September 5, 2015
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NET)
The Sixth Day Exercise
I thought I would recap the past three weeks and the three questions for self examination we’ve been working through.
But first, why all this introspective self examination? Isn’t that just a Christian form of “naval gazing?” No. The interesting thing about real self examination is it’s the only way to escape self absorption. The more self aware a person is the less self absorbed they are. Most of us (present company included) walk around for most of our lives with little clue as to how other people experience us or the negative impacts we potentially have on other people. The way we become more attentive to others is through becoming more aware of ourselves, and that brings me to the kicker. The way we truly become aware of ourselves is by becoming increasingly aware of and attentive to God via the Word and the Spirit.
Psalm 139 offers a profound example of what I’m talking about. It ends with this prayer:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. v.24-25.
We will spend the next few Saturdays working through Psalm 139. For now, let’s remember three key words from the text we’ve been reading the past few weeks: “Are being transformed.”
We are not transforming ourselves. We are being transformed. We must participate in the process. God will not transform us without us. One of the key ways of participating is through asking good and challenging questions of ourselves and each other. I’ll close now with Maxie Dunnam’s three questions from the last three weeks:
1. Am I growing?
2. Do I really want to change?
3. How deep is my desire for holiness?
So let’s get on with it now.
In case you are new to the Sixth Day Exercise. In case you are just joining us, each week we share in an exercise called “The Sixth Day Exercise.” As Genesis 1 has it, God created human beings in his own image on the sixth day. Genesis 3 shows us the desecration of the image of God in our race which has only compounded itself across the centuries. It’s why the Image Bearer himself, Jesus Christ, came. His life, death, resurrection and ascension reversed the curse of sin and death and created a pathway whereby our broken race could be made gloriously whole again; restored to the Creator’s intent. Paul put it this way:
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22.
Given we were made on the Sixth Day, it makes sense that we might stop and assess how it’s going on the long journey of being “remade” on each successive sixth day.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at email@example.com. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.