When I first arrived in Moscow to start my new job, I realized something immediately. I was not in Kansas anymore. Not that I have ever lived in Kansas, but I did arrive in the middle of winter. It was cold, especially coming from Atlanta. Upon arriving at the office on my first day, I was greeted warmly and ushered to my new office. Sitting on the desk was a matryoshka doll. We call them nesting dolls because there are many dolls nested inside each other. I have seen some that have 15 or 20 dolls inside each other. Though the standard doll will have 5 to 6 layers.
The matryoshka doll is decidedly Russian and is a favorite souvenir of tourists. So it was a delight to receive one on my first day. I found it fun to open the lid and find the next doll inside. I was intrigued by layer upon layer of doll. Some were the same design, just a bit smaller to fit inside of each other. While others had different designs, so you really did not know what you would get. Finally you get to the heart of the Matryoshka doll and it is always different than the top layer doll. Even if all of the other layers are the same, the smallest doll, the heart of the matryoshka will be different.
I find the matryoshka doll a great metaphor for any Christian who is actively seeking a relationship with Jesus. As we go deeper with Jesus, as we seek direction from Holy Spirit, we are changed. We are transformed into the image of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT) we are told, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
I get giddy when I think about my spirit connecting with the Spirit of the Lord and He reveals mysteries to me. He shows me what weighs me down and keeps me in chains. He provides insights on ways I can be more like Him. In fact, Paul tells us as we begin living as Jesus lived, we get our minds transformed (Romans 12:1-2). As we seek His presence and interact with Him on a routine basis, we become something new. Of course, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become new creations (2 For 5:17). So that takes the first layer of doll off. Overtime, as we renew our minds, as we draw closer to Jesus, as we seek to be like Christ, we take more and more layers off. Until finally we are changed into His image. At the heart of each of us is the image of Christ. We will each look different when we allow Jesus to completely transform us. We will no longer look like the first outer doll of the matryoshka.
This transformation is available to everyone! Now that is good news. The process may not be nearly as fun as opening the matryoshka dolls. However, the end result is worth it. Today, press into God and ask Holy Spirit to help you take off the layers so the world can see Jesus in you.