The Greatest Impediment to My Own Awakening


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Luke 9:28–33 (NIV)

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)


Speaking of Transfiguration Mountain: Who knew where this journey would lead us! Who could have imagined what would be now unfolding—not only in this country but now in the world as a result of this outpouring of the overwhelming, never ending holy love of God in this tiny town of Wilmore, Kentucky. 

Transfiguration. Luke tells us “the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” It feels as though Luke is trying to tell us something like, “The face of Jesus began to shine with the luminosity of a thousand suns.” It was like a pulling back of some kind of veil, granting a rarified vision to those few most trusted disciples. The actual word for “transfiguration” doesn’t appear in Luke’s Gospel but is taken from Matthew and Mark. The Greek term is metamorphic. It conveys two senses. First is the notion of “to change after being with.” Second, it conveys the sense of the outer appearance reflecting the inner reality. 

I have always thought of this event we call “The Transfiguration” as a kind of, “Now for something completely different” kind of moment in the story of Jesus. When asking the question I used to ask when I read the Bible—”How does this apply to my life?”—I came up empty. Like, what difference does it really make that Peter, James, and John witnessed this scene? Good for them, right? But not much there for us . . . until this time up the mountain. I’m learning to ask a different question when I read the Bible. A better question, I think might be (at least a less self-oriented question): Why might this be in the Bible? And what is being revealed here? 

As a result, this time up the mountain I am seeing something I have never seen before. It is in this most unusual term: metamorphoo. More specifically, it is the other two places in the Bible where this word appears.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but (metamorphoo) be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2a; emphasis mine)

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are (metamorphoo) being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Here is the most obvious, self-evident, and yet so often hidden epiphany for me (and maybe even for you) today:

To be with Jesus is to be transformed.

To be with Him is to become like Him. 

This is what has been so stunningly simple about these last seven days in Wilmore, Kentucky. I have quite humbly and very simply been with Jesus in a way that has changed me. I am bringing nothing. He is bringing everything.

While this has been an extraordinary gathering, there is nothing here that was not available to me the day before I arrived. I didn’t even need to come here to receive it. I just needed to wake up. It brings me to the other surprising discovery in plain view in the text on this ascent:

Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory. 

As I have said a thousand times now, the greatest barrier to my own awakening is I’m pretty sure I’m already awake. 

There is always so much more of the glory of Jesus we don’t know than we do know. And there always will be—until the end . . . which will turn out to be the beginning.

And if you don’t understand that—I can’t explain it, because I barely grasp it either.


Thank you Jesus. Thank you. Amen. 


Do you long for more of Jesus; to know Him more? Have you told him? Will you? 


Because I’m writing this only a few hours before it will show up in your inbox, I’m turning to one of our favorites—and because its an incredible and simple song: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. Yes, JD, I too desire to become like Jesus, that is, to reflect the glory of the invisible Father. I would like it said of me as it was said of Peter and John after their interrogation by the Sanhedrin: When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

  2. I woke up this morning with two transforming thoughts being formed in my mind and in my heart. Both apply to metamorphoo.

    Your inside edition
    Matters the most.
    Always make your heart
    A humble host
    For the risen Jesus!

    If churches were continually focused on the living Jesus, always cultivating His presence, and ever surrendered to His authority, people wouldn’t feel the need to drive miles to a revival!

  3. I am but a humble spirit who’s lost within myself. The world tugged and pulled at me as I searched for answers to be free. I knocked, I searched, I kept asking, then I gave in, and that’s when Jesus walked in. And I was transformed. The world still tugs and pulls at me, but I hold on to the hem of Jesus’s robe. Then I realize it is Him holding on to me knowing I’m one of the lost sheep.
    Staying 💪’n The Lord.

  4. J.D., Your comment that there is so much more of the glory of Jesus that we don’t know than we do, reminded me of a comment that I heard about J.C. McPheeters many years ago. It was said that he was always one of the first people at the altar because he was ready for more of Jesus or the next deeper step. It always reminded me that there is more to seek of Jesus. I think this is what you were writing about.

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