When fear of the coronavirus first appeared on the scene, I began to hear these words piecing my heart. As our world began its journey with social distancing and sheltering in place, I heard it again. Then while tempers flared into riots and chaos, Apostle John’s simple words pounded in my soul a third time: “As He is, so also are you” (1 John 4:19).
As He is, I am?
I wondered, “How can this be?” Have you ever wondered the same?
His whisper rests gently upon our souls: “Not as I was once, but as I am now.”
Our childish hearts may thrill with a glimpse of our flannel-graph Jesus walking the dusty roads of Samaria and climbing the grassy knolls of Galilee. His brow damp. His clothes dirty, and His feet dusty. We relate to this Body on earth that held “no stately form or majesty.” We can identify with this One, Whose outer appearance drew no attention to Himself (Isaiah 53:2).
But our desperate need is to look at Him as He is now. To move past our Gospel depiction of Christ and see Him as He is today, in this instant. No longer disfigured and marred, He is now brilliant in glory and power (Isaiah 52:14; Revelation 1:12-17). Humanity no longer dims His Light; His head glistens like snow, and His eyes look out at us like flames of fire. His feet radiate a dazzling brilliance like that of fine brass while His face shines “like the brightness of the blinding sun” (Revelation 1:15-16 Passion Translation).
Here is Jesus as He is now: bright, luminous, intense, and resplendent. Dominant, powerful, majestic, and mighty. Pause to let His grandeur fill your view. Focus your gaze upon Him with wide-open eyes as his magnificence fills all you can see.
Now gradually look intently at His posture. No longer seated to wait, He rises, leaning forward toward our world. He stands, not upon clouds or even within heavenly realms, but stands, no walks amidst the lampstands, who are His church (Revelation 1:12-13;20; 2:1). He is here among us. Not an absent fiancé, but He is an ever-present betrothed, consumed with His bride’s well-being and moving among her in light, purity, and righteousness (meditate on other “as He is” verses — 1 John 1:7, 3:3,7).
Mere knowledge about Him cannot suffice. No amount of study will transform us into His image. We need revelation. As we “see Him as He is,” then we shall be like Him. It is in the full vision of Him “as He is,” that we transform to be like Him (1 John 3:2).
Exalt in the crisis that you have experienced, for He can use our fear, stress, and uncertainty to stimulate His change. See Him as He is now, in His full splendor and power, because when we see Him, His glow within us reveals Himself to the world.
Our world desperately needs an outpouring of His Spirit. Will you turn your eyes upon Jesus, to look full in His wonderful face? He is here in our midst, ready to make Himself known as He is today. Let’s see Him, just as He is, so that as He is, we too can be in this world.