As children we all read the story of the wicked queen with the magic mirror. Every day she stood before it and asked “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” And every day the mirror would tell her she was until one day the mirror answered that a fair princess by the name of Snow White was fairer than the evil queen. This set the evil queen on a destructive course, committed to killing Snow White.
As a Christian, what do you see every day when you look into the mirror of God’s Word? Do you see a person fully committed to God’s truth and righteousness? Or do you see a person trying to keep one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the kingdom of this world? Well, please allow me to share what I see every day when I look at myself through the reflection of God’s Word:
Sometimes I see myself like the Apostle Paul—just like him I was in my own way persecuting Jesus until God lifted the scales from my eyes, showing me his glory. Like Paul I see a civil war going on within me. The spirit in me loves God more than anything and yearns to live every breath for him. But the flesh in me seeks to serve myself and wants to live for only my desires.
Sometimes I see Peter in that reflection. Like Peter, I often boldly open my big mouth and proclaim that I would follow Jesus to the cross and die for him. But then I question his love and presence in my life when the pressure is on, giving in too often to the ways of this world.
Sometimes I see myself as the martyr Stephen. I picture myself smiling as I am persecuted—even killed for my belief and faith in Jesus. But other times I see myself living a life of fear, wondering how we will make it as a church when real persecution comes.
In Psalm 139 David asks God to search his heart and reveal everything
in it. Are we doing that on a regular basis? Are we going before God and asking him to reveal and convict us of all the wrongful thinking and fears in our hearts? I can tell you there is nothing more humbling than doing that—standing before God in humility and asking him to reveal all the fears, doubts and anxieties in my heart.
But through it all, it is always a reminder that no matter how many ways I fall short of what God wants me to be, his love and mercy overcome all my shortcomings. That when I sin and fall short of all God wants me to be, he is there to pick me up and teach me how to draw nearer to him. See, God knows every fear and failure we experience even before we know it. He knows we are like Paul—struggling between our spirit and our flesh. He knows the “Peter” in us—a big mouth that is often not backed up by our actions.
He knows that the Christian the world sees is often a façade; that our actions when other believers are watching don’t always match up with our private actions. And yet, he never gives up on us and always loves us. He teaches, prunes and rebukes us when we need it—but always with great love in his desire to see us become all we can be in the Holy Spirit.
If you don’t regularly look into that mirror and ask God to show you what he sees, please start. It’s not always easy and what he reveals to you will challenge you. When he confronts you with your sin and failures, you will come to know even more just how much he loves you. And that love will inspire you to keep on fighting when you feel alone and tired. It will inspire you to hold on firmly to his promises as the world continues to spiral into evil.
We face challenging times ahead—it will not be easy. But when you see yourself as God sees you, he will give you the strength and peace to keep on fighting, confident in his eternal promises and love.