Jn.4:16-18 – Jesus said, “Go get your husband and bring him back here.”
“But I’m not married,” the woman answered.
“That’s true,” Jesus said, “for you’ve been married five times and now you’re living with a man who is not your husband. You have told the truth.”
Do you remember when you first saw the real you? No, I am not talking about some motivational talking point about seeing the winner in the mirror. What I am talking about is the second revelation that comes from the Holy Spirit that brings us into His light. The first is when we see Christ in His goodness and His greatness. That is the first work of the Holy Spirit, revealing Christ to our hearts. The second work is really what happens in light of this glimpse of His greatness, we see our sinfulness and our need for salvation.
I remember clearly when this first broke into my life. I was sitting at my table in Slidell, with a picture of the crucifixion (my landlord must have been a Christian) staring me in the face. As I looked at this picture I began to see the hypocrisy of my heart. I had a high standard of behavior I expected of everyone else and I saw how I wasn’t close to meeting these standards myself. I was a sinner and I needed Christ to be my Savior. That is the work of the Spirit opening our lives up to His goodness. Here is how Barclay describes this when describing the woman at the well and her being convicted of her sin.
“She was suddenly compelled to face herself and the looseness and immorality and total inadequacy of her life. There are two revelations in Christianity: the revelation of God and the revelation of ourselves. We never really see ourselves until we see ourselves in the presence of Christ; and then we are appalled at the sight. There is another way of putting it – Christianity begins with a sense of sin. It begins with the sudden realization that life as we are living it will not do. We awake to ourselves and we awake to our need of God.”
This is the beginning of our transformation into worshippers. One moment we are defensive, deflecting all blame away from ourselves. The next moment we are in a state of repentance, changed by the convicting work of the Spirit. This is how the Lord transforms us into worshippers.