We were camping at a beautiful little campground in Crossville, Tennessee, Spring Lake RV Resort.
Although the fall colors were not yet in their fullest, it was clear that they would be brilliant very soon.
In the morning, the cool air held the promise of a beautiful day as we sat eating breakfast looking out at the lake.
In the evening, the air was crisp, requiring a shawl for me, as Bill and I sat on the swing and looked at the stars through the hanging pine branches overhead.
One of the most relaxing and mesmerizing sights for us was watching the fountain in the center of the lake that began its work about 9 in the morning and continued, nonstop, until dark.
Having worked on a number of water cases during my law practice, I am well aware of the importance of aerating lakes and ponds so that the water does not stagnate and cause all sorts of problems in the environment. So I understood the reason for the fountain.
But having knowledge of the characteristics of lakes and ponds and the variations of fountains and aeration systems did not eliminate the mesmerizing magic of watching the water shooting into the air, of seeing the mist going higher than the water itself, and then following the arc of the water spouts as they turned and plummeted to the lake’s surface.
In the morning, as the sun rose over the lake, the fountain became even more hypnotizing when its reflection became apparent.
While thinking about the reflection in the lake, I also thought about how Scripture says we are to reflect the image of Christ to those with whom we come in contact.
We have just completed a 25 week series on the Fruit of the Spirit in this blog. As I often noted in discussing the fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to grow, nourish and blossom in our hearts, minds and souls, the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s is to transform us into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In short, we are to reflect Jesus Christ to those we meet during our day.
Paul says we are not to conform to the world but we are to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, see Romans 12:2:
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.
In Romans 8:29, Paul describes the transformation that occurs in the Christian through the Holy Spirit when he says:
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
The reflection of the fountain in the lake is not the same thing as the fountain itself. The reflection has no power of its own; it cannot make an impact on the lake because it is just a reflection.
Likewise, when we speak of “conformed to the image of his Son” we are not talking about physically looking like Jesus. Nor do we have any power of our own, like the fountain reflection; we can do nothing apart from the source of our power, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Rather, we are Jesus’ image bearers to our world. We are to have the same attitudes and spirit of the Lord. What matters to Him should matter to us. His response to people should be our response to people. His sacrificial compassion should be evident in how we treat others, putting their needs ahead of our own at all times.
But, we cannot do it on our own because we are sinful and God’s way is totally counter-cultural and against the ways of the world. On our own, we are like the reflection of the fountain – powerless. We must be transformed before we can do Christ’s work in the world.
That required transformation comes by the work of the Holy Spirit, so we should cherish the development of the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts because that is evidence that we are growing in our Christian walk. Then, when we are walking in the Spirit and the Holy Spirit is working on our transformation into the likeness of the Lord, we will be able to impact our world for the glory of God.
The challenge – don’t be just a powerless mirror reflection of our Lord, one who says words without faith in action; one who does good deeds without telling of Jesus. Connect to the power of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform your heart and mind into the image of our Lord. Then you will have His power to spread the Good News of the Gospel to those you meet throughout your day.
Father, forgive me when I have failed to reflect your love to others, when I have neglected the needs of those around me, when I have put myself ahead of others on my list of importance! Transform me from a powerless reflection into the vital image of your Son through the continuing work of the Holy Spirit so that I can be an effective witness of your power, grace, mercy and love. May I spread your Gospel to others through your leading and your strength.