Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’

Encountering Glory

Beauty is released

Encountering Glory

The Glory of the Lord is the most awesome sight in Heaven. It moves the Angels to sing of His holiness and bow to His majesty. Although, the Glory of the Lord may be experienced; it is often misunderstood and seen as a rare occurrence here upon the Earth. The Bible talks about the Glory in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments. Still it remains only a vague concept to most Christians. It is my belief, that the Glory of God should be a central focus for the Church and a passion for all who long to know Truth.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

In Scripture, Moses contends for God’s Presence with a passionate plea, ”If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Ex 33:15-17). We need to contend for the Presence of God in our lives and never settle for our perception of reality.  Note that Moses pulled upon God’s Presence with earnest expectation and God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”  He wanted God’s Presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater. He wanted to see evidence of God’s goodness and encounter His Glory.

He said, “Please, show me Your glory” (Ex 33:18).

What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he insisted upon the manifestation of that Presence… God’s goodness. We could say, he wanted God’s Presence made known to him, made visible and tangible. Think about it… if Moses could see the Glory of God, why shouldn’t we?

I believe as a Child of God; I can see the Glory too.

We must understand that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord. The Bible speaks about our ability to see the Glory with the eyes of faith.

  • “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.” (2 Cor 3:18)

The Bible also points to where we find the knowledge of the Glory of God.

  • “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.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Spending time alone beholding Him and worshiping Him, will cause us to have a greater hunger for His Presence and His revealed Glory in our lives. Seeing Him in the pages of God’s Word and knowing that there is more of God available in our lives, will cause us to search for deeper experiences with Him. We can begin to have Glory encounters of our own, where we get firsthand knowledge of His goodness and His power.

Hunger for the Glory

The Glory of the Lord is the most awesome reality of Heaven. It moves the Angels to sing of His holiness and bow to His majesty. Although, the Glory of the Lord may be experienced; it is often misunderstood and seen as a rare occurrence here upon the Earth. The Bible talks about the Glory in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments. Still it remains only a vague concept to most Christians. It is my belief, that the Glory of God should be a central focus for the Church and a passion for all who long to know Truth.

Just consider for a moment the experience that King Solomon was able to share with us at the completion of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6-7.

Then Solomon spoke: “The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever (2 Chr. 6:1-2). Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place. Now therefore, Arise, Oh Lord God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests, Oh Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness. Oh Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; remember the mercies of Your servant David.” (2 Chr. 6:1-2 & 40-42)
When Solomon had finished praying, 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. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the Glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr. 7:1-3)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

Moses Gives Insight:

Moses contends for God’s Presence… with a passionate plea, we hear his desperation, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Ex 33:15-17). We need to contend for the Presence of God in our lives and never settle for our perception of reality. Note that Moses pulled upon God’s heart with an earnest expectation of going beyond the Presence and seeing something more… encountering something more. And God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” He wanted God’s Presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater… something visible, tangible and real. He wanted to see evidence of God’s goodness and encounter His Glory.

He said, “Please, show me Your Glory!” (Ex 33:18).

What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he insisted upon the manifestation of that Presence… God’s goodness. We could say, he wanted God’s Presence made known to him, a manifestation… made visible and tangible. Think about it… if Moses could see the Glory of God, why shouldn’t we? Why can’t we see His Glory?

I believe as a Child of God, we can see the Glory! (Heb. 1:3)

The Bible speaks about our ability to see the Glory with the eyes of faith. We must understand that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord.

  • ”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.” (2 Cor 3:18)

The Bible also points to where we find the knowledge of the Glory of God.

  • ”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.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Look Into the Face of Jesus:

Spending time beholding Him and worshiping at His Throne, takes us somewhere in the spirit. It transforms our sense of reality and moves our heart into intimate places with the heart of God. These encounters deepen our knowledge of how love and grace are imparted, because we are introduced to heaven’s atmosphere. These encounters cause us to have a greater hunger for His Voice and His revealed Glory in our lives. Seeing Him in the pages of God’s Word is just the beginning… faith inspires a deeper search, knowing that there is more available for our lives. Deep cries out to deep… we go deeper and we begin to have Glory encounters of our own, where we gain firsthand knowledge of His goodness and His power.

You and I were made to drink of His Spirit and share in His Glory! (1 Cor 12:13)

The Inner Man

“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Heb. 12:12-15)

There is strength available from God in and through your inner man! Go after it with all of your might… you need it, the world around you needs it and God wants you to receive it. Not only is it the command of God, but it is vital to all that effects you as a believer, who finds your identity “in Christ”. Ephesians 3:16 says that you can be, “…strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man”. The Phillip’s translation says, “…He will enable you to know the strength of the Spirit’s inner reinforcement…” He will enable you… like striking a match lights a fire. This is the believer’s source of power that sustains life when all else fails. We can come to know and check our spiritual pulse often – the Holy Spirit’s strengthening our inner man.

The Power of God:

As you learn to yield to the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself being fortified and built up with inner strength and power. He has been sent to nurture you, to support you, and to hold you up in times of struggle. This is the meaning behind “fullness”… filled with power! God has given us delegated authority to walk in the power He is making available to us (Lk. 11:19). Notice that the writer of the book of Hebrews speaks of our mobility as followers, as servants and warriors. His concern is the strength of our “hands” and “feeble knees” and the straight paths for our feet. Its not enough just to believe for the fullness of God, we need to have forward momentum and power rushing through our bones. We must put our faith into action and advance the Kingdom of God as leaders… violent against the enemies of our soul (Mt. 11:12). You have been anointed for this purpose… to be the scepter in the hand of the Savior – “til I (Father) make Your (Beloved Son/Jesus) enemies Your footstool!” (Psa. 110:1-4). Yeah!

Many in the Church today are trying to live the life of an over-comer without learning how to rely on the Holy Spirit’s inner strength. They are living frustrated and confused lives as they struggle to understand grace in the midst of spiritual challenges. They deal with life’s daunting problems on their own level… but there is a better way. A way where we will not fall short of the grace of God!

Be Clothed in Glory: (Lk. 24:49)

Becoming clothed in power from the Holy Spirit, allows us to accomplish spiritual tasks and find the pulse of God within. Yielding to the Spirit’s inner strength will break the frustration and anxiety of doing it on our own, and lead to peace of mind and an effectiveness that cannot be explained naturally.

“…but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the Will of God.” (Rom. 8:26-27)

These groanings can only be perceived by our learning to lean upon the Spirit’s inner pulse. The Holy Spirit is able to search our hearts and to know the innermost needs of the moment. He also fully understands God’s perfect will for our life and He comprehends secret things that are hidden beyond our finite, earthly knowledge. The Holy Spirit is able to blend all of this together and articulate the most perfect petition to God, praying on a level that we could never achieve on our own.

Knowing the Pulse of the Inner Man:

When we train ourselves to rely on the Spirit’s inner pulse and allow Him to pray through us with supernatural groaning and articulations, we will find that all things, whether good or bad, will be turned to our good as the Spirit has His way in our lives. This “praying in the Spirit” is an essential key to knowing the resources of God’s heart powerfully beating inside us… it “tunes us in” to the Will of God.

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” (Rom. 8:28 Amp.)

Hope of Glory

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

This “hope of Glory” is the wonderful internal reality of the Holy Spirit’s power… Christ on the inside! It is as if you and I could be worn like a glove. We are God’s expression of Heaven on Earth. The Sons and Daughters carry the Father’s substance and yes we really are the ambassadors of His character and priorities from the “other world”. This Glory of the Lord is more than just filler… its the most awesome sight in Heaven. It moves the Angels to sing of His holiness and bow to His majesty.

Although, the Glory of the Lord can be experienced; it is often misunderstood and seen as a rare occurrence here upon the Earth. In fact all of creation still yearns to see more of it. The Bible talks about the Glory in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments. Still it remains only a vague concept to most Christians. It is my belief, that this spiritual substance should be a central focus for the Church and a passion for all who long to know God!

  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

In Scripture, Moses contends for God’s Presence with a passionate plea, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Ex 33:15-17). We need to contend for the Presence of God in our lives. Note that Moses pulled upon God’s Presence with earnest expectation and God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” He wanted God’s Presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater. He wanted to see evidence of God’s goodness and encounter His Glory.

He said, “Please, show me Your glory” (Ex 33:18).

What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he insisted upon the manifestation of that Presence… God’s goodness. We could say, he wanted God’s Presence made known to him, made visible and tangible. He wanted to see the manifestation of that Presence! Think about it… if Moses could see the Glory of God, why shouldn’t we?

I believe as a Child of God; I can see the Glory too.

We must understand that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord. The Bible speaks about our ability to see the Glory with the eyes of faith.

  • “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.” (2 Cor 3:18)

The Bible also points to where we find the knowledge of the Glory of God.

  • ”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.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Spending time alone beholding Him and worshiping Him, will cause us to see His Glory. To nurture a greater hunger for His Presence is the first step… and yet there is more. His revealed Glory comes with the “face to face” encounters in our lives. Seeing Him in the pages of God’s Word and knowing that there is more of God available in our lives, will cause us to search for deeper experiences with Him. We can begin to have Glory encounters of our own, where we get firsthand knowledge of His goodness and His power.

Let’s go deeper!

Responding to Slander

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5:12)

As followers of Christ, we will always feel that this world is not really a good fit. We will long for peace and joy from this world, until we recognize it comes from another place… heaven. And as we grow in Christ, the feeling that this place is not our home; will only grow… not diminish. Life here, will not get easier in terms of comfort. In fact, we may find that we mourn more easily than we used to, that our ability to be merciful is strained, and that our awareness of sin is more keen. We may also find that some people become very uncomfortable with us as we experience greater freedom in Christ, because we are not as easily manipulated and don’t join them in their controlling games. But, the choice is our… we can rejoice and be glad! We do this, because we want the very things Christ is offering… indeed – we are glad that His Kingdom Dominion (Rom. 14:17) is our real inheritance!

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:31-32)

HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO SLANDER YOU…

A. Love: Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving… even as God in Christ has forgiven you and I. Jesus set the standard very high… He calls us to love one another. By loving people who mistreat us, we demonstrate His love… a love that flows from heaven (Jn. 15:9). The Holy Spirit is our resource (Rom. 5:5), and by having this attitude, we can have impact and minister even to our accusers.

  • “I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…[as it] is written… They hated Me without a cause.” (Jn. 15:17-25)

B. Bless: Jesus called us to bless and not curse our enemies, even those who slander us. To revile or slander is to share negative reports about someone without cause. We are blessed and anointed with power from heaven to love our enemies or slanderers by our words, deeds and prayers. Jesus modeled it for us (Acts 10:38) and we are promised to have access to the same Kingdom Reality (Jn. 14:12)… the anointing of the Father!

  • “Blessed are you when they revile… you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (Mt. 5:11)
  • “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you…” (Lk. 6:22)
  • “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44)
  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn. 4:4-6)

C. Entrusting Ourselves to God: We endure mistreatment by knowing that God will vindicate us in His timing, as we commit the conflict and mistreatment to Him. The challenge is to walk in self control and allow room for God to move on our behalf. We can entrust every situation to God through prayer and believe His promises to respond in His way.

  • “…when He [Jesus] was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…” (1 Pet. 2:23)
  • “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I [God] will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and proud heart, him I will not endure.” (Psa. 101:5)

D. Speak Privately: If someone slanders us, we are to talk to them in private. If we want to win the brother who is accusing or slandering us without a cause, we must talk in private. If we want to win the argument, we will continue to talk in public… and often lose the brother.

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Mt 18:15)

Clearing the Air:

When people operate without resolving conflict, they pay a high price in order to protect their pride and selfish ambition. Seeking to win an argument, means we are more willing to devour each other, strain christian fellowship and weaken our testimony before God. The Apostle Paul cautions, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Gal. 5:15). This kind of atmosphere is disastrous to advancing the Message of the Kingdom of God, because it releases a dominion of darkness and corrupt attitudes in environments where people of all types meet and experience our poor behavior. We pay for unresolved anger towards those who slander us and end up undercutting our goals as Christ’s followers.

Freedom & Reconciliation:

Our ministry as ambassadors for Christ… is all about reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21)! The only way to be liberated and walk in freedom is by blessing those who mistreat us and repenting of bitterness when we see it in our hearts. As we act in the opposite spirit, the “spirit of peace”; our heart begins to be healed and we are called the “sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). Jesus said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge… and you are thrown into prison. I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Mt. 5:25-26). We must learn how to clear the air of our arguments and discord, because they lead to other sinful behaviors. I believe there is a relationship between harboring bitterness and stumbling in immorality. Anger causes trouble, personally and corporately; but if we can learn to evaluate our conduct in the light of God’s Word we will guard ourselves and find freedom from this spiritual struggle.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:15–16)

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