“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11 (NKJV).
At the moment someone truly believes in the Son of God, His Word is inserted into their heart. For all those who call themselves a Christian, the Mirror of God now dwells within you. It is written, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 ESV). For Christ to be Lord of one’s life requires that His word abides in us.
The Outer Mirror
In many ways, the Bible is also a mirror. Scripture alludes to this illustration, as it says, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:23-25 ESV).
What kind of reflection do we cast upon the mirror of Scripture? Is the Bible something we are contrary to? Maybe the planks must first be removed from the eyes before the treasures can be received. This is the truth that opens blind eyes: Jesus, the Son of God, came down to earth and died for my sin and yours, and rose again on the third day, overcoming sin and death, and that by believing in Him we can have eternal life. The encounter required to change one’s perspective on the Scriptures has nothing to do with our intellect or determination, but is entirely reliant on Jesus. Jesus is a living and breathing Being, and we need to encounter Him if we are to unlock the truths of the Bible. It is written, “He [the Holy Spirit] will glorify Me [the Word made flesh], for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14 ESV; brackets added).
Because Jesus is God and is actively involved in our lives–whether we are aware of it or not–He is able to be found if one seeks Him honestly. But, what does it mean to find Him? Due to Christ’s divine nature, His presence confounds our understanding; God is present with you and me right now, yet we are utterly ill-equipped to fully understand what that means. Nonetheless, it is written, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NASB). Faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the words of Jesus; He speaks, and if we hear His words, then faith is produced. Consequently, the Bible is comprised of recorded words inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit, along with recorded words of Jesus Himself… The Bible: a tangible compilation of books that God’s Spirit has breathed–a picture akin to the Word made flesh.
The Words of Jesus
Does Christ speak as though He were with us in person, as if face-to-face like any other? He can, and He has, but in most instances I would say, that is not the case. I have never once physically seen Christ with my own eyes. At the same time, He has changed me entirely as a person, and I know Him intimately. Some would call this a disease of the mind, or an issue that is concerning–so be it; they attest to their own free will. But I know I am not alone in my convictions, and there are some things that man simply cannot explain. Even so, if my words lack truth, then discard them as you would with any other person who spoke nonsense. But, if there is a conviction within your heart that is making you think differently, then that is not something I produced through my writing but is the whisper given by God. The question is, what are we going to do with the words of Jesus?
When we hear God’s words and reject them, we are choosing the dust of creation over the Creator. If God’s word does not abide within us, then our stone heart is never replaced with one of flesh, and the heart remains exactly that: stone. Stone is not alive but is just a super-condensed version of dust. To all those who reject God, “For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19 NKJV). Is it unloving to warn a blind person about the path they are walking–that they are about to fall into a pit? If I myself am blind, then so be it–let the fruits speak of what kind of tree I am. Regardless, Jesus not only told us what awaits if we keep walking our own way, but He personally placed Himself in the most obtrusive position on our path to stop us from falling–an action achieved through His death. If we refuse every warning He gives us, and continue to walk around His implanted cross, what else can happen besides falling into the pit?
The Question of Our Condition
If by the logic of heaven, we receive the madness of the Gospel, then our stone heart is replaced by a living one containing the Mirror. “And I will give you a new heart [a living heart], and a new spirit [the Mirror] I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone [death] from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh [life].” (Ezekiel 36:26 ESV; brackets added). When we access the Scriptures with the Word in our heart–the Word being Christ–then the holiness of the word is unlocked, and God’s truth shines upon the Mirror within us. The light that we then reflect from our hearts is God’s light, and it is magnified when we align our minds to Scripture (Romans 12:2; 1 John 4:19). Moreover, as one reflects on the word, the flesh which exists around the heart and inhibits God’s light is reduced in its opacity. As more of God’s light is shone through the Scriptures and into the living heart of a person, the heart brightens and the outer flesh subsides.
The purpose of a mirror is to literally reflect light. Just as we all are made in the image of God, we also were all made to reflect God’s light–the light being His life and authority to steward creation and bring Him glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Because of sin, however, the mirror–and therefore, the light–within each of us was forfeited. And, until the inner mirror is restored, light cannot be reflected. Thus, when we look to the Bible without Christ in our heart, we see only darkness, “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.” (Proverbs 27:19 NASB 1995). “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV).
Christ is the one and only Mirror of God. In Christ’s own words, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:17-18 BSB). Christ did not come down to earth to break mirrors–He couldn’t break what we do not have outside of Him. Christ came to show us the truth of our condition, and in showing us how sinful and wicked mankind truly is, Jesus gave us a choice: do I accept my state of darkness and remain in it, or do I look to God for my light? When we choose Christ, we receive the inner Mirror that can reflect the light of God.
The Good Physician
I am sure we all have experienced, at one time or another, a moment when we looked in a mirror and didn’t like what we saw. Whether it be our physical appearance, emotional state, or mental status, there are always things we can use to tear ourselves apart. At the same time, there is something about looking our problems in the face that requires an acceptance of the truth. If I hated the way I looked physically and did not want to address the reality of my problem, I could choose to just never look into a mirror. However, while I could try as hard as I could to never look into a mirror again, and even succeed in doing so, it wouldn’t change the truth: I still look the same. The world does not seek the truth, and those who walk the world’s path are bent on finding a painting that suits their desires, and then convincing themselves that it is, in fact, a mirror.
While the world will readily hand out any number of paintings, and actively agree with whatever lies we construct to make ourselves feel better, God stands silently by our side with the one and only Mirror. Does God want us to feel insufficient or ashamed of ourselves? Do doctors want patients to feel bad for coming in and getting the help they need? Of course not, but to get to the doctor, the person has to come to the realization or conjecture that they have a problem. Does a good doctor who is trying to heal someone want them to feel pain? No, they just want to heal them of their problem. However, if the patient has something like gangrene, and if it is dire enough, healing may require amputation in order to save the person. In the same way a doctor might amputate a person’s gangrenous limb to save their life, so does God want to address our problem of sin so that we can be saved. God’s scalpel that cuts away the gangrene of sin is the Word, and when His word abides in the heart, one finds healing. In Christ’s own words: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17 ESV).
God is telling us to look to Him because He wants us to live. Nonetheless, God doesn’t force us into a relationship with Him. The Scriptures tell us that love “does not insist on its own way,” and that God is love (1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV; 1 John 4:8). If God is love, and we turn away from the truth of His love that He has given through His Son, what are we turning to? If God alone is good, then what we have chosen by turning from Him is evil (Mark 10:18). Thus, the words of Jesus ring true: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19 NKJV). Jesus condemns no one; He simply is who He is, which is “life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 NKJV). To choose the darkness over the light is to choose death rather than life.
Recognized by the Fruit
So, then, how do we know that what we are reflecting is the light of God? This is why Scripture is needed because it is the standard to which our belief is measured and evaluated. Correspondingly, the word of God received in Truth will always lead us back to love, as defined according to Christ and the word He has provided us. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV). We see in Jesus what it means to love, and at the foundation, it is an active expression defined by putting the good of others before yourself. “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NKJV). If you were on the side of the road, near death, what would you want others to do to you (Luke 10:25-37)?
Love sums up the Law and the Prophets, which is equivalent to mean that the Bible, in Truth and in summation, points to love. We know this to be true because all of the Bible is centered on Christ; “You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about Me.” (John 5:39 CSB). The Bible is the outer mirror that amplifies the embedded Word within our heart, which is given to us through faith. Without Christ, we will pore over the Scriptures and utterly miss the point, but if we encounter God and allow His Word to abide in us, then the Scriptures will amplify the light that is found within.
The idea that God is against you and me is a lie forged in hell by satan. God has done all that He can to demonstrate His love for you and me. Nonetheless, the Truth does not waiver, and He stands humbly before us in silence. God is the Mirror that speaks only truth, and, in the end, we all will have to look at ourselves honestly. This is why Scripture says, “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:11 NKJV). It is written: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned,” for it is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:37 NKJV; Luke 6:45). What words dwell within you? What words are you speaking? Are the words of your heart yours, or are they of the living Word? By our fruit, we will be recognized (Matthew 7:15-23).
“Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)