Last year I was able to read the entirety of the Bible over 365 days. While I am definitely grateful that I did so, I can honestly say I didn’t learn much from what I read other than bigger themes and general concepts per each book of the Bible. Definitely something I would recommend to try if you have not already done so because it taught me great discipline in my reading habits. However, over the year, it transformed itself into something I needed to check off my list. I realized that my heart was not always into it.
This year, however, I have decided to slow down my scripture readings and really dig into passages before moving on to the next. I realized what I was lacking with my “Bible in a Year” plan was prayer and meditation. So I am slowing way down and am beginning my year in 2 Corinthians. I am only in chapter 3 after almost a month, but I have learned so much already.
The passage below is what I am currently meditating on. I love the imagery in this section. When we begin a relationship with Christ, we cross from Death into Life. The image here is a veil being lifted from us. When I first read this, the picture that came to mind was a wedding veil. I imagined a father lifting his daughter’s veil to give her away. At this point in the wedding, you get your first glimpse of the bride and how beautiful she looks. Before the veil, our view was obstructed but, with the veil removed, we can see her face and all it’s glowing! I encourage you to apply this image to the passage below as you read it.
“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
What I have come to realize as I pursue Christ is that I tend to let the world get in the way and put “veils” over certain areas of my life. In Christ we are supposed to experience freedom, but I know for me I let things hold me captive from true freedom found in our Lord. I let things consume my thoughts and eventually take over pieces of my heart.
One of the best things I have learned is to share with others in my shortcomings. Accountability is huge on the road to freedom. There are certain areas of captivity that may not always manifest themselves in public. The only way to expose darkness is to shed light on it. One of the biggest obstacles I have to battle daily isn’t something that others could notice about me because it’s something invisible that I fight. I had to make my invisible struggles visible to those I trust and because of doing so I have been able to “lift the veil” on this area of captivity in my life. A battle is never won being alone, so I encourage you to find someone who will “fight” your battles with you!
Light destroys darkness. What better way to conquer the dark in your life than to invite the Light of this World into it? I encourage you to find areas in your life that hold you captive and hinder you from experiencing the freedom found in Christ. What areas are you putting under a veil?
I have learned so much through praying consistently throughout a single week. If you are unsure as to what may be holding you captive, pray about it! If I can give you any advice at all from what I’ve learned from my weaknesses, it is that prayer isn’t just something we have to do, it’s something we NEED to do. Communication is the only way any relationship will ever continue to move forward, and that’s exactly what God wants from us! Not only will God direct you to areas you need to break free from, but He will guide you through them and you will experience so much peace through the journey knowing that it is God’s will.
If you haven’t done so yet, take time to pray about the areas you think are holding you captive or pray that God would reveal those to you. I also want to ask you to take some time to think about those in your life who you know still have veil-covered faces and pray for them. Christ came to save us all so the freedom we experience through him is available to all! Pray for those people in your life to have those veils removed and that they would experience the fullness of Christ through a life free of captivity!
Walking with Christ and learning what it means to be transformed into His image has been the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. I’ve tasted the things of this world, experienced hardship, heartbreak, valleys, and trials. Christ has remained constant through it all. His peace transcends all this world can possibly provide and it’s taken me quite some time to learn this. I will never fully grasp the concept, but I know that through prayer I can walk more and more closely with my Savior and learn exponentially more about what it means to be infinitely loved.
As you take time to yourself and think over all of this I encourage you to listen to this song off of Hillsong Worship’s newest album OPEN HEAVEN.