#146 "Show Me Your Glory"
May 6, 2008
"Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence."" (Exodus 33: 18-19)
The longer I live my life in love with Christ, the more I want to know Him. Not know about Him. I want to KNOW Him. I want to know everything there is to know and see everything that there is to see. I long for Him to meet with me and share His heart...His wisdom...His thoughts...what makes Him smile...what makes Him shed a tear. Best friends know each others secrets. I want to know the secrets of Christ. Just like He knows mine.
And I want to see His glory. I want to see Him as He is. Even if it's just a flash of lightning .. even if it's that brief, I know that I'll never be the same. I want to see Him in all of His splendor. Oh, to have been Isaiah and be able to say, "I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted." (Isaiah 6: 1) Or to have been with Peter, James and John up on the mountain and witness Christ transfigured. "His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them." (Mark 9: 2-3) That's what I'm talking about! Moses longed to see the glory of God and he right out asked Him for it. So did I. And what happened next was as close to being in front of the burning bush as I have ever come.
In the middle of a week of asking to see God's glory, I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who has cancer. She is undergoing treatment and many are praying for complete healing and restoration of her body. Myself included. I have never before in my life seen anyone wear cancer as well as this dear one wears it. She's not just enduring. She's enduring well. She actually seems to be thriving right in the midst of it all. I wish that I could share our entire conversation with you, but suffice it to say what I tell you next will knock your socks off. Someone told my friend that they will be disappointed if God doesn't heal her. And do you know what she said? Brace yourself...she said, "I'll be disappointed if He does." Instead of letting this disease get to her, she has let it get her closer to her Savior. She longs for the day she will be home in Heaven and see Him face to face in all of His glory. She has allowed Him to show Himself to her in ways she would've never seen Him without cancer.
I came away from my chat with her amazed. I've never seen anyone going through something so devastating so well. I shared with my man and my son not even realizing what was happening, until the next day. I pray as I tidy up the house in the morning, and I got to thinking about that glory thing again. I was on my knees (not in prayer, but fixing a rug) and I asked God again to give me just a glimpse of His glory. And in my spirit I heard these words, "I did Donna...last night, when you talked to Phillis." Let me tell you, it's a good thing my shoes were off, because at that moment, I was on holy ground. My knees were stuck to the carpet and my cheeks were wet with tears. The night before, when I listened to someone who is literally walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and fearing no evil because His rod and His staff comfort her....I was witness to the glory of God!
In 2008 we don't get very many angelic visitations. We aren't led with clouds by day and pillars of fire by night. The Shekinah glory of the Lord doesn't visibly fill our homes or our churches so that we can't draw near. I sure do wish it would, don't you? But, oh, my friend...His glory is all around and all about us. And the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to it if we will just have eyes to see.
Embracing this new concept made me realize that the whole earth is truly filled with God's glory. I see it in the ex-heroin addict who is now free and loving her Lord Christ, with all of her being. I see it when she serves others and shares His love with those who are not yet delivered. I see His glory in the contemporary Christian artist who sinned some years back, and whose life was in shambles, and now has been forgiven and restored, and is serving Christ with his life again. That's the glory of God and nothing less! God's glory rests all over Ophelia, who I wrote about some time ago. A woman who sat against the wall when I preached and could scarcely look anyone in the eye...a woman who now says that she, for the first time in her life, feels like a human being. For goodness sake, what did she feel like before?! But now, she stands straight and tall, sure of who she is in Christ. Sure that she is beautiful in His sight and that she is His love! Changed by His love and reflecting His glory. God's glory is all over my pastor, whose ashes have been turned into beauty. He leads our flock well because he lets Christ lead him. As the head is, so is the body and because of his love for Christ and for other people, I am privileged to be a part of a body of believers known throughout the community for their love.
Glory is not something that someone gives another as a quality of importance. Glory is that side of God which we can see, which we can recognize and to which we can respond in worship and praise. It can be seen in a sunrise. It can be heard in the trees rustling in the wind. It can be as loud as thunder or as soft as the whisper of a spouse's "I love you" in your ear. It's in a longing fulfilled and it's in peace while we wait. God's glory is in a baby's cry or it can be felt while holding the hand of a dying parent. It's in the pride we feel for a child's accomplishments and in the unconditional love we can give them when they fail. God's glory is in a warm place to be in the winter and in the song of a bird in the spring. It's in the vastness of the ocean and in the kind words of a friend at just the right time. It's in all of the "I forgive yous", all of the "I'm proud of yous" and all of the "I love yous" that touch your heart. Open your eyes. Open your ears. God's glory is all around. Can't you just see it?
"Oh, praise the Lord! "This earth is crammed with heaven!" Oh, praise the Lord! And, Christian, look around! For every bush you pass with fire is flaming, and every spot you tread is holy ground." (Anne Ortlund)
Take off your shoes....for the place you are standing is holy ground.
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