And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
Man was created to worship. The question is; “What will be the object of man’s worship?” In his book Let Us Worship, Judson Cornwall states, “But while man is a worshiping being, he needs guidance in the choice of the object of his worship. For man, by worshiping, becomes assimilated into the moral character of the object which he worships as the standard of perfection.”
Cornwall goes on to share that history has proven that man becomes like the object he worships. The Scythians who overthrew Rome are a good example. Their chief gods were bloodthirsty and cruel hero-gods. They believed that one of their hero-gods killed himself after he had massacred much of the human race. Therefore, those who were not killed in battle frequently committed suicide fearing that to die a natural death would exclude them from the favor of their god Valhalla.
Another example can be found in Paul’s day in the city of Corinth. The Corinthians worshiped the goddess Venus, called Aphrodite by the Greeks. She was known as the goddess of love, but goddess of lust would best describe how she was worshiped. The most sacred people in the temple to Venus were the prostitutes who were consecrated for her worship.
The Psalmist understood the concept of becoming like the object being worshiped. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4-8 ESV)
Paul wrote to the Roman church, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV) Transformation comes as we spend time in God’s presence listening, studying and being obedient to his word and worshiping his person. Our minds are renewed to discern his will and to recognize and walk in everything that is good, acceptable and perfect. As we spend time gazing (setting our spiritual eyes) into his image (glory) our character becomes conformed to his character. The more time we spend in his presence through worship, prayer and bible study the more we are transformed into his image from one degree of glory to another.
Though worship is primarily for God, our worship cannot be perfected if we are not being transformed into his image. Transformation is a necessary benefit of worship. Our great hope is that God has predestined us to be conformed into the image of his son (Romans 8:29). He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV)
What is the focus of your gaze? Do you spend time gazing on the Father?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 25:15; 101:3; 119:37