Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)
- TITLE: Seeing and Understanding God's Glory
By Allen Stark
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We are exhorted to love God, and that we will never learn to love one another as we should until we learn to love God first (see Matthew 22:37-39.)
Why did God create us? Why are we here? Why have we lived until now? We are created, we are here, and are alive to glorify God and enjoy him forever! God placed every one of us on this earth to glorify him, and if we are godly men and women we will glorify him.
The pursuit of God’s glory and the giving of glory to him are congruent, which means this is in agreement with all of history. From Genesis to Revelation, we see that those who have delighted in and desired God’s glory have benefited greatly.
This burning desire to see God’s glory, to see him face to face, is one of the most important keys to revival and fulfillment of God’s purposes for our individual lives and for the world. Note the difference in Moses’ long pursuit of God’s glory and what it produced for him. Then look at the world's lack of pursuit of God’s glory and what it has resulted in. Even more important, has the church failed to pursue God’s glory the way it should? Have you?
Moses wasn’t selfish or presumptuous. He wasn't seeking material things or personal fame on the “big screen” of life. He wasn’t even seeking miracles or gifts. Moses simply wanted to experience God’s glory, and that is the greatest gift and blessing we can ever give him. Moses was willing to pursue it and it didn't come easy (see Exodus 33:18-23).
The Bible has made it very clear to me that it is possible for every true follower of Jesus Christ to see and understand God’s glory. He reveals his glory to all who ask and seek it diligently. Let me also share with you what I have come to understand, both from my Bible study and experiences, which is, God's glory is also meant to equip his people for the difficult days ahead.
Stop for a moment and see what God’s glory is NOT. Contrary to some Christian thinking, the glory of God IS NOT a physical manifestation of some kind. It's not some feeling of ecstasy that comes over you. And it is definitely not some kind of supernatural aura or angelic light that bursts forth around the person, as some have claimed. Simply put, God’s glory is a revelation of his nature and attributes.
Moses’ experience with God demonstrates this truth. If you read Exodus 33:18 KJV, you will see that Moses had a gnawing hunger to know who the great I Am was—to know what his nature and character were all about. This is why in verse 18 Moses cries out, “Lord…I beseech thee, show me thy glory!”
Now, didn’t I say that God reveals his glory to all who ask and seek it diligently? Well, the Lord answered Moses' prayer. But first he told Moses to hide himself in the cleft of a rock. That’s where we get the lyrics for the song, “He hideth myself in the cleft of the rock…” But as Moses waited for the glory of the Lord to appear, he saw no thunder, no lightning, no shaking of the earth—the same experience that Ezekiel had when the Lord passed by him in the cave and made his glory known to Ezekiel. Instead, God’s glory came to him in a simple revelation (see Exodus 34:6-7).
So, why did God choose to reveal his power and glory to Moses? What was God’s purpose? It certainly wasn’t to give Moses a moment of great ecstasy. And it wasn’t so that he could have something to tell his children and grandchildren. No—God allowed Moses to see his glory so that he might be changed by the sight of it. The same is true for us today. God reveals his glory to us so that, by seeing it, we might be changed into his own image—that is, the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.
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