Caught Between Now and Then
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” – 1Corinthians 13:12 The dark glass is the eye of my own heart affected by the fall. But then, we see face to face, or without dysfunction or division. The image of God is the one I receive based on the condition of my vision.
Darkness and clarity of sight are only separated by now and then. This is not in reference to time. It’s in reference to movement from moment to moment. The obedient heart moves from now to then while the stagnant life is paralyzed in the now moment seeing things through a dark glass. The stagnant life is transformed into a new vibrant vitality when man crosses the threshold of now into then.
The church, at least most people, because it sees this scripture in reference to time, misses the dynamic element of movement. Because the scripture is seen through the lens of time, the understanding can only be in reference to time. The obedient life moves from darkness to clarity in a process of continual conversion. If man cannot get through to clarity now, there is something he refuses to give up in order to get to then.
And now we live in faith, hope, and love. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. – John 1:4
The condition of the heart of the individual determines his or her perspectives; the result – man can only see a reflection of himself in his landscape. He must move through this dark landscape by going from now to then. Unless this now and then movement occurs as he journeys through his darkened landscape, man will continue to look at everything, but only seeing his own reflection, whatever his condition.
Like in an old carnival hall of mirrors he can see himself perfectly multiplied around him, but which direction to choose requires discernment. Man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God and unless he allows God to help Himself to his life, he cannot enter the kingdom, he can only see it.
The natural and spiritual must become one in man’s experience to enter the kingdom of God. He must enter through what the Spirit of God shows him in order to experience what he sees; otherwise he is left with only theory, or worse, stale doctrine and the personal life is void of knowing Him. It is not God’s design that man merely imagines about the things of God, but enters into them in his experience.
Until I get up off my seat and move into what I see as strange or awkward as that may be, my soul is robbed of experiencing God’s essence which is primarily that of movement.
Faith does not grow in the house of certainty.
Let me know what you think. . .to be cont’d