“…Moses’ face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.” -2 Corinthians 3:7-12

As I read this passage I was struck by how we as Christians experience Jesus Christ much like the Israelites experienced God in the Old Testament.

Moses face faded!

Here is this Man of God called to be used like no man had ever been called.

To deliver God people from Slavery!

(To see the story of Moses encounter with Yahweh turn to Exodus 33:20-22)
Moses had seen Gods back. Or more accurately in the Hebrew it translates somewhat like “Where God had just been” Not even the back of God’s head, but where the actual presence of God himself was, the place He just stepped away from. I like to think Moses saw Yahweh’s newly formed foot print.

This is the closest any man in the history of the Earth had come to seeing God…EVER! Now this is a mountain top experience, literally and figuratively!

Moses had been so close to God that his face was shining, his face was transfigured! Now that is an experience you would think he would be carrying with him the rest of his life. I would think Moses would be changed from the inside out. Totally renewed and changed for the better. Now he was going to do things right, …totally.

Scripture says: “For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.” 

It was already fading! As Moses walked down that mountain the experience was already fading, the change in him was disappearing to a degree. The Israelites who could not even look at Moses in the face, who could barely experience a tenth of Gods presence, had to rely of Moses experience to affect them. And I am sure it did, but it faded away to a happy memory. It did not stay; it did not reside in their hearts like an experience like that should. The Jewish people had seen many miracles previous to this and would see much more after. But none of these experiences made a lasting effect in their hearts.

Is this like us, as Holy Spirit filled Christians? The mountain top experience of being saved! We come out of it with tear stained eyes and this glow, this unearthly happiness. But all to often it fades more and more each day. Until the next experience, recommitment, a missions trip, a Christian conference or retreat.

Why does this happen? We have the Holy Spirit! That is supposed to keep us on fire, which is supposed to keep us from fading. Right?

Is that what 2 Corinthians 3 says? It talks about the new covenant (Jesus Christ saving us and giving us a relationship with God through Him, the Holy Spirit coming into our hearts) being much better then the old (the law, the ten commandments).

One verse comes to mind: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” –Revelation 12:11

Testimony! Do you ever notice that when you speak about Christ, all the amazing experiences, all the blessings come back to you with great zeal? Oh yes you become bold for Christ when you talk about the good things He has done for you.

Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.”- 2 Corinthians 3: 12

When we share our testimony or talk about Christ we are being bold, knowing we are part of this new way, where we have the Holy Spirit living in us. Knowing we have a personal relationship with Christ and that every good thing in our lives comes from Him.

Our faces light up again! I do not see that in the Old Testament, the Israelites need miracle after miracle after miracle and still they fade and fade. 

We do not need outward miracles. Because something has happened in our hearts, we have the Holy Spirit; we are saved that is the only miracle anyone ever needs. (Yes I still believe Christ does miracles in our age and expect God to do miracles in our lives, just to clarify)

We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory,” – 2 Corinthians 3:13

We are to share the good new of Christ openly, not covering it up; or filtering out what we are afraid people may not want to hear. That is part of sharing our testimony that is part of keeping this fire bright in our hearts.

Be bold, be honest and true, keeping none of the Good News secret.

But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.” – 2 Corinthians 3:14-15

People you speak to about Christ will not necessarily understand that you are speaking LIFE, to our generation (yes even today this is true, not just to fundamental Judaism) when they hear Jesus they hear rules and restrictions, not new life and freedom. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can remove the veil from their hearts and only when Christ saves them will they understand the new way of life that you have experienced and are speaking. 

Keep your fire strong and keep on boasting about Christ no matter what walls are put in your way.

Be bold, be honest and persevere through trials.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” -2 Corinthians 3: 16-18

We are an unveiled people, we are the image of the invisible (Col. 1:15), and we are to reflect His glory.

Christ has given us a free will, we freely came to Christ and asked for salvation, and it’s up to us to come to Him in prayer and reading of the Scripture. Its also our choice if we are going to allow the Holy Spirit to light up our faces as we choose to speak of Salvation and the good things Christ has done for us in our lives.

The apostle Paul’s one and only fear was to be set aside, to be put on a shelf, not allowing the Holy Spirit to use him for the purpose in which he was called. 

This is what the fading of our faces looks like in this day and age. We as a generation have based our faith on the mountain top experiences. We have said to our selves “I am saved, the Holy Spirit resides in me, I should be glowing here in the corner of my house….Ok God lets see what you can do, I am done doing anything.”

We forget we still have free choice. God is not a cowboy whipping his children like a horse, moving them forward. He has given us His Holy Spirit, to gently nudge us; He has given us his word to guide us. We must act; we must use our free choice to speak up and the Holy Spirit will light our hearts on fire again and again.

The curtain has been torn and the veil has been removed. We are part of a new way, a generation of believers who reflect the bright Son.

Bold, Honest and Persevering believers!

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One Comment

  1. Thanks Byron! I really like your comment about how sharing our testimony helps enbolden us and to reflect God's glory, to keep from fading!
    That is so true, when we relive our experiences by sharing them with oher believers it encourages everyone and it allows God to shine through us even more!
    One thing I would love to chat about sometime is the boldness of sharing with not-yet believers. We need to be active listeners and allow the Holy Spirit to show us where the other person is at… sometimes that is just talking mucis or sports and sometimes that is going deeper, but it is important to follow the spirit and not our own will and judgement. It is hard to find the balance between just being surface and the other extreme of burning bridges by pounding the whole gosple story over their heads and down their throats when they are not in the place to hear it (and ruining future opportunities to share with them)… that is a whole other topic that we can chat about sometime!
    But, well written, thanks for sharing!

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