Things aren’t always what they appear to be. You can look at my car (a 2007 Pontiac G6) from a number of different angles – you can even ride in it – and it appears to be a hardtop. You can say “This car is a hardtop” – but you’d be mistaken!
I’ve found that something dramatic usually has to happen for us to change our mind…to come to see that something’s not what we thought it was.
My car is a hardtop convertible, it’s capable of being changed. If you weren’t familiar with my car, you wouldn’t believe it’s a convertible because what you see tells you differently.
Convertible means capable of being converted or changed (from one thing to a different thing).
What we think is true based on information we get from our five senses may not be true at all! For example, we may look at a person’s speech or actions and conclude, “That person is far from God. God will surely punish them forever because they’re so bad.” We can even believe that about ourselves because of what seems to be obvious to us.
However, God sees things differently. He’s not bound by time and space. While appearances may seem to say something to us, He sees what we can’t yet see…what is unseen, but true in the eternal realm.
About 2,000 years ago, God appeared to a man named Saul – who had been an extremely religious legalist. Saul was a brilliant religious leader who was one of the most learned religious leaders in his country…but most everything he believed were lies.
He believed what the religious leaders of his time told him…never suspecting that their beliefs were built on lies!
He knew about what he thought was god, but he didn’t know the real God at all.
Jesus personally taught Saul for several years, debunking religion’s lies and revealing God’s truth to him. Jesus changed his name to Paul and then inspired Paul to pass on these truths to us. He wrote two thirds of what we call the New Testament, including —
2 Corinthians 4:18 (MIRROR) We are not keeping any score of what seems so obvious to the senses on the surface; it is fleeting and irrelevant; it is the unseen eternal realm within us which has our full attention and captivates our gaze! (Until this moment God remained invisible to mankind; now the authentic begotten Son, the blueprint of mankind’s design who represents the innermost being of God, the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, brings Him into full view! He is the official authority qualified to announce God! He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us.)
2 Corinthians 3:18 (Parenthesis mine) The days of window-shopping are over! In Him (Christ) every face is unveiled. In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form, we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves! Every feature of His image is mirrored in us! This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are led from an inferior mindset to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity.
The “radical transformation” that Paul wrote about is similar to the change in a convertible today. The picture of the top opening up in my car is a great metaphor for our minds being convertible – being able to open up – be open to seeing things that we have never seen before! ~Paul Gray