John Owen on appreciating Christ’s glory

In his book, The Glory of God, John Owen gives advice for appreciating the glory of Christ as God’s representative.

1. Make up your mind that to behold the glory of God by beholding the glory if Christ is the greatest privilege which is given to believers in this life. This is the dawning of heaven. It is the first taste of that heavenly glory which God has prepared for us, for this is eternal life, to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom he has sent’ (John 17:3). (22-23)

2. … We are not so foolish as to think we can learn a trade without the diligent use of helps. Shall we think that we may become spiritually skilful and wise in the understanding of this mystery without making any real effort to use the helps God has given us? The most important of them is fervent prayer. Pray with Paul that ‘the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened to behold’ the glory of God in Christ.  Pray that the ‘God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him’. Fill your minds with spiritual thoughts of Christ. Lazy souls do not get the tiniest sight of this glory. The ‘lion in the way’ deters them from making the slightest effort. (23)

3. Learn how to behold the glory of Christ by remembering how you once set your mind on worldly things. Sinful, unregenerate people filled with lustful desires continually think about and conjure up in their minds those objects which satisfy their desires until their ‘eyes become full of adulteries, and they cannot cease from sinner’. If they work as hard as that to feed their lusts, shall we not work just as hard in beholding that which transforms our minds into Christ’s likeness, so that the eyes of our understanding shall be continually fill with his glory? (24)

This last paragraph is full of insight. When I think how I sometimes foster my sinful desires, I can see how I might foster Spirit-inspired desires.