One of those Shabbat days, I was standing in worship and feeling desperate, I felt also the worship team was making a great effort to usher God’s presence. Everything seemed to be standing still. My heart longing again for the touch of God, asking: Father, how long will I thirst for Your Presence and people of this city falling in love with You? For a second wondered, are we all hungry and thirsty to hear from Him? Do we really desire His glory move where we are? Often, in the struggle of daily life and in the face of many challenges, we long to replicate what happened in the Book of Acts. However, times and culture have changed, there is only one way- calling on Him for a radical change in us!
In that still moment of a silent cry, suddenly I heard Him saying: “Reformation!” My heart leaped, I heard from the Father! Wait, what He means?! Reformation?! Well, for sure I will not be a next Martin Luther or John the Baptist!
As I went home that day, I pondered on the word that I heard. Then, a well- known Scripture was highlighted to me: The Transfiguration of Yeshua! I read in Mark 9:2-7:
(…) Yeshua took Kefa, Ya‘akov and Yochanan and led them up a high mountain privately. As they watched, he began to change form and his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than anyone in the world could possibly bleach them. Then they saw Eliyahu and Moshe speaking with Yeshua. Kefa said to Yeshua, “It’s good that we’re here, Rabbi! Let’s put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moshe and one for Eliyahu.” (He didn’t know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud enveloped them; and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Yeshua.
Matthew 17:5-7 gives us a slightly different account:
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the talmidim heard this, they were so frightened that they fell face down on the ground. But Yeshua came and touched them. “Get up!” he said, “Don’t be afraid.”
As I read these Scriptures over and over again, suddenly, God’s presence swiped all over me. Yes, here it is the key to reformation! The transforming splendour of God’s presence! The three disciples enveloped in the glory cloud surely, did not expect it, tired, waking up from their sleep. And yet, the Father has decided to show up to the closest friends of Yeshua because of their willingness to go with Him.
Initially shocked at the sight of Yeshua in dazzling light, Peter suggested to build a sukkah for each one: Yeshua, Moses and Elijah. It could have been a well meant move to celebrate and contain the moment of worship. Nevertheless, the moving cloud of glory and pillar of fire never let the people to build a permanent abide. Here, on Mt Tabor, the cloud of God’s glory, prompted Peter, James and John to simply fall face down in amazement and fear. Even though Yeshua encouraged them not to be afraid, this encounter had changed their lives. The fear of God they had experienced was bringing reformation in their perception of reality and surrender to the voice of the Father calling them to follow His Son.
Without challenging our knowledge and habits we can be absolutely stuck in the way live our lives, even as believers. Oftentimes, circumstances of life lie to us in order to keep us in ordinary, not daring to take a step forward in believing for God’s radical move.
I had one more thought- Peter, James and John represent something deeper here! They are not only the three witnesses needed to confirm the divinity and prophetic destiny of Yeshua. There was a depth and meaning to their characters!
Peter, even though he was impulsive in nature, was the first one who had the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah (Matt 16:13-15)! The same Peter was martyred during the reign of emperor Nero and crucified head-down, at his own request. What radical love of our Lord he had shown, willing to follow the Messiah for the price of his life! Because of revelation!
James represents faith and boldness. He immediately responded to call of abandoning his life and following Yeshua (Matt 4:18-22). He was bold enough, together with his brother John, and asked to be seated at Yeshua’s right and left hand in His Kingdom (Matt 20:20-28). James became a first martyr who was executed by the sword at the order of Herod, not afraid to pay the price for believing in His best friend and Master- Yeshua.
Finally, John represents intimacy. His name, Johannan, can mean Yahweh Has Been Gracious. John was one of the closest friends and followers of Yeshua, described as leaning on Yeshua’s chest during last supper( John 13:33); took care of His mother after crucifixion, and spoke in incredible tone of love towards believers!
Those incredible ingredients to relationship with God are well known, but how easy we forget them in daily battles we face! We have institutionalised, rationalised and routinised our faith for long enough. Oftentimes, we catch ourselves in doubt, not connecting to the Father. However, the attitudes of Peter, James and John encourage us to pursuit intimacy, obedience and expectation even in a state of weariness and tiredness.
The Father will not disappoint us, He is always ready to share His heart with us when we share ours, healing our wounds in order to flow through us and open our ears to hear Yeshua’s voice. It is worth the time, sacrifice and tears as well its rewards!
I believe that the Transfiguration encounter of the disciples is challenging all of us to abide in the cloud of Glory that will infuse us with faith and revelation. Let it be then, communities transformed according to the measure of His supernatural faith in us and ours in what He can do!