An Indescribable Joy, An Undeniable Presence: We Were Made to Reflect the Glory of the Lord! Created in the Image of God to Shine Forth! Exodus 40:34-38

Exodus 40:34-38Amplified Bible

The Glory of the Lord

34 Then the cloud [the Shekinah, God’s visible, dwelling presence] covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory and brilliance of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud remained on it, and the glory and brilliance of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 In all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out; 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey on until the day when it was taken up. 38 For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

“I just want to give all the glory to God.”

We’ve all heard athletes and artists on T.V. who have made this statement.

After winning a championship, or a Grammy, they point it all back to God.

Their words are correct but what does that mean?

At the end of the day, we are either living for God’s glory or for our glory.

We are either building God’s kingdom or building our own kingdom.

Making Jesus famous or living to make ourselves famous.

Our goal as Christians should be to make Jesus famous.

Living for God’s glory simply means living for Jesus and inviting Jesus into every area of our lives.

This means that our aim should be to please God in all we say and do.

It is this posture and attitude of praise and worship which brings God glory.  

We go to church and we bring the weight and the burden and the glory of all the stuff which occurred during the week prior – all of our personal stuff, all of our family stuff, all of our children’s stuff, all of our work stuff and after worship we hope to leave church with a significantly less burdened shoulder and soul.

We have all had experiences where we have left church on Sunday or a worship retreat or Bible study of some kind, felt the presence of God as we worshiped Him – a wonderful experience and we did not ever want that feeling to end.

But yet, how long does it take until we fall back into sin or go back to living like before – our shoulders are burdened again, our backs and souls are bent over?

Usually not too long – Monday morning – thirty seconds before our first coffee.

If the presence of God was visibly and tangibly around us before that first cup, and again all day, every day, do we think we’d fall into the same trap of sin?

By the time we walked out the door of our house and to our vehicles to start the day, we were reflecting the glory of that first cup of coffee and not that of God?

Before you’re too quick to answer, let’s look at the cloud of the Lord and Israel.

The Bible tells us that throughout all of Israel’s journeys, the glory of God’s presence was continually with them – in quite a remarkably tangible way.

They could see His glory in the cloud that filled the tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night.

From the moment they left Egypt all the way through the books of the prophets who foretold of yet another exodus out of Babylonian captivity, the Cloud of the glory of the Lord our God held both great theological meanings and functions.

It represented the following, and probably much more in their ancient context:

  • guidance and leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness into the promised land (Exodus 13:21; Numbers 14:14, Nehemiah 9:12; Psalm 78:14)
  • a sign that the nations was to break camp and continue their journey or to stop and set up camp (Exodus 40:36-37; Number 9:17-23)
  • protection from Pharaoh and his army (Exodus 14:19-20)
  • the personal presence of God/the angel of the Lord was among them (Exodus 13:22; Exodus 14:19, Exodus 14:24, Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-16)
  • it summoned them together to battle (Numbers 10:34-35)
  • it summoned them to together to prayer, praise and worship (Exodus 33:10)
  • it both concealed God glory and was a manifestation of it (Exodus 16:10, Exodus 19:9, Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:21, Exodus 24:15-18, Exodus 34:5, Deuteronomy 4:11, Deuteronomy 5:22)
  • provided revelation (Exodus 33:9, Psalm 99:7)
  • a dwelling place of God (Numbers 9:18, Numbers 9:22, Numbers 10:11)
  • God dwelt over the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:2)
  • a visible manifestation of God for installing the 70 elders and Joshua into service (Numbers 11:25, Deuteronomy 31:15)
  • inaugurated the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35)
  • provided shade from the sun and protection from storm (Number 10:34; Psalm 105:39, Isaiah 4:5)
  • at night it became a pillar of fire to give them light (Exodus 14:20)

Wherever they went, the cloud of the glory of the Lord their God led them.

And still, despite God’s obvious presence the nation ended up turning to idols.

As they left Egypt and met God at the mountain, they stood as a nation and said they would do what God wanted them to do – they would obey his commands.

They said that God would be their only God and they would be His people.

They said God’s glory would be their only glory and that glory would shine!

But when Moses goes to the top of the mountain for 40 days they get Aaron to make a ‘god’ – a Golden Calf – for them to serve and to pray and to worship too.

When God recognizes what is going on, He nearly removes an entire mountain in rage, Moses is left to try, convince God the people are still worthy of mercy!

Throughout the Hebrew Testament those ancient Israelites struggled mightily with idol worship – nearly all of the ancient Prophets condemned them harshly.

Bringing this into the New Testament,

Bringing this into the time of the New Covenant in Christ Jesus our Savior …

John 14:1-12New Living Translation

Jesus, the Way to the Father

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

John 14:23-26New Living Translation

23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

Ephesians 2:11-22New Living Translation

Oneness and Peace in Christ

11 Do not forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

A Temple for the Lord

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20  Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

As believers, God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwells within us. (John 14:23)

We are His temple. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

We are carefully joined together in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Together, we the Body of Christ, are His house, built on the foundation of the Apostles, the words, deeds of the Prophets – Christ Jesus is our cornerstone!

Yet, I cannot help but wonder ….

Even in these most uncertain of times when our faith is tested every which way to Sunday by the glory of our socio-economic, socio-political shenanigans’ ….

Why should our hearts be nearly as troubled as those of the ancient Israelites?

Are we any less different than those ancient Israelites with our own idols?

Are we more or less worthy of our own condemnation for our idol worship?

If it came right down to it, if we were brutally honest with ourselves, whose glory do we reflect and shine forth- that of our idols or that of the Lord God?

If each of us walked around God’s neighborhood with the cloud of the Lord by day and fire by night as a meter for how much our lives reflected God’s glory, would there be a big cloud or a tiny one or worse yet, a totally empty blue sky?

Would the fire by night be burning bright or just a little flicker or not at all?

The glory of God isn’t just a feeling, an event or an Old Testament experience—

Its a towering spiritual tsunami of everything contained in the character of God.

The word glory is literally translated “heavy weight,” meaning the heaviest, biggest, grandest thing about someone.

It has been called the manifested presence of God, but it is far more than just a presence, it’s power.

The kind of power which redeems, resurrects, delivers, overcomes, transforms.

It is infinitely greater and infinitely stronger than any other power in existence.

And it belongs to us.

Yet, maybe you feel like the glory of God is untouchable, unreachable.

Maybe you think of the manifestation of the glory of God as something reserved for special church services or an extraordinary circumstance.

All the while, though, you long to see the power of God manifest in your life, your family, friends, communities, neighborhoods, church and your country.

But did you know that the glory of God is available to you 24/7?

It’s built-in.

That’s how God designed it—it’s how He designed you.

Because you were born of God (John 1:13), that glory is inside you right now!

All things that the Father has—including His glory—belong to you and to me.

This means His glory isn’t too far out of reach.

It’s right within your grasp!

Below are four ways you and I can tap into the glory of God by faith.

  1. Look for the Glory

“But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God.” –Acts 7:55, NKJV

If we aren’t expecting to see the glory of God, we probably won’t reach for it.

Just like anything in the kingdom of God, it takes faith to see a manifestation.

The glory of God is a visible power.

In the Hebrew Testament, the glory appeared as a cloud, smoke or fire.

This visible power is also known as Shekinah glory, which is the Hebrew name given to the presence of God dwelling on the earth.

The nation of Israel saw the glory when God came down to meet them on Mount Sinai.

Exodus 24:17 (KJV) says, “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount.”

The prophet Habakkuk got a glimpse of that fiery glory, too.

He described it as like the sun, blazing in the sky:

“His brightness was as the light; he had horns [or shafts] coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power” (Habakkuk 3:4, KJV).

The same glory that raised Jesus from the dead was manifested as fire by night and a cloud by day in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21).

This same glory separated Israel and the land of Goshen from the rest of Egypt when there was light in the land of Goshen, but not in Egypt (Exodus 10:23).

What was that light?

The glory.

The glory of God’s presence.

Can we see those same physical manifestations of God’s glory today?

Yes!

There are countless testimonies of individuals and groups of believers having seen visible evidence of God’s glory – up to and including both yours and mine.

  1. Pray for the Glory

“For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” –Romans 8:18, NKJV

How do you pray for the glory of God?

First, pray that the glory will be revealed to you and in you.

You and I can see and experience the glory of God, but we must diligently ask and seek for it to be revealed.

When we pray the glory into the earth, miracles, signs and wonders will occur in the Body of Christ, God’s own Church and in our own personal lives also.

When Moses saw the glory of God, he asked, saying, “Please, show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18, NKJV). 

When believers gathered together in a spirit of unity, seeking the Lord, the glory appeared in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, and sat on the head of each person there (Acts 2:1-4).

Each born-again believer has the ability to manifest God’s glory here on earth, but we must steadfastly believe when we fervently pray. (James 5:12-18)

That’s why Jesus told Martha that if she would believe, she would see the glory of God (John 11:40).

Finally, pray Ephesians 1:17-18—that you would know the hope of His calling, which is the hope of His glory.

Pray that you will understand the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

When we inherited Him, glory was deposited in us, but we have to receive revelation of what it means to walk in that glory.

  1. Prepare for the Glory

“…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” –Romans 5:5, NKJV

Did you know there are degrees of the glory?

If we want to experience the fullness of God’s glory, we must prepare our spirit.

How?

By walking in faith hope and love. (Romans 12:10-13, 1 Corinthians 13)

It takes faith to receive and operate in the glory—and faith works by love (Galatians 5:1-7).

That means the glory of God will increase in us in direct proportion to how we walk our walk and talk our talk all in the maximum glory of God in His love.

So, to increase the amount of the glory in your life, we must walk in love.

Put simply—more love, more glory.

The spirit of strife and division is always there, lurking and looking for an opening and a way into your life and mine. 

Never, ever let our love guard down!

Then you and I are on our way to being filled with the glory!

  1. Walk in the Glory

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” –2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV

The glory of God looks for a dwelling place.

The original house for the glory of God was the tabernacle.

But under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit builds a temple in every believer.

First Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (NKJV). 

We are God’s house—His temple. Only, this temple is no longer in a fixed location.

This is a house where serious amounts of multi-tasking takes place ….

This house can walk and talk and live and love and correctly preach the gospel!

Now, it’s one thing to have the glory, but it’s another to know how to walk in it.

The good news?

You and I have everything you and I need inside you and me to do so.

When the believers experienced the glory of God at Pentecost, they didn’t just go back to living normal lives.

They emerged from that place as separate from the rest of the world and as light in the midst of darkness.

They went out and started turning the world upside down for Jesus.

They preached the gospel; worked miracles, signs and wonders; and the Lord added thousands to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).

That’s the glory we need to be operating in!

The early Christians were no different than Christians today.

But here’s the key: Those first believers received the same Spirit we did when we got saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Christians today are carriers of God’s glory just as surely as they were!

When we walk in the glory of God, we have a fire in us which the devil himself cannot withstand. (John 1:1-5)

We are told to put on the armor of God, which includes the shoes of the glorious gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).

There’s glory in your feet and in mine!

That’s what gives you and me the power to walk on Satan.

That’s why the only thing the devil is to the Church is a footstool.

Start practicing these four ways to tap into God’s glory by looking, praying, preparing and walking, and watch the glory of God be revealed in you!

Don’t live without understanding God’s glory and what it means to your life.

Start saying by faith right now:

“The glory is in me! I receive it! I’m walking in it!”

Get more God-inside minded,

Start acting, being, doing, like a glorious temple of the Lord of glory today!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Alleluia! Amen.

Heavenly Father, you have called me to glorify You, to model a life of love and service and sacrifice to those around me. Teach me to live and minister in Your glory, to love and serve my fellow believers, neighbors, coworkers, and those you have brought into my sphere of influence. I realize I have been uniquely wired and placed where I live and work. Teach me to love well. You are my perfect example of walking in love. You sent your son to die on the cross for me. Teach me to be sacrificial in how I treat and love those around me. This brings you glory, and my heart’s desire is to bring you the recognition you deserve. I pray the world will see your love in me. I long to bring you glory through the way I treat each person. Help me to see everyone as humans made in your image. And help me extend the love that’s been extended to me through your son Jesus. It’s in Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Father, fill us with your glory and may it go forth, shine bright in a lost world that desperately needs you.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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