten had seen and reported, Caleb and Joshua saw God. The other ten saw themselves. They looked at themselves, filling their eyes with their own human weakness.
“We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we. We were like grasshoppers in our own sight.”
Those who see deceit and selfishness inside their hearts stand with the ten false spies.
The conclusion of the men who kept their eyes set on God:
“Let us go up at once and take possession, for WE are well able to overcome it.”
Notice specifically that they did not say “God is well able to overcome it.” They said, “WE are.” They saw God, their own beings were filled with light. I do not see the flesh, I do not look at my human weakness, I do not see my propensity to fall short of God’s glory, I do not see those things because my eyes are set on God. Because my eyes are set on God, I am well able to overcome all things.
My eye is set on God, my whole being is filled with His light.
Watch what happens with a group of Christians, when you talk about becoming like Jesus, about overcoming sin and death, about the fullness of Christ fulfilled in our lives right here on this earth in this age. You will see a shadow come upon their faces, their eyes dropping down, and then the argument, strong, overwhelming. “We can’t do it. We are weak humans. God would never allow us to do it, to be like Jesus, to walk without sin, because that would be prideful.” To always please God? It would be prideful. To always do His will? It would be prideful.
Really! Why? What is the argument? One might think, “This is peripheral. I believe in Jesus, I’m going to heaven.”
No it is not peripheral, it rules in the hearts of most Christians. As they read the New Testament they get rid of much of what God says. They look at themselves and see themselves as grasshoppers, as fallen humans. “God just is having pity on me and that’s all there is to it.” That’s where their eyes are fixed.
If we cannot believe what God says in the New Covenant about His victory in our lives, our eyes are not on Jesus, they are on ourselves. No matter how much one says, “Well, I’m just trusting in Jesus and when I die, I’ll go to heaven,” that one is only deceiving himself. One who cannot believe God right here, right now, for full victory in all that He says, his eyes are in the wrong place.
“We are like grasshoppers in our own sight, and that’s how our enemies see us. Sin is too great. Death is too great; they will kill us. We cannot go up against sin; we cannot go up against death. Let us hide in this non-Biblical definition, the goal of the believer is to go to heaven when you die.”
Caleb and Joshua saw God. They did not divide between themselves and God. They did not say, “God is over there and we’re over here, and maybe, maybe, someday, if we please Him.”
Right from the beginning they assumed that they were pleasing to God, that God had chosen them. God was with them. Their eyes were set on God, their whole bodies were filled with light. And they said, “We are well able to conquer that land and to overcome every enemy within it. God is with us; His favor is upon us. He goes before us, with us, inside of us, and we are well able.”
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4
We see Jesus, our eyes are fixed on Him. When we look in our hearts, we see Christ. Our faith becomes effective in a transformed life to prove the will of God in this earth, in this life, in our bodies. It becomes effective as we acknowledge, as we know intimately and then speak out loud Christ inside of us.
Our transformation is a battle of rest. From beginning to end, our eyes are fixed on God, our whole bodies are filled with His light.
Jesus said, “Your eyes see darkness, everything inside of you is darkness.” If our eyes see human weakness and failure, everything inside of us is human weakness and failure, but if our eyes see the light, our whole bodies, everything inside of us is filled with that light.
We see Jesus.
INTO HIS IMAGE, Pt. 3, I See God [Daniel Yordy] 2008 ~ BOOK 1