Posts Tagged ‘Corinthians’

Access to Glory

Lake Victoria

Our access to God’s Glory is through entering into His Presence. We enter the gates of God’s Presence with thanksgiving and step into the courts of His Glory with praise (Ps 100:4-5). The Psalmist tells us that in doing this we will experience God’s goodness, mercy and truth in ways that both transform and increase from generation to generation.

The Glory Realm:

When we spend time in God’s Presence, we are accessing the Glory Realm. Its an atmosphere that revives the heart and renews the mind of the believer. I remind folks often that we enter the Glory Realm through the Presence, because Scripture clearly tells us that Jesus is the only Door into the Father’s heart. Through activities like praying, meditating on the Words of Christ, praise and worship, and looking into His eyes, our faces reflect His influence in our hearts. At the same time, we are being changed on the inside so that our lives begin to reflect His character. As we are transformed in this way the supernatural light that radiates within us illumines our path and increases with even greater splendor.

Moses Our Example:

“When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands he was not aware that his face was radiant, because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. When Moses was finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.” (Ex 34:29-35).

Glory is Visible:

From this passage, it is abundantly clear that the Glory of God on Moses was visible; it was not merely a spiritual or moral characteristic. His face was radiant. This means that there was a shining or a glow about it. We also observe a cause and effect relationship here. Whenever Moses would spend time in the Lord’s presence and speak with the Lord, this glory would appear on his face. We also know that this was limited to Moses at that time, as it did not happen to all the Israelites. It was so unusual that everyone else who saw him was afraid of the splendor radiating from his face. That’s why he covered up his face with a veil.

New Covenant Access:

Now under the New Covenant, the Glory Realm is not limited to one man. All believers have access to God’s Presence and the Glory that radiated from the face of Moses is available to all who know Him. In fact, this glory is even more glorious than what Moses experienced. Notice how the Apostle Paul spoke of the ministry of the Spirit to the Corinthians:

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with Glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its Glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness?” (2 Cor 3:7-9)

The Ministry of the Spirit comes with even more Glory!

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away…But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:12-13 & 16-18).

One Body in Christ

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Rom. 12:4-5)

Three important Truths are emphasized in the Apostle Paul”s use of the “body” analogy in explaining the Church. Simple as it may sound, there is and always will be a need to remind ourselves that there are no super- Christians and no professionals in the family of God. God is a Father and expects us to recognize that He knows what is best for His Children. I hope you can hear the “Fathering” voice of God flowing through the Apostle Paul’s words.

1) No Lone Rangers: 

No individual Christian can function effectively in isolation and sustain any longterm victories for God. The Church’s highest goal is to embrace the value of standing with one another… as One Body in Christ. Our calling is the advancement of Christ’s victory in the world. Just as there are many parts of the human body and the individual parts enable the effective performance of that body, so we are part of the body of Christ. And His ongoing power is made most effective when we stand with each other. Its true, we are many individual members, but each member is important! We are tied together in our offensive posture in proclaiming the Gospel and defensive posture of protecting the weak… ”members of one another”. No member of Christ’s body can battle against our adversary alone and win. We lock arms and lift the burdens together. The devil is a fierce and cunning warrior. His demonic host of wickedness are accustom to the spiritual realm and understand invisible realities that are difficult for us to maneuver. The Church of Jesus Christ is an army that can only function as one dynamic, faith filled unit, when interdependant and coordinated as one in Christ Jesus.

2) Humility Matters:

No member of Christ’s Body should feel more important than any other member. No Christian has exclusive rights to God’s grace nor can any single member move without an effect on the rest of the body. This, perhaps, is one of the Apostle Paul’s major teachings in the passages dealing with the body function.

Some of the Corinthians were saying, “I don’t need you” and/or “I’m more important than you” and Paul made it clear that humility must be at the center of their attitudes. In a parallel passage in his Romans letter (Rom. 12:3) Paul says “…don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought”. He also wrote, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). These are powerful exhortations considering the explosive nature of the Kingdom at this time in history.

Why did Paul emphasize humility, gentleness, and patience in these passages? Because, attitudes define altitude in the Kingdom of God. As he went on to say, “There is one body and one Spirit”  (Eph. 4:4). This is essential when we understand, we get our source of life and revelation of God from the Holy Spirit! He said to the Corinthians; “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). These are powerful realities that make the focus of our faith produce real impact. Though one person may have a more public position, in God’s sight even the person who may go unknown and unnoticed, is just as important and necessary to the body (1 Cor. 12:22-23).

3) Unity Releases Blessing:

Every Christian should work hard at creating unity and aligning their hearts to one another in the Body of Christ. Just listen to these words of the Apostle Paul:

  • “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10)
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of Peace.” (Eph. 4:3)
  • “…let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom. 14:19).

The Apostle Paul was exhorting these Believers to do everything they could to “build one another up”. The atmosphere of mutual edification is the anointed place where God commands blessing and favor (Ps. 133). We want impact and we long for God’s voice to carry weight in the culture… well, this is how we do it! Unity is an awesome platform that establishes the authority of God and produces supernatural influence in the world around us.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) 

New Glory Everyday

Fresh Glory Everyday

Fresh Glory Everyday

So how do we receive, carry and reflect God’s Glory? On this side of Heaven we do it imperfectly; but as we begin to grasp how real and incredible God’s Glory is, it starts to show up in our lives. Our capacity to experience the Glory is a hunger issue, that must be nurtured by our awareness of God’s Presence.

 Have you stopped recently to acknowledge God’s presence in your life?

 His Presence is like a canopy or shadow that accompanies us in our daily routine, simply because He enjoys being with us. David touches upon this concept when he writes, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence?” (Ps 139:7) His point was clearly to acknowledge the same reality that Jesus assured His disciples of, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). I have become convinced that the Holy Spirit is drawn to individuals who make Him feel welcome.

A Miraculous Story: Many years ago my friend and his wife were riding home from church and came into a miracle. God simply spoke to them to take a different route home… so they obeyed without realizing the serious nature of this Holy Spirit directive. On the way, they came upon the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, the motorcyclist was on the ground motionless. An EMT on the scene said that he was dead and a small crowd began to gather. Without thinking, yet fresh from the Presence of God, my friend and his wife began to pray in the Spirit and approached the body in faith. It felt to them like God was about to manifest His Glory. That’s when the miracle happened… this friend of mine told the man to get up and life re-entered his body. It was a wonderful expression of the flowing power of the Glory of God. People who witnessed the event were shocked and some even praised God. Many of them probably didn’t even know God personally, but they knew He was real after they saw the evidence of His Glory.

God’s Glory is available for each of us today!

 Now I don’t know about you; but I believe that this is why we are here… to demonstrate God’s Glory in the tough moments of everyday life. What God wants to do in the Church is move us into a fresh new realm of Glory everyday. He has a special Glory for today’s experiences, won’t you look for it? (Isa 43:19).

 Moses asked God, “Please show me Your Glory” (Ex 33:18).

 Paul reminds the Corinthians that the purpose of our redemption was so that we might increase in the Glory (2 Cor 3:18). You are His Child today and called to the same ministry that Jesus modeled in the Earth (Jn 14:12). This will require us to receive His Glory and maintain the fullness of the Spirit upon us. Recognize; there is no greater privilege, no greater life, than to become carriers of His Glory!