The glory of the Lord is the most awesome and yet probably one of the most misunderstood realities upon this earth. The Bible talks about the glory of the Lord many times in both the Old and New Testaments, and yet it remains only a vague doctrine to most Christians. The truth is, the glory of God should be a central focus in the church and our desire to see and understand it should be upmost in our hearts and minds. Hab. 2:4 says “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” That’s a lot of knowledge! If God wants that much knowledge on a subject, he must really want us to know about it.
In Exodus 33:12 to 17, Moses contended for God’s presence to go with them as a nation. We need to contend for the presence of God in our lives and our church services. The truth is, there are many churches that rarely seek or even desire God’s presence in their services, and whether or not He shows up, they have church anyway. This is sad. But Moses contended for God’s presence to go with him. In verse 17 God responds by saying that “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” Now you would have thought that Moses would have quit right there, but he didn’t. I believe that he was waiting for this moment his whole life. Yes, he wanted God’s presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater. He wanted to SEE God’s glory. He said, “Please, show me Your glory.” What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he wanted the manifest presence of God, or we could say, the presence of God MADE KNOWN to him.
If Moses could see the glory of God, I believe that as a child of God I can see the glory too. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 it says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The Bible also tells us where we can find the knowledge of the glory of God. 2 Cor. 4:6 says, ” For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST.” (Italics mine) Spending time alone beholding Him and worshipping Him will cause you to have a greater and greater hunger for His presence and His revealed glory in your life. Seeing Him in the Word and crying out for the reality of God in your life will bring you into glorious experiences with Him.
I remember one of the first times I met Todd Bentley. He lived a couple of blocks away from me in Abbotsford, B.C. He would spend extended times in his room with the Lord. At first it was an hour or two. Then four hours. Then eight hours, and sometimes twelve hours alone with God, just beholding him and spending time with him. Without him even knowing it, people passing by would fall down under the weight of glory that would come out of the room. When he would minister to people, tremendous signs and wonders would occur as the glory of God would fall and fill the room. Spending time in the glory of God will bring you into face to face encounters that will change the world around you. When Moses returned from seeing the glory of God the skin of his face shone so brightly that he had to cover it because the people could not look at him.
For many years God has taught me about His glory. Usually I have to experience it before He explains it. Many people want to understand it with their heads. They will never get it. God’s glory cannot be understood in the mind, it must be received in the Spirit. There are several prerequisites to walking in the glory. Number one is losing your dignity. Religious people will never, never understand the preciousness or the power of God’s glory. You must be willing to humble yourself and become like a little child. Sometimes God will require you to do something that seems very foolish. Remember, the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom. A lot of people balk at being asked to do something different in church because they have become religiously comfortable. I will often initiate drinking from the river of life in church. I tell people to make a barrel with their hands and take a drink by faith. Rev. 22: 17 tells us that we can freely take the water of life. Jesus said that if we are thirsty, we can come to Him and drink – and living water would flow out of our bellies! Right around this time there are always people who get offended and refuse to drink. Some leave the service. They think it’s too childish and unscriptural, but really they don’t want to look bad in front of everyone else. I remind them that Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of God”. Notice He said LITTLE children. What do Little children like to do? Well, mostly they like to eat, drink and play – especially play! And you know, you can do all three in church.
The glory of God brings the fullness of the kingdom of God into our midst. Heaven is not a doctrine, it’s a reality. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” How close is the kingdom of heaven today? Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Stretch out your hand. That’s at least how close the kingdom is to you every day. When God’s kingdom comes, something has to move, and God won’t be the one moving. When God’s glory comes, it moves out stagnation, religion and anything else that stands in it’s way. It’s time that the church moves into the fullness of her destiny in God. Haggai 2:9 tells us that “the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former”. A lot of people go around looking for the perfect church. They will never find it. God doesn’t promise us that the latter house will be greater. He says that the GLORY of the latter house will be greater. Don’t look for the greater house, look for the greater glory.
What kind of a church is Jesus looking for? Ephesians 5:27 tells us that he is looking for a glorious church. Glorious means “filled with glory” At the dedication of the temple, after Solomon prayed, the Bible says that “fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.” (2 Chronicles 7:1) I believe that God wants His church to look like that! Do you think the world will notice the church if the glory of God falls on us to that degree? I believe the day is coming when the world will see the glory of the Lord upon the church. Isaiah 60:1and 2 tells us, “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.” Then it says, “The gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” When the glory comes upon you, people will notice.
One thing we must understand is that the glory of the Lord is not just a doctrine we read about in the Bible. Face it, many Christians do not really believe the things they say they believe. For instance, if I were to ask a church full of people how many of them believe in soul winning, most hands would go up and people would say, yes, I believe that Christians ought to win souls for Christ. However, if I were to ask the same crowd how many are actively winning souls for Christ, most hands would go down. Why? They do not believe in soul winning. They believe in the DOCTRINE of soul winning. If they really believed that Christians should win souls, they would be doing it. Again, if I were to ask most charismatic or penticostal people if they believed in divine healing they would say yes, but if I were to ask them if they regularly pray for the sick and see them healed, most would sadly say no. Why? Most of us do not really believe in divine healing, we believe in the DOCTRINE of divine healing. Big difference. We need to teach and believe in right doctrine. However, if all you have is a bag of right doctrines and no reality of those doctrines in your life, you will be in big trouble when you stand before the Lord. The Bible tells us clearly that we must be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.
The Bible tells us that the whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord. So how do you make it a reality and not something you just read or talk about. There are several things you can do that will help you walk in a continuous flow of God’s glory and it is His passionate desire to show you His glory and reveal to you the awesomeness of His ways. He wants to give us a greater and greater understanding of the glory, so that we can walk in His fullness. One of the firsts steps we must take is to realize the power of the cross and the victory that was won there. God gave me message at a conference entitled, “No blood, no glory.” We must realize that without the sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross, we wouldn’t even have the desire to know Him, let alone His glory. The death and resurrection of Christ opened up a “new and living Way” for mankind, so that we could really get to know the God who created us. When I look at the cross, I see two sides. First, I see that the death of Jesus takes away sin. ( “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John1:29 ) That is what we are saved from. Next, I see that the death and resurrection of of Jesus Christ saves us TO something, not just FROM something. We are saved from sin, but we are also saved to enjoy the glorious life in the Spirit that He has promised for every believer. That life began the moment you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. You have eternal life now, not when you die. You have it now. The kingdom is in you today. You can walk as more than a conquerer today. You have been given dominion today.