2 Corinthians 3: 18 tells us that ‘by beholding we become changed’: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Jesus is indeed our focus, and as we see Him more clearly, He changes us into becoming more and more like Him."
However, as frail human beings and Christians, we know all too well that our biggest battle is against our own desires and inclinations. Ellen White put both realities together clearly: “By beholding we become changed into His likeness. We must get out of self, and become one with Christ.” (EGW L&M, Vol.17, para.13 (1902).
The danger is that people who think they are on ‘solid ground’ in this world are actually treading in "quicksand." For instance, when Jesus told the disciples that the elders and chief priests would kill Him, Peter rebuked Jesus, saying “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to you” (Matt 16: 23). Jesus turned and said to Peter “Get behind me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Another key example was when Saul (Paul) was on the road to the synagogues of Damascus to destroy all those pesky Christians, a bright light from heaven surrounded him, and the voice of Jesus said to him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
The take away from these and many other biblical examples is that those who persecute genuine
Christians think that they are doing God a favor by driving them out and/or destroying them. (Proverbs 14: 12-16): “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
These all tell us that there is no “middle ground”. Either you are under the influence of God and the Holy Spirit or you are in the camp of the enemy. The difficulty for Peter and Paul was that they thought they were operating in God’s camp, when really they were operating in Satan’s camp. Looking at my own life, I have spent far too much time in the wrong camp, and didn’t even realize it. However, when I look away from self and the world around me, and focus instead on our savior Jesus, then He changes me and makes me suitable for His service! Both Peter and Paul saw that they were in the wrong camp, and came to realize their own great need of Jesus… and we will be able to meet them in Heaven for a first-hand account. God bless each of you today.