Jesus Christ is the great leveler.
He creates a level playing field regardless of who you are and where you are.
The shepherds had very little regard or wealth.
The devout carpenter and virgin teenager were simply willing to believe.
The Wise Men knew how to use their intellect and science to follow signs.
The Angels knew the greatest miracle of all was happening
What they all had in common is they personally encountered Jesus.
Not just know about him, or sign a card, or put him in a line up of greatest teachers, they encountered Him.
Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and conceived Jesus, then went on to deliver her deliverer.
Joseph was led in a dream to not only receive Jesus as the Son of God, but also to protect his new family in a second dream.
The shepherds had the gift of interacting with the heavenly host singing great news.
Wisemen were led by stars in the sky and also in a dream to find Jesus.
All of these God-breathed moments led them to Jesus the person.
The King. The Life changer
God moving into flesh.
I have the seed that’s been planted in my heart in recent weeks.
The notion first came from author Baxter Kruger who talks about what it meant for Jesus to come to earth. We sometimes reduce it to the forgiveness of sin. I know that language, the forgiveness of my sin and your sin, is monumental, earth-shattering.
But Kruger explains how the man in the woman in the garden, when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they lost their sight of the loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They lost the reality of Presence they had enjoyed up to that moment.
Now blinded, they groped for something to put in place of the true, beautiful, loving, joy-filled, all-providing God. Kruger calls their feeble but deadly replacement, Adam’s god.
Little “g” god.
With increased knowledge of good and evil, they also discovered selfishness, consumerism, hatred, evil, division, deception, lust hopelessness hiding, shame.
Truly they had “fallen” so far from the place of total love, total adoration, the total provision in the presence of the living God, the beauty of the Son, and the power of the Spirit.
God’s solution to disrupted love was to repair our sight through a newborn king. However, Jesus coming in human form did not mean that he was unscathed. God in flesh did not somehow give him a magic bullet to dodge or minimize real life on planet earth.
Our lives on painful planet earth.
Quite the opposite. He walked in our flesh and blood, he experienced our broken emotions, he was tempted to minimize and criticize, he was rejected and scorned, abandoned, wounded, all the things that you and I walk around with every single day, and yet.
The one distinction that Jesus made as his aim and intention was to experience our human brokenness and yet maintain eye contact with his loving Father.
When Jesus says “I only do what I see my father doing,” I think that means far more than we’ve ever considered. Certainly, more than I have ever considered.
Jesus stared down Adam’s little “g” god, stood in the face of all of the brokenness. By doing so, Jesus opened the way for us also to restore our ability to see, restore our connection to the loving Father. Jesus fixed our eyes so that we might maintain our connection with God, locking eyes with the one who made us, loves us, perfects us, heals, and changes us.
Kruger’s notion of Adam’s god sent me diving into the Spirit. I’ve been just swimming around in the spirit trying to unpack and ask for more understanding and revelation.
I just had to laugh because the Spirit brought me a scripture that he showed me years and years ago.
16 But the moment one turns to the Lord[a]with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see.[b]17 Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit,[c]and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom.
18 We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil, we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus.[d]We are being transfigured[e]into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another.[f]And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.[g]
2 Corinthians 3
We, with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord’s glory.
You, like me, have probably heard this verse many times. Heck, I have taught on it many times…
But today I want to share with you the different angle the Lord is sharing with me. We know when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the holy of holy‘s was rent from heaven to earth. Top to bottom, the veil was torn open so that we have access to the holy of holy‘s with God: intimate access, intimate connection, intimate proximity.
I love that reality and I also love the visual picture. But this scripture from Corinthian’s has awakened something different for me recently.
I previously thought that God put up that veil.
When I look through the eyes of Adam, seeing Adam’s god, I see all these fears, formalities and legalisms and rules and laws and efforts and pressure and performance.
Even in the middle of my love for God, I still see how that I sometimes put on God that he is not being who I think he should be.
As I have been listening in the spirit, I realize the veil is what I allow to come over my eyes.
When I experience fear and panic and anxiety and hatred and disgust and disappointment, I have allowed a veil to come between me and the true God.
The moment, the very instant, I turn my eyes on Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, the veil is gone and so are all of the distortions associated with Adam’s god.
The bitterness. The hatred. The smallness. The limitations.
The “I can’t, I won’t, I don’t” fades in the light of the glory of Christ.
The glory of his face, the glory of his love and connection to the Father shines through his face to me, to us.
As 2 Corinthians says, the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and we see. The moment we look for his face with an open heart we see the Lord and where you see the Lord, there is freedom.
Jesus prayed in John 17:
May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Since Jesus gave us His glory, the glory the Father gave him, why don’t we experience more glory?
Why are we not looking for glory?
Perhaps our eyes are veiled by Adam’s god?
Whenever we see the Holy They for who they really are, the veil is taken away and we see and share their glory and we become bright like stars in a dark and perverse generation.
My invitation to you this Christmas and going forward is will you look on the face of Christ?
Lock on his eyes.
His look of love.
His look of belonging.
His look at acceptance.
His look of compassion.
I’ve been doing this little exercise with the Spirit of God as I try to embrace this revelation down in my own heart. When I feel angry or anxious or forgotten or unloved or abandoned or fearful I just hear in my heart “this is Adam’s god” and I turn back in prayer.
“Spirit lead me back to the face of Jesus.”
Chuck was praying the other morning for God to replace judging and condemning with forgiveness and generosity.
This is the stark reality between Adam’s god and the Living God.
Adam’s god is all about judging and condemning ourselves and others.
The Loving God is all about forgiving and blessing ourselves and others.
We have the opportunity to turn with an open heart, to remove the veil, and see the Lord for who he is and who he wants to be for us. All that we desire, all that our heart can stand, and all that we were born for, Jesus has revealed his glory. He has placed eternity in our hearts and eternity we will have with him. Come, Lord Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full on his wonderful face.