Cover of My Utmost for His Highest
Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory fading away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. 17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. 18 And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect£ the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
When Moses came down Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, his face glowed from being in God’s presence (Exodus 34:29-35). Moses had to put on a veil to keep the people from being terrified by the brightness of his face and from seeing the radiance fade away. This veil illustrates the fading of the old system and the veiling of the people’s minds because of their pride, hardness of heart, and refusal to repent. The veil kept them from understanding references to Christ in the Scriptures. When anyone becomes a Christian, the veil is stripped off (3:16), giving eternal life and freedom from bondage. That person can then be like a mirror reflecting God’s glory.
Those who were trying to be saved by keeping the Old Testament law were soon tied up in rules and ceremonies. But now, through the Holy Spirit, God provides freedom from sin and condemnation (Romans 8:1). When I trust Christ to save me, he removes my heavy burden of trying to please him and my guilt for failing to do so. By trusting Christ I am loved, accepted, forgiven, and freed to live for him. “Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.”
The glory that the Spirit imparts to the believer is more excellent and lasts longer than the glory that Moses experienced. By gazing at the nature of God with unveiled minds, I can be more like him. In the Good News, I see the truth about Christ, and it transforms me morally as I understand and apply it. Through learning about Christ’s life, I can understand how wonderful God is and what he is really like. As my knowledge deepens, the Holy Spirit helps me to change. Becoming Christlike is a progressive experience (see Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:19; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2). The more closely I follow Christ, the more I will be like him.
As a minister of the New Covenant, Paul defended the sincerity of his ministry. Paul also illustrated that salvation when received by accepting the gospel rather than by trying to keep the Jewish Law.
The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives…. Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you, it is nearly always a good thing, the good that is not the best.
The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the open towards God…. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God…. Let other people criticize as they will, but never let anything obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God.
(From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)
My first reaction to people and circumstances tell who I really am. If someone cuts me off on the road, what is my first reaction? Trust in God. If someone corrects me, what is my first reaction? Let God handle it. What will be my first reactions to the people and places I encounter today. Which ones need a make-over? In God’s hands, probably none.
Who or what helped to remove the cobwebs which once veiled my “dull mind?” Experiencing the challenges of life.
What changes have I noticed since I “turned to the Lord?” Things work out for God’s best; and more and more for mine as I get closer.
Assured of my salvation by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you do not impose discipline on yourself for its own sake. Gaining mastery of yourself has no aim other than to render you more available. Let there be no useless asceticism; hold only to the works God commands. Cary the burdens of others, accept the petty injuries of each day, so as to share concretely in the sufferings of Christ: this is our first discipline.
You fear that a common rule may stifle your personality, whereas its purpose is to free you from useless shackles, so that you may better bear the responsibilities of the ministry and make better use of its boldness. Like every Christian, you must accept the tension between the total freedom given by the Holy Spirit and the impossibilities in which you find yourself due to your neighbor’s and your own fallen nature.
You would narrow your understanding of the Gospel if, for fear of losing your life, you were to spare yourself. Unless a grain of wheat dies, you cannot hope to see your own self open out in the fullness of Christian life.
- From The Rule of Taize by Br. Roger