We become what we behold
Since heaven is our true home, us humans can't help but long to be where we were belong....
That's why all throughout history, we see example after example of people trying to make a paradise for themselves. Our hearts subconsciously crying out for Eden, we make attempt after attempt to create our idea of heaven on earth - only to fail miserably. In the book of Genesis, God reveals to us why by telling us about the tower of Babel; the most lofty of human ideals could never reach high enough, when we are outside the will and presence of God....
I didn't come to know our true living God until this year, and my heart had traveled all over the planet trying to find 'paradise on earth'. A place with the perfect people, the perfect culture, and the perfect life...
But no matter how far east or west I traveled, and no matter how amazing all the 'counter culture' communities seemed when I first encountered them, sooner or later I would recognize they were all riddled with the same issues of the world around them, the world that they were trying to get away from. Turns out the world around us is an exact replica of the world inside us, when we are not submitted to the God who made the heavens and the earth. When we try and create a better world but we don't stop to bow down to our own selfish desires first, lust, greed, envy, and plain selfishness still rule the day.
Here at YWAM Amsterdam, and living in much closer proximity to a lot more people than we did in the 'love and light' communities where the high walls of our villas would keep others at a safe distance, I get to firsthand experience a foretaste of what God had in mind when He created us to live and work together for His kingdom.
When regenerated hearts all facing the exact same direction, looking at the face of Christ rather than to ourselves, come together, miracles happen.
We become what we behold, and Jesus urged us to behold Him because only He gave us the example that we should follow and only He has the power to break us free from the propensity to put our own needs first, and instead, love our neighbor as ourselves. When we love our neighbors as ourselves, we don't lust after them, we are not concerned with whom is most popular or has the most money, and we don't gossip about them. When we don't look to ourselves, but to Christ, as the standard, we enter into a reality that is alien to this world; a reality where everybody is loved and accepted equally.
We won't ever reach perfection this side of eternity, but all having tasted the reality awaiting us, and having a bit of heaven living inside of us, we are all eager to live as if we were already there.... Hallelujah!
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
2 Corinthians 3:18