The Constant Need for Renewal - The Warrior's Journey®

The Constant Need for Renewal

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing he end of what was passing away. …But 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 3:13, 18) 

The Old Testament account of Moses placing a veil over his face indicates that he did so because the Israelites were afraid of God’s glory that shone from his face (Exodus 34:29-35). Here Paul suggests that Moses had another motive for veiling his face. He wanted to hide the fact that the glory in his face was fading, i.e. that he was in “spiritual decline.” 

The concept of God’s people being in danger spiritual decline is rooted in Scripture. It’s exemplified in Moses’ fading glory, in Samson’s failure to sense that the Lord had departed from him (Judges 16:20), in David’s fall into adultery (2 Samuel 11-12), in Elijah’s depression (1 Kings 19:1-14), in Peter’s denial of Jesus (Matthew 26:41, 69-75), and in Judas’ apostasy (John 6:70-71). Christian believers cannot run on autopilot or live indefinitely on the strength of their conversion experience. 

If it were not possible for us to drift away from God, then why would James admonish us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)? When Paul states that we are being transformed into Christ’s image “from glory to glory,” he suggests that it takes place in stages. This transformation requires our returning to Him again and again to behold His transforming glory.   

There is no meal to end all meals nor is there any bath to end all baths. In the same way there is no single encounter with Christ to nullify the need for subsequent encounters. We are not renewed once for all, but day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Just as one of those plastic “glow in the dark” toys needs to spend time in the light if it is to shine in the dark, so we need to spend time with God. One experience in the light is not enough. We need to keep coming back to Jesus, otherwise our light will fade, as did Moses’. 

But in this process of returning to the Lord again and again, the glory of Jesus is transforming us – little by little.  Finally, that day will come when Christ appears and we shall see Him in His unveiled glory. When this happens our transformation will be complete (Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:1-2). 


  • How long can you go without praying or spending time in God’s presence, before you begin to falter and stumble? Do you really want to know the answer? 
  • Isn’t it best to remain in tune with God to avoid the misery of spiritual decline? 
  • Let’s abide in God’s embrace that we may always feel his love and presence. 

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