I woke up conflicted this morning. My morning devo started with a great lesson on how our attitudes and internal struggles can many times appear even when we least expect them to. For example, when I am with a friend, I still tend to struggle with my ego and want to brag on myself or tend to scoff at my friend when they may mention something they did that I find wrong in some way due to my puffed up self. It’s frustrating that we do this even when we love that person and they are a brother or sister in Christ. Then the devo directed me to pray for myself to be more like Jesus and allow him to fill my life.
This is where the conflict then came as I wondered, “If I allow Jesus to fill my life and be completely a part of me, what happens to me?” and to also ask God as I was praying about this, “Don’t you want me the way you made me?” This then got my entertainment cultured mind to wander thinking about all the movies and TV shows I have watched that have this concept of mind or body invasion.
It’s interesting how, at least all the ones I could remember, love to visualize this as a very scary invasion. Think Aliens for example where the alien literally invades the body as a host for reproduction, or this movie called Bird Box where some extraterrestrial presence would invade your mind if you saw it and cause you to end your life. And of course there are so many more shows and movies where some enemy would figure out how to invade someone’s mind and inevitably try to use it to bend to their will for evil. With all of these visual examples of “mind invasion” you can see how this can become a bit of a conflict when we read things like when Paul urged the Romans to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” If it weren’t for knowing God and who He is, this would be a very scary request. It did still cause me to pause and talk with God this morning about how do I become more like his son and still preserve the person You made me as?
Do You want me to be me or to be Jesus?
Jesus himself even told his disciples to “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” And yet, Jesus was the only one able to accomplish this. Why then would God ask this of us knowing we are flawed individuals with strong personalities and filled with selfish thoughts and ambitions? The answer seems so obvious, to make us a better version of who God made us to be.
But I still can’t help but think of the Hollywood mind invasion concept even if it is from a great movie like Star Wars where “the force” is used to influence someone’s mind. Even when used by the Jedi it is used in a way to get what they want or need. I don’t believe that is God’s intention here. He is not wanting to force our mind to do His bidding. It is the very opposite as He is calling for us to be willing subjects for this transformation process.
Why would we be willing?
Because unlike all those Hollywood movies and shows, we know that our God is not some alien trying to take us over or some evil that wants to bend us to his will. No, our God is a God who loves us and wants us to love Him and to dwell with Him for eternity. He has even prepared a place for us. And although He knows we are not perfect, it is through those imperfections that His son has made us worthy.
Now this is where it gets very exciting!
The more you get to know God, the more you fall in love with Him and want to be more like Him and allow His presence to saturate your very being. Listen to this with fresh ears as Paul was talking to the Corinthians about the challenge of seeing God,
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NRSV
Do you see it?
The glory of the Lord is there right in front of you. Look in a mirror my friend and you will see the glory of God staring back at you.